My Cancer Nurse Was My 'Saving Sam'

When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, my oncology nurse ended up becoming a trusted friend.

I would like to nominate Sam Belonga, RN, OCN, of Henry Ford Health System for the Extraordinary Healer® Award.

I received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer more than four years ago. The unknowns were overwhelming at the time and Sam was the comforting “port in the storm” from day one.

She helped me understand what was happening and what to expect going forward. Sam is always available to answer any questions I have, and if she does not know the answer she will put me in touch with someone who does. Whether it is a problem with my medication, prescription, scheduling, appointments or any other problem that I might have concerning my condition, Sam is always willing to help. When I call, she answers or she will call me back promptly. She takes all the time that I need to talk even though I know how terribly busy she is.

She has walked me back from the edge numerous times when I was nervous or upset.

Sam has become a friend. Not only is she a friend, but she is a trusted friend. We can talk about anything freely and openly. I cannot always say that about other professionals I have had contact with.

With all the problems that everyone has had with dealing with this terrible COVID-19 pandemic, I cannot imagine trying to do what needs to be done to help keep me healthy without Sam. She is a truly caring professional who goes out of her way to make things a little easier for me.

In closing, I can think of no other nurse who may be more deserving of this award than Sam Belonga. She commits to taking care of her patients and goes above and beyond every day for them. I am honored to nominate Sam Belonga for the Extraordinary Healer Award®.

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