If I get nervous about a test result, she always takes time to talk with my husband and me about it and explain what the results mean.
My name is Phyllis Hill, and I am nominating Jessica Krousel, B.S.N, RN, for the Extraordinary Healer® Award. My husband and I first met Jessica more than two years ago when Dr. Claude Grigg Jr., was assigned as my oncologist to treat my stage 3 bladder cancer. Jessica is a very caring and knowledgeable nurse who went out of her way to help me stay positive during my care.
She has gone out of her way to help me in numerous ways. For instance, when I developed a blood clot after a port was installed on my right side for my infusions, it was well after 6 p.m. and I had a difficult time finding the blood thinner Xarelto at a price I could afford. She started looking for a coupon to help lower the cost of the medication and did not stop until she found it by calling around and getting the information to me so I could purchase the medication. It helped save me money on the cost of the medication, which I received the same day.
I continued my chemotherapy by intravenous (IV) infusions. However, on one occasion, the laboratory personnel downstairs could not get the feed placed in my arm. After three tries, they still could not get the IV started. I went upstairs, and Jessica was very patient with me because she knew I was distraught and upset from the lab experience. She inserted the IV feed into my arm so I could continue my chemotherapy on time.
When the chemotherapy was completed, I was sent to Dr. Kris Gaston to have my bladder surgically removed. When he initiated the surgery, he found some lymph nodes that showed up as cancerous and stopped the surgery. He consulted with Dr. Grigg, and they agreed that I had progressed to stage 4 bladder cancer and recommended that I be placed on immunotherapy. I then went for radiation and chemotherapy during Christmas week. It was a very tough time. Jessica made Dr. Grigg aware of my struggles, and they both stayed in touch with me by phone. Jessica was involved in all stages of this intervention. She showed a compassion beyond what most people do, and she continues to show that compassion to this day.
If I get nervous about a test result, she always takes time to talk with my husband and me about it and explain what the results mean. If I have questions about over-the-counter medications, I feel very confident about the advice she gives me. When I leave her voicemails, I know I will have a timely response from her about my question, even if it is after hours, so she can ease my mind and make me feel comfortable.
Immunotherapy did not work and in June 2020 I was told I had three to nine months to live. That was the worst diagnosis that I could ever expect. Jessica continued to show a positive attitude and compassion, which helped me maintain my positive attitude. Dr. Grigg then placed me on a new chemotherapy drug, which I am currently taking. Jessica took the time to explain the drug in more detail and answered questions I forgot to ask Dr. Grigg.
Three weeks ago, during a visit with Dr. Grigg, the doctor informed me that he could see no cancer at all in my CT scan. Jessica was elated and still showed the positive attitude I have come to expect from her. I failed to return her text, and at 7:30 p.m., she texted me to be sure I received the good news. I feel very blessed to have her as my oncology nurse and someone I can talk to as a professional about my cancer or, hopefully, lack of cancer at this point. I highly recommend her for the Extraordinary Healer® Award.
For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.