In this essay, a patient with cancer shares how her oncology nurse was a true comfort through the cancer journey and a true friend.
My living angel is my oncology nurse, Leslie Smith, RN.
I met Leslie in March 2016 when I received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer and made my first trip to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Philadelphia. My cancer had come back after 20 years, and I was scared. Leslie was one of the first people I met at CTCA.
From left: Leslie Smith, RN, and Marlayne Sick
She is part of my amazing group of doctors, surgeons, a physician assistant and all others who are a part of Team Marlayne. Leslie is the “holder of the keys,” so to speak. I can get in touch with her via phone, text or email anytime I have a question or concern, feel overwhelmed or just need her and the compassion she exudes even over a text.
The team at CTCA has started bringing nurses into the appointments to hear what the oncologists/physician assistant are speaking about and respond to any questions or concerns the patients might have. The first time this happened, I thought something was wrong and turned to Leslie and asked, “Why are you here?” She smiled at me and said, “Because I love you.” Plain and simple ... because she loves me ... and she truly does.
There have been times when things have not turned out the way I wanted them, and she stayed with me as I cried on her shoulder. She was and is a comfort and a true friend. I believe nurse Leslie Smith is an extraordinary healer because she goes above and beyond what is expected of her with grace and dignity, love and compassion. I feel safe with Leslie. She is my living angel!