An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring SALLY STADE, RN [RETIRED; CARLSBAD MEDICAL CENTER AND VISTACARE HOSPICE, CARLSBAD, NEW MEXICO]
From left: Marilyn K. Stade and Sally Stade, RN PHOTOS BY JESS ADDINGTON
At the age of 29, I had breast cancer. My husband’s mom and dad came to Alamogordo, New Mexico, to be with us. I had surgery the Monday before Thanksgiving in November 1989. It took me a long time to wake up. My mother-in-law, Sally Stade, stayed with us to help take care of me, because I had a drainage tube in me. She was a tremendous help to us.
Sally worked for Silver Bell Pawn Shop, and while she was there, something told her she should become a nurse. She studied hard to get her GED diploma. After that, she went to college to become a nurse. The classes she had to take to get into nursing weren’t the easiest, but she passed and got into the nursing program at New Mexico State University in Carlsbad. Those classes weren’t easy, either, but once again, our mom passed them. She worked at the hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
In February 2003, I had breast cancer a second time. It was a new breast cancer. Sally saw what a toll the cancer and chemo treatments took on our lives both times. The first time I had cancer, I couldn’t use my right arm. She and my husband pushed me to do my arm exercises. The second time, she taught me how to do my drainage tube.
Sally Stade is a very compassionate, understanding, loving person. She has made an impact on my life, as well as on the lives of others. Sally is an excellent nurse who makes a difference. I’m thankful that she was there for me both times I had cancer.