Today marks the start of National Nurses Week in which we celebrate the important role
nurses play in healthcare. As a young survivor, I personally understand the vital role nurses play when you’re diagnosed, through treatment and beyond. At the start, you have so many appointments, information and advice running through your head. For me, my nurse was crucial in making all of this more manageable and achievable. My parents and I often said she was like an angel. Not only was she super organized, but she gave me so much emotional support. I couldn’t have made it through without her. I’ll remember her forever.
I knew I wasn’t alone in my appreciation for all that nurses do for young women facing breast cancer. I asked YSC’s fabulous State Leaders for their thoughts on how nurses have positively impacted their breast cancer treatment and recovery.
“I had two amazing nurses during my treatment. My research nurse was my front line. She made sure every issue, and there were so many, was addressed. She listened to every concern and always made me feel comfortable every step of the way. My treatment nurse also holds a special place in my heart. She knew that chemo was no fun and losing my hair was traumatic, but always made each Monday the best she could. She made sure I was comfortable and doing okay. She always took the time to chat with me about everything from food to shopping. She also made me feel like her only patient.”
– Jodi, diagnosed at 30
“I LOVED my nurse, Denise. She was always so kind, gentle and listened. It’s funny how you find one nurse that you prefer to access your port. If she wasn’t there, I was always a bit leery. Everyone did a great job, but I just really connected with her. I still seek her out for my checkups, just to say hi. I know how excited she was to see my wedding pictures and I can’t wait for her to see my baby bump at my next visit. If I had to go through it all again, I’d want Denise as my nurse for sure. She’s the best. Big thank you to her and all the nurses out there!”
– Melissa, diagnosed at 25
“My veins are terrible. But my chemo nurse, Darby, did her absolute best to put my mind at ease. As scary as some parts of my treatment were, having Darby act so confidently and compassionately gave me some space to relax before my infusions. I remain so grateful to her.”
– Megan, diagnosed at 34
“While I was in surgery for my mastectomy, the nurse navigator sat with my family and friends. My friends told her that she had to come back when I was awake because they knew we would hit it off. Almost 10 years later, we are still close friends and she calls me when she has a patient that she thinks I need to talk to for encouragement.”
– Rachel, diagnosed at 35
“My nurse advocated for my doctor to push me for more breast care when my mammogram came back “normal,” yet the lump was there. She made all the calls and stood by me. I would have been a different case without her. I was scared, but by her taking matters over she made me feel like I was going to get the best care. I still send her wine on my “lump day” 4 years out!”
– AnnMarie, diagnosed at 40
“All the nurses I’ve worked with were amazing, but Patti was especially amazing. She spent so much time with me and my co-survivor. She gave me her cell number to call with questions. She encouraged me to attend YSC’s conference for young women with breast cancer, which inspired me to start a support group for young breast cancer patients at Grant Medical Center. And all of that led to me getting more involved with YSC. None of that would have happen without Patti’s support.”
– Anne, diagnosed at 32
Did you connect with a nurse during your treatment? Did someone go above and beyond to support you? Give your favorite nurse a “shout-out” or “thank you” in the comments below!
Did you know it’s even easier to take control of your health? YSC has navigators to help you through diagnosis, post-treatment, long-term survivorship and living with metastatic breast cancer. You can download or order printed materials with just the click of a button.