Being a nurse is much more than just a job. At MD Anderson, our nurses provide care and compassion for our patients throughout their cancer treatment. Every nurse here plays a crucial part in our mission to end cancer.
Each year, we honor our nurses' caring hearts and commitment to our patients during Nurses' Week. In celebration, we asked a few patients and survivors how our nurses helped them during cancer treatment.
Here's what they had to say.
"The nurse that helped me and was the most memorable administered my chemo and checked on me during the process. She had a shaved head. Very striking and pretty. I asked her if she was going through chemo too, and she said, 'No, I do this in honor of my patients, to make them feel more comfortable, and because I just like it this short!' It was nice to see her show her support that way with the patients she cared for.
The nurses in the gynecologic radiation area in Mays Clinic are some of the nicest, most patient nurses I have ever met. They were always answering my questions and helping me understand things. Especially Dr. Patricia Eifel's nurses. They made me smile during a very difficult time with radiation, and I will always appreciate them all!"
-- Jami Mayberry, vulvar cancer survivor
"The nurses at MD Anderson were very pivotal in my treatment. I could not have remained in high spirits if it had not been for Theresa Johnson and all of the nurses in the Breast Center."
-- Jamie Bernard, breast cancer survivor
"Nurses are the right hand AND the left hand of many doctors. They are the person in between the doctor and the patient. At MD Anderson, the nurses are devoted, caring, sensitive, concerned, firm and loyal to their patients. That's why I call them angels.
I'd like to thank Golie at the Lymphoma and Myeloma Center, Laura in the Stem Cell Transplant Center and all the wonderful nurses on my floor after my stem cell transplant. There are too many of them to mention."
-- Bobby Fariza, lymphoma survivor
"There are two nurses who helped me out the most while I was in the hospital during my second stay, and I'll never forget what they did.
When I was an inpatient after my tongue cancer recurrence and second surgery, I had two nurses that teamed up to give me a 'spa day.' It was completely unexpected. I hadn't been able to take a bath in a few days since I couldn't get the stitches and staples wet. So they came in one morning and helped me shower from the neck down, and I washed my face with a washcloth that they gave me.
Afterwards, they grabbed my bag of toiletries and pulled out all my different lotions, making sure to use the foot lotion for the feet, hands for hands, etc. The whole time they were singing and made it such a pleasant experience. I was in tears. They even had a little cap to wash my very short hair.
It's amazing how such a simple act like taking a bath can make such a giant impact on my life. But they knew it was important to me. That it mattered. That I mattered. And they made me feel like a human, like ME, simply by helping me that day. I will never, ever forget that experience, as I'm sure they don't forget about me either."
-- Rita Avila, tongue cancer survivor
"My nurses, Sheila and Peggy, were knowledgeable, empathetic patient advocates who transformed a stressful, vulnerable and frightening time into one of calm and reassurance. They were vital to my treatment and guided me through the overall healing process. Their astute and compassionate care anticipated my needs even before I could ring the nurse's bell. They were my Florence Nightingales."
-- Mel Mann, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) survivor