When I was in high school I chose to follow a career in nursing. Back in the dark ages women did not have many choices. We were encouraged to be secretaries (the descriptive word then), a teacher or an RN. I chose nursing. It was something I really wanted to do.
I started as a candy striped volunteer first at Deaconess Hospital on Saturdays where I read to children in the Peds ward. I had to take a bus both ways to get there and I always looked forward to my 4 hours. Then I volunteered at Parma Community Hospital where again I was assigned to the Peds Ward – what teenager didn’t want to help with the children?
I liked helping and working around the sick and injured and I knew I had chosen the right career path.
I went to nursing school and I passed my State Boards with a score high enough to earn reciprocity to work in all other 49 states, that was a very proud moment.
I have always been a helper. Mr. Rogers told children to look for the helpers – I am one. #Bear knows this, I stop at accidents, I saved a choking child in a McDonald’s, I did CPR on an airplane, I cared for a diabetic patient on an International flight who went into a diabetic crisis and our flight had to make an emergency landing, I saved my husband’s life.
I also worked in a busy ER, I changed direction and worked Oncology, I changed again and worked in wound care.
I got breast cancer and I left hospital nursing but I stayed in medicine.
I am still in medicine. I am still a helper. I have never left Oncology, I just work it in a different way. I was a breast cancer patient advocate for years with a well-known organization. I worked teaching doctors and technicians how to use Ultrasound Hyperthermia for cancer treatments.
I made TV appearances, I was on radio talk shows, I wrote for a magazine, I took a position with another breast cancer organization.
I looked back recently and realized I have never really left being a helper especially in breast cancer.
I still advocate for women, I listen, I advise. I suggest 2nd opinions because I have seen errors in pathologies and I cry with people.
I lost 2 beautiful friends this year. I have more living daily with MBC (metastatic breast cancer) and Stage IV. This has propelled me into trying to film a documentary.
As 2019 started to get close I realized I wanted to return to helping more, I wanted to come back to breast cancer and do more than I had been doing.
I am a helper. It is natural for me to offer help. Sometimes I get shut down and that’s ok I will still offer assistance, it is in my blood.
I am now working with a cancer organization that is just getting started and I am so excited to help. Like I said it is in my blood.