These are the nurses that are still tasked with administering the cocktail for my maintenance regimen. Don’t let the smiles fool you, they are serious warriors on the fight against cancer. They genuinely care about your well being, even though it’s their job. It feels like love.
Michelle, head nurse, is in charge of the Infusion Center. I didn’t meet
Michelle until about my forth visit. I was under the impression that she was new. She was just returning from vacation. I found it interesting that she was familiar with everyone’s status, both staff and patients. That’s when I realized that she was the boss, my kind of boss, one who gets into the pit with you. I probably shouldn’t tease the person with the needle about their heavy New England accent. Fortunately for me she likes New Yorkers, is hospitable, and always makes sure I am comfortable.
Barbara, is your first contact. She is like my very own ticket agent. She checks your credentials, makes sure you have your next appointment before you leave. You don’t get seated unless you talk to Barb, she has a calming, and welcoming presence.
Jen, the first person that administered my treatment set the tone that I would long appreciate. I was filled with trepidation and knew that I was walking into a culture that most go into with dread. Jen was like a maître d’. She took me to a comfortable chair, checked on my cocktail, served it promptly, and light heartedly sent me on my way. I would have tipped her, but for the poke in the arm.
Roz is the unassuming floor darling who has probably seen more on that floor than she let’s on. She has charming personality and a great sense of humor. Roz was a huge comfort to my wife while she sat in support of me in the infusion center. I expect to get a chuckle when ever we engage. Those qualities in a nurse are important when you are digging into someone’s arm trying to get blood from stingy veins.
Melissa, was kind enough to inform me of the toxicity levels of the drug that I was being infused with. I will not reveal how the conversation started, but I will tell you that her frankness gave me license to trust her. Not only is she candid, Melissa is a very pleasant person to be around.
Natalie. I feel that I have a special bond with her. She started the same week that I started (of course she was on the giving end of the needle). You knew that she was in training. She was quiet but inquisitive, and now after a year she can run the place, make sure you have a place, and put you in your place. Just make sure you get there on time.
We have a strong AG Eagles connection, She is very dear to Deb and I. We wish her God’s best in her next assignment.
Lindsey, a tall commanding kick butt RN who knows when to give you a swift kick, or a gentle nudge. She could match wits with the best of them, and I quickly learned that I wasn’t in that number. When I reflect on the Linds (the name I affectionately gave her when I put her in front of the camera), I think of when I had serious apprehension about the next phase of my treatments. She read it as if she was opening my mail and calmly talked me down – one could even say she ministered to me. That is when we crossed the superficial boundaries of trading sarcasm and wit, right in to the land of friends and saints.
I am endeared to these two phlebotomists. They are the most compassionate individuals that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in their field. With their Chip n Dale style antics they keep me on my toes. They certainly know their stuff.
Mariah, another calming force at Mission Hope. With her word play kind of humor you never know how she will evoke a smile from you, but rest assure it will happen. It usually comes by way of a song that is being piped through into their office. She’s probably one of the happiest phlebotomists that I’ve encountered.
Teri, What can I say about Teri? I didn’t know that people could have so much fun, literally poking at you. Her affection for what she does, and her care for you is undeniable. She calls me “Brother Brown” not knowing, that’s what I’ve be called at church for more than twenty years. She is a dear.