Some days it’s hard to stay strong. I get emotional when I see families crying or patients struggling to cope with their illness. I feel for the moms who miss their child’s school event because of surgery or the young patients who are scared for their future. But I try to comfort them all and help them get through the scariest moments of treatment.
Surgery is a vulnerable time for a cancer patient and their loved ones. I stay with them before, during and after surgery and I hold their hand the entire time. Most days, because of anesthesia and other medications, the patients don’t remember me or the time we spend together but they always leave a lasting impression on me.
I’ve been at Roswell Park for almost two years and I can’t imagine working anyplace else. The patients and families I meet remind me every day why I love my job. Some days I cry but often times I laugh with the patients and help them stay positive and strong. My main goal is to keep them as safe and as comfortable as possible.
I couldn’t do this job if it wasn’t for the dedicated surgical team I work with, especially our Operating Room Coordinator, Caroline Michalik. She nominated me for the DAISY award and I am beyond happy to earn such amazing recognition - not just for me but for my fellow OR nurses. I was on cloud nine the day that I won, but I just kept reminding my coworkers that I won because of all of them. I wouldn’t get through the day without my team.