I was one of those lucky people who knew from an early age what I wanted to be. As long as I can remember I've always wanted to be a nurse. I had no family members who were nurses, no personal experiences with being in a hospital - it was just something I always knew.
So here I am, 30 years of being a nurse and I still get a big thrill going to work each day. I've been in Oncology Nursing for over 20 years and truly have found my passion. I love my patients! I get to share in their joy when they receive good news and I also get to share in their sorrow when they hear the sad news. My clinic day is full of the most extreme roller coaster of emotions that you can imagine and I wouldn't want it any other way.
As an Oncology Nurse, being a cheerleader is part of my job description. When someone has gotten bad news or they are feeling like crap (sorry but that's how they feel), it's my responsibility to help them see how amazing they are and what a great job they are doing- fighting their battle with cancer. I always tell my patients they are ROCKSTARS.
I know of no other area of nursing where patients have so many people cheering for them on a daily basis. In my clinic when a patient has completed their last chemotherapy treatment, we hand them a huge Captain's Bell to ring out in victory while the staff, their family members and other patients applaud.
It gets me all teary-eyed for them every time I get to share in the ringing of the bell. The sense of accomplishment they experience when completing their last treatment and the look in their eyes is priceless. They have fought a long and overwhelming battle against their cancer and have won. Each one of them deserves to be celebrated with people cheering and clapping with the occasional WOOP WOOP being yelled out!
Currently, I am involved in an event where they will be having a Survivor's Slideshow. So I have set about gathering photos of my ROCKSTAR patients to be included in the presentation. I was actually quite surprised how enthusiastic they were over the slideshow. Several of them went out and had their pictures professionally taken for the event. Some took their pictures with their hair and some without it - they were all beautiful.
While gathering up the pictures I would remind them that they were ROCKSTARS, but this time their pictures would be up on a diamond vision screen, just like Van Halen, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, etc... I would stand next to them and put my arms in the air with my hands making the sign language sign for I love you, my mouth open sticking out my tongue, like a rockstar. They would laugh and copy what I was doing. Their giggles sounding like beautiful music to my ears.
One particular day in clinic, I was again in my cheerleader role because someone needed cheering up. I had 5 ladies all of different ages and ethnic backgrounds, in chairs. I told them we needed to practice our ROCKSTAR face and they just laughed knowing what was coming next. So imagine if you can 5 ladies all hooked up to their IV's, with their arms in the air, hands making the I love you sign language sign, mouths open, tongues sticking out and belly laughing as they looked around the room at each other and this crazy nurse standing in front of them.
I will never forget this moment as long as I live. And I know in my heart that my patients truly are ROCKSTARS! God I love my job. ❤️