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Treating One of Our Own

Kim E. Consalvo
Linda D. Piscitelli
Lindsay Williamson
Gina D. Policarpo
Marianne Englander
Kara Lyons
Cynthia Wise
Tracy Manuella
David M. Mintzer
Mary Pat Lynch
CJON 2007, 11(2), 227-231 DOI: 10.1188/07.CJON.227-231

As a group, oncology nurses are aging, mirroring a large portion of the American public. Many practicing nurses are approaching middle age, and with increased age comes an increased risk for cancer. Many oncology nurses are cancer survivors, and the experience of treating a colleague is becoming more common, but few publications have addressed this topic. Pennsylvania Oncology Hematology Associates (POHA), a private medical oncology practice in Philadelphia, has encountered such a situation. This article captures the experience of one oncology nurse who underwent chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at her place of employment. She discusses her cancer, chemotherapy treatments, and new level of understanding with patients. Her colleagues also share their reactions to witnessing the survivorship process. The nursing team at POHA has been inspired and humbled by the experience, and patient care has been enhanced. The courage of one individual's journey has demonstrated how a negative situation can be transformed into a positive one.

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