I have been with Beebe Healthcare for 32 years. I am a graduate of the Beebe School of Nursing and work as an oncology nurse at the Beebe Tunnell Cancer Center. I love my job, my colleagues and my patients. In 32 years I only had sick days to have my two children.
In August 2020, my mammogram showed growth of a lump. I had a right breast biopsy and learned I had triple negative breast cancer. This letter is about the gratitude that I have not only for the excellent support at Beebe, but also for the excellent people at Beebe who took care of me.
My GP Brittany Usilton, FNP, got the news across to me in the best possible way. Kathy Cook, my navigator, walked me through every step of the way to say goodbye to chemotherapy. Dr. Nisarg Desai was kind enough to accept me as his patient. Kelly Felix, PA always went out of her way to ensure my needs were met with the help of Alec Chase, PA; Liz Wilson, NP; and Rhonda Owens, NP.
I never thought I would have cancer. As I have dedicated myself to caring for cancer patients, I have always known that my patients can count on me and that they need me! When I had to fight my own struggle, I was grateful for my colleagues who only supported me during my treatment. During my first chemo treatment and also during my hospital stay in January 2021, they all wore pink! I’m also grateful to my husband Keith, my rock and 24/7 supervisor, who shaved his head when I lost my hair. I’m also grateful to my canine companion Meeko, who never left my side, and my 85-year-old mother, who made soups and helped me clean.
Encouraging calls from my new manager Ella Mae Shupe, RN, all of the IV nurses who took great care of me, and all of the great radiation therapy staff reminded me that I work among rock stars!
I tried to stay positive and always knew in my heart that I would defeat this cancer with God’s grace. Dr. Jennifer Hung, Dr. Nisarg Desai and Dr. James Spellman have been excellent caregivers on my care team, whom I would also like to thank. I couldn’t have gotten better care.
My colleague and friend, Michele Paradysz, RN, has covered me throughout my vacation and when I rushed to the other end of the TCC for my radiation treatments, as did Sherral Blake, CCA and Carla Wright, CCA.
On April 28, 2021, I rang the bell to celebrate the end of my cancer treatment. I was euphoric and answered prayers.
My cancer journey was not without its hiccups. In November 2020 and again in January 2021 I ended up in the hospital with a fever and then pneumonia. I am grateful for the support I received from Dr. Srihari Peri, Dr. Srujitha Murukutla and the staff at Med Surg and Stepdown.
At Beebe, we celebrate our teammates with LOVE notes. LOVE stands for Living Our Values Every Day, and that’s exactly what I experienced as a patient in my own hospital. So this letter is my declaration of love to everyone who looked after me at Beebe – and I celebrate this excellent support.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare relies on the generous support of the community it serves. Visit the Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900 for a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received. Would you like to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at email@example.com.