I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. It came as a surprise as my last pap was barely three years earlier. I sought care from Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Alabama as they came highly recommended from several people I know in the medical field. I met with two doctors who decided on my treatment plan and spent many hours traveling to MCI from Mississippi for appointments and testing prior to beginning treatment. It was all very overwhelming and when I reflect on those days, I really can say I do not recall much of what was being said. I was terrified most of the time and had quite a few setbacks that were unforeseen.
During one of these early visits, I met with a radiation oncologist to discuss my treatment plan. I absolutely loved the doctor and she was the reason at the time why I chose MCI for care. Upon that initial visit, I also met with her nurse, Ange. She immediately put me at ease. She spoke with me about the treatment, my husband, my family, my job, and my life. She talked about her family, her dogs, and her life. Every time I saw her, she managed to do her job with the utmost care and compassion. There was never a time that I felt rushed. No question I had was stupid, no concern I had was belittled. Every visit she was totally consumed with making me comfortable, protecting my privacy, and making me feel that I was the only patient there at the time.
Later in my treatment, I had a series of internal radiation treatments that were quite painful. Ange was the nurse who was there every day with me. She explained every step, made sure I was as comfortable as possible and made each procedure a bit more bearable just by being there. She treated her co-workers with the utmost respect and they all conveyed a very caring attitude. I have worked in the healthcare field for thirty years and have met many nurses. There is a huge difference in the ones who truly love their job and are called to do it, and the ones who do just enough to get paid. Ange stood out to me in a huge way. She went above and beyond what she had to do just to make me comfortable. She took the time to talk to me and make me truly feel cared for each visit. She personally took me to my car each time to be sure I was okay. She took the time to speak to each of my family members every time and keep them updated.
As I reflect now on my treatment at MCI, I truly believe that I could not have made a better choice for my care. I also believe that Ange exemplifies the qualities that every patient wants in a nurse. I am so grateful that she was my nurse. Thanks to Ange for giving me much of what I needed to heal.