Pink Up: From nurse to patient

Pink Up: From nurse to patient

Oncology nurses work with cancer patients on a daily basis, but one nurse has a special bond with her patients.

It's a job some people couldn't handle.

"There are days where we shed tears as a nurse," said oncology nurse Michelle Scherer.

Oncology nurses at Saint Francis Medical Center help guide cancer patients through treatment, from simple questions to chemotherapy.

"We are with them from the beginning to the very end," said oncology nurse Stacey Brown.

Brown has been working as an oncology nurse for 25 years.

"Once you get in oncology, usually you stay with it," said Brown.

"It’s really rewarding to be able to get that close to the patients, and know them," said Scherer.

Scherer has been in the field for almost 10 years.

Both nurses said despite being an emotional job, they both really enjoy it.

"Even though this is a devastating time for patients, it usually brings out the best in them because you really see what's important to them," said Brown.

"We love our patients and they love us, we're like a big family," said Scherer.

But this year, instead of helping new patients start chemotherapy, Scherer became a new patient.

Scherer was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram this January. In February she had surgery, and by March started chemotherapy.

"It gives me a little different perspective on things when I'm dealing with my patients now, I guess I'm maybe a little bit more empathetic," said Scherer.

Scherer still works full time as an oncology nurse, helping patients going through the same thing she is.

"They talk about what some of their symptoms are, we kind of have a little support group going on every day," said Scherer. "It's really kind of neat in that aspect if you can call that being neat."

But when fellow nurse Brown heard the diagnosis, it was less than neat.

"This is one I've worked with for the past six or seven years, so it was gut wrenching at first," said Brown.

Brown said it’s actually been pretty interesting having a co-worker as a cancer patient.

"She knows exactly what the drill is, so she does everything she's supposed to she's great to take care of,” said Brown.

Scherer said she's fighting cancer with a positive attitude, for herself and her patients.

"They get strength from that, the patients do, from seeing gosh she's a nurse and she's going through this too," said Scherer.

Scherer hopes to finish treatment before Thanksgiving.

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