If you’re a nurse, like I am, then you understand the magic of Kathy

Anonymous, Family Member

Compassion sometimes comes in a package that’s not recognizable at first. That’s how it was when my brother first met a nurse at the Cancer Care Center – Kathy Warren. So here’s the story.

Last year my brother was feeling fine except for a little nagging pain in his sternum. Turns out it was Stage 3 lung cancer, sprung on him in the prime of life. It hurled him into anxiety and uncertainty that he had never experienced before.

He showed up at the Cancer Care Center for his first chemo treatment full of nerves and fear. On his first day of treatment he was greeted by a loud, very confident nurse….Kathy. He had a bad reaction to this first treatment and she recognized it immediately. She looked him directly in the eye and told him “you’re going be fine, you’re with me, I’ve been doing this forever and you’re going to be OK.” Somehow he trusted her, and it was OK. The relationship grew from there.

I witnessed her show such compassion – often in the form of jokes and ongoing banter. She always intending to distract him in this way to a calmer place. She has something special about her… That “nursey” way that comes as a result of years of experience. Don’t get me wrong, she had her soft side, too. She shared pictures of her grandchildren and told him, when he wore brightly colored plaid shirts, he would look good as a throw pillow on her couch. He nicknamed her the Silver Fox. It has something to do with her hair and how she is always watching over the den.

If you’re a nurse, like I am, then you understand the magic of Kathy. A nurse that can help a strong man, who is at his most vulnerable time, get back on solid footing so he can fight his disease with dignity. That is the definition of compassion. Compassion that helped this patient.