myStory, myPassion, myPurpose

myStory:

  • Born a 70’s baby, second born, the only girl, the baby of the family, and likely not what my brother had in mind; I was a colicky baby, the kind only family members love and that’s because they don’t have a choice in the matter
  • Outgrew being ornery, cranky, colicky
  • Me: a joyful little blonde haired, blue-eyed girl chattering through my days; life was simple, so simple
  • School: LOVED it!
  • Gymnastics and ballet: FUN, but held no promise of gold medals or professional dance companies
  • Childhood Cancer, specifically Ewing’s Sarcoma [1978 @ 8 years of age]; the plot twist to end all plot twists
  • Me: a joyful little bald headed, blue-eyed girl continuing to chatter my way through each day though now my days were dotted with radiation, chemotherapy, nausea, and vomiting
  • School: LOVED it, but now my teacher came to me [I thought THAT was pretty cool]
  • Treatment ended
  • Me: a joyful fuzzy-headed, blue-eyed, awkward middle schooler who became quite self conscious as boys had suddenly become oh so cute and not so repulsive
  • Wanted to be normal, to fit in
  • Survived my tumultuous teenage years
  • Graduated from high school
  • Went off to college in the Fall
  • Me: decided the call on my life was the nursing care of children facing cancer; however, my university didn’t have a nursing program
  • Chose a different, but related major
  • Graduated with BA in Psychology
  • Started Nursing School at Johns Hopkins University
  • Me: married my college sweetheart
  • Graduated with BSN from Hopkins
  • Began my nursing career at Hopkins on the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit before accepting a pediatric oncology position at Fairfax Hospital in the fall of 1995
  • Moved with husband’s job from northern VA to FL, then to MA and NH before finally landing in GA
  • Nursing: you can live anywhere, a beautiful thing
  • Returned to graduate school at the University of Florida: MSN, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner w/ subspecialty in cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment
  • We: began our family in the early 2000’s as we welcomed this amazing, bundle of health and wellness made of snips and snails and…
  • Left nursing to be at home with our boy-full-of-wonder
  • December 2007, we began on a journey that would end with the death of my heart at the hands of late effects of my cancer treatment and the opportunity of continued life through the incredible generosity of family who said yes to organ donation as they said goodbye to their little girl in April 2008
  • It is a high privilege to carry her heart within my chest: THIS day, Every day!

myPassion:

  • Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers

myPurpose:

  • to educate and equip survivors of childhood cancer with regard to the potential late effects of cancer treatment and to the fundamentals of creating health and wellness as they live out the cure
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Cancer Survivorship: Where Informed is the New Sexy

After 40 years of living beyond the cure and 10 years of serving the physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs of children, adolescents, young adults, and their families as a pediatric oncology nurse, then nurse practitioner with a subspecialty in survivorship and the potential late effects of cancer treatment:

  • I believe that the well informed survivor is his/her own best advocate; the under-informed survivor, the greatest threat to his/her health and wellbeing.

This purpose of this blog is to educate and equip survivors such that they become their own best advocates through the sharing of the scientific literature and the lived experience of life beyond the cure.

Welcome to Cancer Survivorship: Where Informed is the New Sexy!

Follow me on Twitter: @L8Effects and @KindredBelle

If you are interested in being a part of Living the Cure: Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancer Survivors, a closed FaceBook Group, go here.