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Featured Blog: How a compassionate nurse shaped my life

Featured Blog: How a compassionate nurse shaped my life

I was 5 years old when I had my first major surgery to repair my leg due to a birth defect.

It was 1972, a time when visiting hours were enforced, and my parents were sent home. I had a difficult night dealing with nausea, pain and bleeding. Throughout that night shift, my constant was my nurse. She was calm and caring. She worked hard to earn my trust so she could give me medications to help with the symptoms I was experiencing. She sat with me and ate saltine crackers. She did whatever it took to get me through the night.

In the morning, when my parents and surgeon saw me, emotions ran pretty high. My nurse never wavered. She was calm, competent and caring. I remember looking at her and thinking I wanted to be just like her.

Today I am a nurse. I have found nursing is the perfect combination of clinical expertise and critical thinking, wrapped in compassion and care. As an oncology nurse at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., it is a privilege to journey through the cancer experience with patients and their families. There is nothing I would rather do.

I am so blessed to be a nurse. I take what I learned from my life experiences and apply those lessons to be the most clinically competent and caring nurse I can be.

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  1. Dear Susan,

    Thank you very much for all of your help and kindness.

    It was you who lead me to Dr. Robinson Ortiz who became my oncologist from October 2014 thru June 2016. (My new oncologist is going to be Dr. Chawla. What can you tell me about him?)

    Your help in finding an oncologist (and such a wonderful doctor) so close to home who also accepted my insurance was a very lucky break for me at a time when I sure needed it.

    I was truly amazed you remembered me at the Survivors brunch last Saturday.

    You should sleep well every night for all the good you do and all the people you help.

    Thank you, again.


    • Susan Brady

      Dear Don,

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean the world to me.

      It was wonderful seeing you on Saturday. I am so glad you attended the Survivors Celebration. How could I forget you, and your amazing courage?

      I have no doubt that you will feel very comfortable with Dr. Chawla, and like him very much. He is a wonderful and intelligent MD. You are in very good hands.



About the Author

Susan Brady
Susan Brady

Susan Brady is an oncology nurse navigator at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.