Spotlight Story – Infusion Center

Spotlight Story – Infusion Center

Thank you to the wonderful nurses who have went above and beyond to make her experience at AAMC one to remember!

“I was fortunate to be a Patient and Family advisor on the Service Excellence Committee for 3+ years, until its dissolution. As a career manager in direct customer service, I can’t help but evaluate service that I experience in any given venue. My family and I have used many arms of AAMC, from physician’s offices to hospital services, and I’ve been impressed many times over the years. Today I am writing to tell you about the exceptional experience that I had at the AAMC Infusion Center.

I was diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer in January. I began chemo in February, and rang the bell in June. During the course of my treatment I interacted with many staff at the Infusion Center, each person more compassionate than the next. Three months out from my last treatment, I am ready to share my experience, having been too emotionally fragile before now to express coherent thoughts.

I cannot describe the level of absolute fear that I felt upon diagnosis. The only thing that calmed me was holding my Bichon “Dash” on my lap. Friends suggested that I bring him with me to treatment as my Emotional Support Animal (ESA), so I asked at my first treatment. Peggy, the Supervisor at the Infusion Center, spoke with me and said that there was no policy for ESAs at the Infusion Center, but that she would write one. Within a matter of hours, I had the policy in my hands and had agreed to the terms. I can’t tell you how much easier the remaining treatments were having Dash with me. These were very long days: they began with labs, followed by an appointment with my Medical Oncologist, and ending in a 6-hour stint at the Infusion Center. I like to think that Dash was a perfect ESA Ambassador, not giving a moment’s trouble and always on my lap, under the supervision of an adult I had brought with me.

At my third treatment I could not get calm because the patient in the unit next to me was on her phone for a long time, and I couldn’t drown out her voice. Even Reiki could not calm me down, and I had to abort that session. I explained to Peggy that I had suffered four concussions, and that a lingering problem that I have is that long episodes of noise make me very tense. I was moved to a unit in the corner after that patient’s treatment was finished. After that I always asked for the corner unit which was quieter because it had a door, and Peggy kindly accommodated this request. I knew that scheduling the busy Center was an art, and Peggy was so kind to take my needs into consideration.

Last, but absolutely not least, I need to report that nurses at the Center are wonderful. I was lucky to have Ruth as my nurse for most of my treatments. She was not only skilled, intuitive, and compassionate, she also shared things that the doctors never mentioned, such as the anecdotal evidence of the value of taking Claritin after treatment. After she told me that I did take Claritin after treatment and it was very helpful. In fact, due to chemo brain, I forgot to take it after one of my treatments, and it was a horrible experience. Only after talking to another survivor did I realize that I’d forgotten to take the Claritan, and after a day of resuming it I felt much better.

I’ve never felt more fragile and vulnerable as I did going through treatment. The Infusion Center staff are so well suited to the important jobs they do, and I couldn’t let the wonderful care that I experienced go unreported. The pastries and candy that I brought to my last treatment just weren’t enough thanks. If the Center is ever looking for a Patient and Family Advisor, I would be honored to fill that role.”



Post your comment