‘It has changed me’: Oncology nurse with breast cancer uses her diagnosis to connect with patients

‘It has changed me’: Oncology nurse with breast cancer uses her diagnosis to connect with patients


DESPAIR STARTS FRIDAY — THE
FAIR STARTS ON AND IT RUNS
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, OCTOBER
13. BRIANA: IN WINSTON-SALEM, A
NURSE TURNED PATIENT IS THANKING
HER COLLEAGUES AND FAMILY FOR
HELPING HER THROUGH HER BATTLE
WITH BREAST CANCER. AS WXII’S KIRSTEN GUTIERREZ
EXPLAINS, THE DISEASE HELPED HER
BECOME STRONGER AND MORE
RELATABLE TO THE PEOPLE SHE
WORKS WITH EVERY DAY. KIRSTEN: ONCOLOGY NURSE ANGELA
RINGER WENT FROM TREATING
PATIENTS WITH BREAST CANCER TO
BECOMING ONE. DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH OF HER
FIRST GRANDCHILD, ANGELA FOUND
OUT SHE HAD TRIPLE NEGATIVE
BREAST CANCER, A MORE AGGRESSIVE
FORM OF THE DISEASE. SHE COULDN’T BELIEVE IT.>>IT COULDN’T BE HAPPENING TO
ME. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS
TO OTHER PEOPLE. I TAKE CARE OF BREAST CANCER
PATIENTS. I WORK IN ONCOLOGY AND I’VE
TAKEN CARE OF BREAST CANCER
PATIENTS FOR 12 YEARS, SO IT DID
NOT FEEL REA
>>– KIRSTEN: ONCE DIAGNOSED
SHE CONTINUED TO WORK, AND , RECEIVED MORE SUPPORT THAN SHE
COULD IMAGINE.>>THROUGHOUT THE DAY I’M
HELPING OUT AND DOING THINGS AND
TAKING CARE OF PATIENTS UP UNTIL
12:30 AND WHEN I HIT THAT 12:30
MARK I TURN OFF MY PHONES AND
SWITCH FROM BEING THE NURSE TO BEING THE PATIENT. I GO BACK TO THE INFUSION AREA
AND THE PEOPLE WHO I WORK WITH
EVERYDAY TURN AROUND AND GIVE ME
MY CHEMO AND TAKE CARE OF ME
OVER THERE. KIRSTEN: THROUGHOUT THE
TROUBLING JOURNEY, ANGELA STAYED
POSITIVE AND PINK.>>I DIDN’T WANT TO BE THE SAD
, POOR CANCER PATIENT. I WANTED TO DO IT WITH AS MUCH
STYLE AS I COULD. SO I BLINGED IT UP PUT ON BRIGHT
LIPSTICK, EARRINGS THE BRIGHTER
THE BETTER, SCARFS AND THE PINK
WIG. KIRSTEN: A WIG THAT SHE SAYS
MAKES HER PATIENTS SMILE, AND A
NEW OUTLOOK ON LIFE THAT MAKES
THEM FEEL AT EASE.>>THEY’RE TALKING TO ME AS A
NURSE AND A FELLOW CANCER
PATIENT. WHAT DO I REALLY NEED TO EXPECT
WITH THIS, AND THESE KIND OF
THINGS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. IT HAS ALREADY CHANGED ME AS A
NURSE. KIRSTEN: IN SEPTEMBER, ANGELA
FINISHED 16 ROUNDS OF
CHEMOTHERAPY. SHE’S NOW CANCER FREE. [APPLAUSE]
KIRSTEN: HER ADVICE TO WOMEN
MOVING FORWARD, KEEP UP WITH YOU
R HEALTH.>>IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO GO GET
THAT MAMMOGRAM. I HAD NO SYMPTOMS WHATSOEVER AND
IF I HAD I WAITED UNTIL SPRING
TO GET MY MAMMOGRAM DONE THEN WE
MAY BE IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
AREA AT THIS POINT. A VERY DIFFERENT OUTCOME. KIRSTEN: ANGELA HAS RADIATION
FOR THE NEXT 4 WEEKS TO REDUCE
THE RISK OF THE CANCER COMING
BACK. IN WINSTON-SALEM, KIRSTEN
GUTIERREZ, WXII 12 NEWS. A NEW
— NEWS. BRIANA: A NEW REPORT IS SHEDDING
LIGHT ON HOW MANY WOMEN ARE
DYING FROM BREAST CANCER. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN CANCER
SOCIETY THE OVERALL DEATH RATE
HAS GONE DOWN BY 40% THROUGH
2017. EXPERTS ARE CREDITING
IMPROVEMENTS WITH SCREENING AND
TREATMENT AND ESTIMATE THAT
NEARLY 376,000 DEATHS HAVE BEEN
PREVENTED. AN ESTIMATED 269,000 WOMEN WILL
BE DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER
THIS YEAR AND NEARLY 42,000 WILL
DIE FROM

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