This content is sponsored by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Sponsored by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.

2022 Salute to Nurses Letters: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Laura Amweg, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

I accompanied my daughter to every chemotherapy appointment at Dana Farber. Laura was the nurse we usually saw. Laura is patient, kind, and compassionate. She always took her time and listened to my daughter, as well as giving me support. —Nominated by Melisa Hanrahan

Lynne Bell, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Lynne Bell cares for me with excellence. Lynne is smart, perceptive, and kind. What I most value is her thoughtfulness. I feel as if she sees me as a person who happens to be a patient. Knowing that I’ll be in Lynne’s care reduces the stress inherent in long infusion days. She answers my questions, provides information to help me make choices, and administers the treatment efficiently. And she does so with understanding and concern. Lynne creates a small world in which I feel safe, and that is no small feat in 2022. I am truly grateful for the oasis of healing that she provides. —Nominated by JA

Brittany Bowes, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Brittany is a research nurse in gynecologic oncology, and was my student for a clinical rotation of her nurse practitioner program. Brittany comes to work every day with a smile and dedication to her patients. She stays late, calls patients to give them reassurance when their oncology treatment isn’t going as expected, and has such a desire to learn. She has been a rock for fragile patients during the pandemic. I am so thankful she chose nursing as her profession, and know that she will make a fabulous nurse practitioner. She inspires so much hope in patients and staff alike. —Nominated by Naomi Yager

Margaret “Peggy” Campbell, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Peg Campbell was assigned as my clinical trial nurse from January 2017 to April 2021. I was traveling from upstate New York every three weeks to receive treatments. On more occasions than I can recall, Peggy went beyond the call of duty when it came to my care, whether it was a scheduling issue, an issue with the pharmacy, or whatever. She spent countless hours making phone calls to help schedule my appointments with little-to-no disruption to my family’s lives. She checked in with me in between appointments and always made me feel comfortable and at ease when I had questions or concerns. And if she didn’t have an answer, she made sure to get one before the end of the day. 

When the study ended and I had my final appointment to transition out, Peggy got emotionaljust more proof of how much she truly cares about her patients. She vowed to stop in to see how I’m doing when I’m scheduled for my scans (every four months), even though she isn’t required to, and I believe that she willbecause she genuinely cares. Peg definitely made my many trips to DFCI not-so-scary. I am beyond thankful and forever grateful for her. —Nominated by Sandy Weaver

Amanda Carnes, Longwood Y2 Lab Services, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I’ve been undergoing treatments since 2015, and every two weeks I’m lucky to start my visits with the incredible team on Y2. Amanda Carnes, Roxanne, Joanne, Jeff, Jennifer, Marilyn, Michelle, and Kelly are the best. Amanda has become my go-to. In addition to providing incredible care, she brings a sense of humor and a family-feel to every visit. Amanda knows how to keep it light and her calm personality helps take some of the anxiety away. She always has a warm greeting for my wife and me. The Y2 Lab Services team has become my very own set of “Charlie’s Angels.” Each of these nurses is a real blessing and one of the reasons Dana-Farber is such a special place. The Y2 team cares about its patients and has become an extension of our family. You won’t find a better group of people. The work they have done to keep us safe during COVID has been incredible. The Y2 Lab Services team are our real superheroes; they’re simply the best. —Nominated by Chuck Stravin

Stephanie Chiocchio, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Stephanie was my infusion nurse during my treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. As a 42-year-old mom with two young kids, I was terrified. She walked me through every step, and was patient and kind. She took the time to laugh at our silly jokes, always checked on me, and gave us something to look forward to. Each time we returned, she asked after our family, remembering their names and checking in on updates in our life. At the end of my treatment, she surprised me by sending a cancer survivor candle and inspirational card to my home. Not only did she save lives, she kept me strong. —Nominated by Nicole Gallant

Rebecca DiGiantommaso, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Beka is an extremely good listener and a most pleasant person. I’ve always felt comfortable asking her very minor questions, and she answers them gracefully. She generates a lot of positive energy and makes the time go by quickly when I am receiving chemotherapy. Beka is a sweet, caring person who’s capable in every way. She also makes my wife, who accompanies me to chemo, very comfortable, and is very considerate of her needs, questions, and concerns. She’s terrific in every way. —Nominated by Steven Freed

Tina Flaherty, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

She is keeping me alive with cancer. I have been staying the course for seven years. I attribute a lot to her attention to detail and focused care. She meets all the criteria for being a great provider: gentle, focused, detailed, funny, and serious about her difficult oncology practice. —Nominated by Mark Schulthess

Carolyn Goldhammer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

With her way of making my wife feel comfortable with her infusion, Carolyn makes sure she has the correct medicine to keep her feeling her best after each treatment. Carolyn makes a day of treatment much easier to deal with. She is truly the ideal nurse. —Nominated by Joseph Manfredi

Stephanie Hogan, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I have been in treatment for leukemia for the past year, and for most of that time Steph Hogan has been my infusion nurse. Steph is knowledgeable, compassionate, patient, and has a great sense of humor. She has made the many days spent at Dana-Farber so much better. As I’ve said to her before, all the nurses on Yawkey 8 make the tough days better and the good days fun. I know it sounds crazy to talk about treatment as fun but Steph and the rest of the Y8 crew do just that. 

It’s tough being in treatment during COVID, and at the beginning I wasn’t allowed any company. Steph was always there to offer an ear and chat or to bring anything I needed. Most of all, she was there with a smile and a way of making my days so much better—always encouraging and positive. I think of Steph more as family than just a nurse, and I‘m very fortunate to have her friendship and great nursing care. —Nominated by Catherine Ferguson

Cheri Manzi, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Chestnut Hill

Chéri is an angel of tenderness to me and countless others. When a patient arrives at Dana Farber, their first stop is the blood lab. As a stage 4 ovarian cancer patient, I’ve chosen not to have a port, so an IV needs to be inserted for multiple blood draws. My veins are very small, so the challenge is multiplied many times a month. Cheri greets me warmly and takes what seems like all the time in the world to wrap my arms in hot towels until we discover the vein of the day. Her blood draws are gentle and steady, reassuring me that my fears, though real, are swept up in gestures of tenderness. Bravo for the blood lab nurses who are the first face of Dana Faber to so many. Thank you, angel of tenderness. —Nominated by Nancy Sheridan

Amada Metivier, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

From my first encounter with my research nurse, Amada, I immediately trusted her 100 percent. She is always genuinely happy to see you, as well as caring and professional. She anticipates your needs almost like a mind reader and returns all calls and emails the same day, often seemingly within moments. Although I have medical experience, cancer was not my forte.

Initially, deep down I was terrified not only of what this cancer would do, but what the medications, each with a multitude of potentially serious side effects, would do. Despite leading the healthiest life possible and feeling great, my myeloma numbers were worsening up to the time I started treatment. Amada listened intently as I shared my concerns and confidently said, “We will beat down this cancer.” I will never forget those words because it was exactly what I needed at that moment. She was right, because my numbers improved significantly after one month on treatment. Now I’ve completed six months of treatment and asked at least a million questions, and Amada has always been very patient, compassionate, encouraging, and clinically competent as she prepared me for the next steps. She is an excellent communicator and her well-timed sense of humor uplifts your spirits. If there is ever an issue with your schedule, pharmacy, or insurance, she also makes the time to connect with the appropriate person to solve the issue. 

To provide full disclosure, I am a nurse practitioner and fully understand the rigors and responsibilities of nursing. I have worked alongside many great nurses, and without any reservation, I can say that Amada ranks highest among them. —Nominated by Linda Sapio-Longo

Molly Nestor, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, GI Department

I simply cannot say enough about Molly Nestor, RN, NP, who works in the GI Department of Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Not only is she so smart and knowledgeable about treating cancer, but she’s also so compassionate toward her patients, their caregivers, and their families. Molly has been a nurse on my care team for four years, and even when the odds were very much against me, she never let me give up hope. She’s seen me through some terrible times, and has even had to stop treatment and send me to the ER. 

No question is ever off-limits. During COVID, she demonstrated her clinical expertise by juggling the new safety protocols and trying to keep all of her vulnerable patients safe and informed. When I had to come to appointments alone while my husband waited in the car, she even pushed me in a wheelchair to my next appointment when I had a foot fracture. Just recently, I “graduated” from immunotherapy treatments and her happiness for me was palpable. Nurses like Molly make living with cancer much more bearable. —Nominated by Sally Martin

Erin Pelletier, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I arrived for my first chemotherapy treatment full of apprehension. My diagnosis was incurable pancreatic cancer. Erin, with her great personality and upbeat attitude, took the edge off my anxiety. She thoroughly explained everything she was doing, and you could tell that she had vast knowledge and experience. She’s also a very empathetic and caring nurse. As I continued my treatments, she was very supportive in helping me achieve my goals. I am blessed and grateful to have her for my primary oncology nurse. —Nominated by Gloria Sabalauskas

Melanie Poundall, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Longwood

Oncology nurse Melanie Roundall has managed my infusions with gentleness and care. She attends to the prescribed meds, both oral and IV, with precision and timing. Melanie has been alert to my needs for the past year and several previous years. Melanie’s meticulous nursing has been instrumental in my doing well with my multiple myeloma challenge. —Nominated by Joyce Schreier

Cristina Salabao, CNP Lank Center, Yawkey 11, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Over the last six-plus years, I’ve truly learned what it means to “live with cancer.” Despite being dealt a tough card when I was diagnosed with advanced renal cell cancer in 2015, I’ve been “blessed” to have an incredible care team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At the center of that care team is Cristina Salabao. Cristina is not just an incredible certified nurse practitionershe’s an incredible human being. Cristina exhibits not only best-in-class clinical competency, but also enormous compassion and understanding for not just the patient, but also the patient’s family and caregivers. Christina knows when to have that serious discussion, but also knows it is OK to keep things “light.” Her attention to detail is incredible and she certainly knows how to read her patient’s state of mind. I am so blessed to be working with Cristina and know that I probably wouldn’t be here six-plus years into this fight without her dedication and support. —Nominated by Chuck Stravin

South Shore Nursing Staff, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute South Shore

The nursing staff at DFCI South Shore have never wavered in their commitment to patient-centered excellence despite all the challenges the last couple of years have brought. The entire team has shown an incredible amount of flexibility, resilience, and teamwork. Our blood draw team assesses, educates, and comforts patients as they arrive for treatment and intervenes on the patient’s behalf when necessary. Our nurse navigators ensure that every aspect of the patient’s care has been met with incredible dedication. Our infusion nurses assess, educate, treat, comfort, and advocate so well for all the patients. DFCI South Shore has the most incredible staff of nurses, and I am so proud of all of them and grateful to be on the team with them.—Nominated by Carole DeAngelis

Lisa Stewart, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

I would like to nominate Lisa Stewart, NP to Salute to Nurses 2022. My son sees Lisa for follow-up care from a stem cell transplant he received at Dana Farber in 2014. This was an extremely tough time for all of us. My son is very anxious, and she totally gets that. She works with him so well and demonstrates compassion for his whole being. When he began with her, he didn’t advocate for himself very well, but she gave him such a level of trust that he’s much better at it now.

Lisa gave us her email address eight years ago and said we could use it anytime we need her. When I do email her, she responds immediately and is always knowledgeable and helpful. I don’t think anyone can quite understand what that means to a family that’s going through what they feel is a real urgent problem. My latest email to Lisa was at 6:02 p.m. on March 17, informing her that my son tested positive for the coronavirus. She responded at 6:07 p.m. while she began putting in a request for him to receive monoclonal antibodies. It was unbelievable how quickly she put an anxious young man’s mind in a better place, knowing that someone could help him with another difficult illness. The threat of COVID-19 has paralyzed him, and he has remained pretty isolated for fear of contracting it.

Lisa’s response is commendable, and a real tribute to her profession. She works with her patients and their families in such a way that they are able to let her know all of their needs. That’s how she gains their trust. Lisa’s way is critical in the type of work she does. It is rare that I have seen such dedication, and I realize how privileged we are to work with her. —Nominated by Cheryl Gassnola

Myra Tamba, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Chestnut Hill

I’ve had the privilege and honor of having Myra Tamba for my chemotherapy nurse while I underwent treatment for stage 4 endometrial cancer. She was so caring and comforting during such a scary period in my life. She was not only my nurse, but became my friend. I miss her friendly face now that I’m in remission, but I know she’s out there, making someone else feel just as good as she did for me and taking good care of them. —Nominated by Donna McCaffrey

To learn more about nursing opportunities at Dana Farber, click here.


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This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.