‘You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are’

by Sara Paulson, HF

Health First Nurse’s Care, Compassion and Advice Inspired Colon Cancer Patient

 to Stay Focused on Overcoming Her Disease – and She Did

After undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer, Shellie admits there were moments she’d wonder if she had it in her to fight.

“I didn’t know how I was going to get through the next month,” Shellie recalls. “There were times that I was ready to say, ‘Maybe no more.’ ”

But her husband would remind her – “You’re stronger than you think you are.”

Those five words gave Shellie the emotional armor she so desperately needed. All because of a nurse who had sat beside her. Held her hand. Cried with her. Comforted her.

And inspired her by whispering those seven words into her ear during one of the worst times of her life.

Last week, Shellie, now in remission, was reunited with Debbie, her nurse at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center.

The two embraced through tears and a flood of emotions. Their bond embodies how a nurse is so much more than a physical caretaker. A nurse is also a beacon of hope and support during patients’ darkest times.

“I’ve thought of you so very much,” Shellie wept to Debbie. “You have no idea what you did for us, for me. I just thank you for everything.”

Debbie, who recently beat endometrial cancer, is delighted Shellie is a survivor. Connecting with her patients is what she does.

It’s who she is.

 “She fought hard and she beat it,” Debbie says. “And I knew she would. I just wanted her to know she would.”

Shellie says Debbie is amazing and has been on her mind throughout her treatment.

“Just seeing her reminded me of where I was a year ago, and where I’ve been,” Shellie says. “I just want to say thank you to Health First for reconnecting me with Debbie. She’ll be in my life forever.”

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