Nicki Fender

Nicki Fender

Nicki Fender, RN, BSN, OCN

Comprehensive Cancer Center
Silver Cross Hospital
New Lenox, Illinois
United States
Nicki went out of her way every day to make him laugh! She would laugh at all of his dumb jokes, let him tell his stories and just lift his spirits. She would even sing songs to make him laugh.

I will try to put this into words as best as I can but I know words will NEVER do justice to how my husband and I feel about Nicki. Shortly after my husband's surgery to remove his cancerous prostate, his PSA began to rise. This means his cancer was trying to make a comeback and I was devastated. We were lucky enough to get into treatment with an amazing doctor and that's how we met Nicki. We were at our first appointment and in the treatment room with Nicki before meeting the doctor. I started to cry because I was so scared about his cancer. Nicki got up and gave me Kleenex and a giant hug. Nicki made me feel so much better that afternoon telling me this was only a bump in the road. I know it may seem like a small thing to someone else, but to a cancer patient and their family words and acts of kindness are everything and not always something easily found along such a dreadful journey. The truth of the matter is we were there to cure my husband's cancer. That was really the only end game, but along the way, we met amazing people whom we will never forget. Nicki was one of them.

During the same visit my husband spoke of his restless nights, not only did Nicki tell us what the doctor recommends for that, she printed a picture for us to take to make sure we ordered the right sleep aid online. It worked like a charm. I remember being in the parking lot of Baker's Square on a weekday right before Christmas. I was supposed to be happily picking up pie for the holiday meal we were hosting except I was nowhere near being in good enough shape to do that. I had come up with a zillion more questions to worry about as far as his treatment plan and just could not focus or even care about having a good Christmas. That's what cancer does, robs you of everything you have. Well, I decided to send Nicki and email and tell her my worries/ask the poor girl all of my questions (even though the entire team had already answered so many questions from me). Guess what happened?? Nicki emailed me right back! I thought she'd be out for the holiday or something but NO! She responded within what seemed to be seconds. She answered everything and even copied the nutritionist on the email to give me further answers about my husband's diet during treatment. I was able to go pick up my pie and be in a much better place for the holidays!

So next we started our radiation treatment and this is where I fall out of the picture. For the first time during this nightmare, I was not going to be able to be by my husband's side! You can't imagine how freighting that was to me. Who was going to make sure he was ok?! Who was going to care for him? I mean really care! The answer... Nicki was going to do that. He went to his daily radiation sessions and Nicki was there to support him. He's been pretty solid through all of this cancer business or at least worked very hard to make it seem that way for my sake. Well, I think Nicki got to him. I know he began to care about her, appreciate her daily acts of kindness and "actually" looked forward to seeing her. He was sad when it was over because he would not see Nicki and the team anymore. He cried and he never cries! Nicki went out of her way every day to make him laugh! She would laugh at all of his dumb jokes, let him tell his stories and just lift his spirits. She would even sing songs to make him laugh (or maybe she didn't sing to make him laugh but that was the end result! Lol!)

I could go on and on and on! Nicki is a true DAISY Nurse. She is an absolute gem!! The kind of nurse she is I would not be surprised if she already has a bouquet of them! I could not have made it through this without her! She is a smart, efficient, fun, and CARING nurse with a heart of gold. All nurses should be like her!

Oh yeah, did I mention? After my husband's treatment, he is back to undetectable and we are living every day with grateful hearts!