I am writing this nomination for my infusion nurse, Robert "Bob" Maillet, in the Yawkey infusion center. From the first day I met Bob he helped me feel at ease about my treatments. It started in November 2019, when I was participating in a clinical trial to treat my Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. This time, my cancer had spread all around my body and I was scared and overwhelmed at the thought of the new treatment regimen. I was in room waiting for the activities to start and when Bob walked in with my meds.
It all became too real and I started crying. Bob was so compassionate and caring, assuring me that it was all going to be ok. He used his humor and wit to set me at ease. We spent one day a week together for two months and I actually looked forward to my treatment days. I never thought I would feel that way!!
Bob went out of his way to make sure that I was comfortable, sympathized with me when I had an adverse reaction to the drug, and cheered with me when my body adjusted so I could shift from an infusion to an injection.
He is funny and caring and one of the best nurses I have ever met. After two months, my oncology team discovered that the trial wasn't working, and we had to change courses to chemo. I delayed starting chemo by a week so I could be sure to stay with Bob. This was imperative for me - I wouldn't do it without Bob by my side.
Bob cares so deeply about his patients. I'd like to think that I am special, but I hear him with his other patients, and he is the same with all of us. He is real, self-deprecating, and genuinely cares about us not just as patients, but as people. He takes time to get to know us so he can read our non-verbal cues, like this last month's treatment which made me quite ill. I tried to keep a brave face, but Bob knew in an instant that I wasn't feeling well and did his best to make me more comfortable.
I am constantly talking with my friends and family about Bob, that people are lining up to come with me to treatment. Yes, they say they want to come to support me, but I know the underlying reason is they want to meet this ray of sunshine. I have 4 more months of treatment and probably another 2 years of maintenance treatments but knowing that Bob (and my amazing oncology team) will be there with me helps me know that it will all be ok.