I can't tell you enough how lucky Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland is to have Sarah Sturgill as a nurse on staff in the outpatient Infusion Center. I am a 33-year-old breast cancer patient of Sarah's. As you can imagine this diagnosis was a complete shock and devastating to my family and me. I received this diagnosis in North Carolina where I was living. Upon getting this diagnosis, it was 4 days from Thanksgiving and I had already planned to head to Michigan for the holiday to be with family. After arriving in Michigan, my sister who was doing a rotation at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland had someone tell her to have me get a second opinion at St Joseph. After getting a second opinion, I chose to get treatment at St Joseph Mercy Oakland. I arrived at the Alice Gustafson Center to start chemo. It was just before 8 AM when I arrived, and I waited in the waiting room for someone to come and get me for my treatment. I was very nervous, stressed and worried. I didn't know what to expect during my first treatment and honestly, I was worried and scared. I was worried about the effects I would have during and after treatment as well as scared about what if the chemo didn't work. I am 33 and not ready to leave this earth.
I was greeted by a very happy and cheerful nurse named Sarah. Sarah greeted me with a big smile. I knew as soon as she greeted me that I was in good hands. Just her presence and the way she greeted me, I instantly felt relief. I quickly learned that Sarah's happy and cheerful personality wasn't just something she showed when she greeted me. All during my five months of treatment Sarah was cheerful and happy every time I was with her. I love positive and happy people, so I knew Sarah and I would get along great! When going to chemo it made a huge difference to have a nurse that always had a smile on her face and was always happy. Sarah's wonderful and happy personality rubbed off on me and kept me positive during my treatment.
During my treatments Sarah always asked how I was feeling and how my family was. She always made it easy for me to talk to her. When going through treatments it is important to tell your nurse how you are feeling and what is going on. Sarah makes it very easy to trust her and easy to talk with. Sarah would always talk with my family members who came to treatment with me. She treated my family and me like we knew her for a long time and were friends. In the five months that Sarah was my chemo nurse, we talked about our families and things going on in life. Sarah always asked if I needed anything during my treatments and often got me snacks and warm blankets which she didn't need to do.
Sarah has demonstrated excellence by always going above and beyond for me. Sarah's job was to be my chemo nurse and administer my chemo drugs which is a big job, but she was much more than that. Sarah was a listening ear and a positive ball of energy in a time in my life when I needed it most. When I was having a bad time and not feeling well from the flu, Sarah dropped everything to listen to me and talk about my illness. Anytime I called the infusion room Sarah always answered the phone and said hi, calling me by name. This made me feel good. Sarah never made me feel like I was bothering her or a pain. She didn't need to go out of way for me, but she did.
Sarah demonstrated clinical expertise by making sure I was knowledgeable on the side effects of my treatments and what to watch out for. She always made sure I had a calendar with the pills I was to take for a specific day and time. During treatments she was very knowledgeable on the drugs I was receiving and always administered the drugs safely and effectively. While having Sarah as my chemo nurse, I never had an issue or was in pain while she was accessing my port or getting treatments.
Sarah demonstrated extraordinary service by going out of her way for me and my family. She didn't have to be my listening ear during treatments, but she always was. She didn't have to wait on me during treatments, but she always did with such happiness. Whenever I had a question, she was happy to answer it.
Sarah demonstrated compassionate care by always caring about me and asking me how I was feeling. During treatment I had the flu for 2 weeks and when I called concerned and frustrated over having a fever, she was very compassionate and wanted to help me. Having cancer is very stressful and having a nurse that was compassionate helped tremendously in getting me through the treatment.
I have two sisters that are nurses and they only want the best to look after their big sister and they loved Sarah! Sarah has become part of our family and we are forever grateful for her! On my last day of treatment, I balled by eyes out saying goodbye to Sarah. I know I will be back to visit but I honestly felt like I was losing my best friend. Sarah told me several times I can always call and come visit. Yes, I will be back a lot to visit her but not seeing her every week is sad. Sarah is a nurse that has impacted my life greatly. My scan after chemo showed no evidence of disease and I have Sarah to thank for that. I am so glad that Sarah came into my life!