Off to ONS!

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I’m preparing to leave Dallas for New Orleans and the 37th annual congress of the Oncology Nursing Society. Since this will be my first time to attend the congress, I’m eager to greet our many oncology nurse readers and receive their feedback. I’m also excited to welcome the finalists in our Extraordinary Healer contest, as well as those who nominated them for this national honor.

I’ve heard from several readers how difficult it is to identify a single nurse who made a difference in their treatment. It takes a team, they say, and an effective team has few, if any, standout players. While I appreciate the sentiment, I also know there are always star performers. We hope to highlight some of their work tomorrow night at the grand event, hosted by another star performer: Diahnne Carroll.

I’m old enough to remember being inspired by her Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in Julia, a groundbreaking television series, in which she played nurse Julia Baker. She could not have known in 1968 that less than three decades later–after successful turns in movies and on Broadway–she would rely on the comforting care of oncology nurses to deal with a diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer. Since then, she has become a powerful advocate for early detection and prevention of cancer, encouraging women to get regular mammograms.

I’ll have the privilege of meeting Ms. Carroll tomorrow night, as well as the Extraordinary Healers she will honor. I can’t wait!

Then, on Friday, I’ll attend a presentation on PARP inhibitors, therapies used to treat breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, ovarian and skin cancers. Stay tuned to our blogs for the latest from the annual congress!

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