A Letter from Our Special Nurse

Debbi & I received this moving letter from Tulsi, a nurse at Sloan Kettering that we have mentioned several times in this blog. Tulsi writes,,

Hello from Sloan..

Dear Debbi & Jan,

I’ve been meaning to write you for some time; I cannot believe how fast this is all happening. I feel like it was just yesterday that the three of us were in room 518A, laughing in the midst of uncertainty. As a cancer nurse, one would think that I would be used to patients filtering in and out of my life like routine clockwork. And I guess in some ways, they do. Every once in a while however, I meet a patient or a family that sticks with me. Your family has done just that. believe it or not, I read your blog every day. It’s my morning ritual, I read CNN, I watch the news, check my email, and then I read your blog. You are so brave and your words are so inspirational. I admire you for continuing to write the blog, even after so much has changed. Sometimes, I find myself laughing at your funny stories and other times, I find myself so very sad for what you are going through.

When this journey started, I did not have a doubt in my mind that Debbi would beat this, that she was one of the people that HAD to be okay. I guess I had that thought process because I realized that I saw a lot of my own mother, and my own story, in Debbi and your family. Debbi, you have become more than just a patient I took care of a few times; you have become someone I feel like I know in my personal life and care so deeply about. I cannot imagine how tough this must be for you and your children. From what I’ve been reading though, you are a strong, cohesive unit, and you are all so lucky to have each other.

Please tell Debbi that I think of her often and I am so glad you and your family are able to enjoy these moments at the Cape. I wear my pink fleece proudly, and I smile each time I put it on. Please let me know if you need anything at all. You are all in my thoughts and prayers


To Tulsi we say THANK YOU for your caring and for making Debbi so comfortable while she was in your care. Even though you had many patients to care for, somehow you always made Debbi feel special. This was no easy task as there were times, as you well remember, that Debbi was very sick or that she had an adverse reaction to a drug even though she was on the lowest dosage. I, at times, even stalked you through the halls and almost into other patients rooms in order to get Debbi the attention that you were able to provide. You were kind to a fault and always eager to go beyond your normal duties to see that Debbi was at ease. Debbi and I were so impressed with how you carried yourself and how you projected caring and warmth and love. You outshined the other nurses in whose care we were placed during your non-duty hours. We wanted to return some small token of our thanks and Debbi hit on the idea that you might not yet have a fleece with the MSKCC insignia.

The fleece had a lovely feel to it and as I brought it up to the 5th floor, I knew Debbi would enjoy giving this to you as much as she enjoyed wearing her own fleece to the many chemo sessions and hospital visits. I will never forget your face when Debbi presented you with this demonstration of our gratitude. It was as if someone had entrusted you with a cherished item to safeguard and to hold dear.

Debbi and I send you hugs and kisses aplenty. We hope that your smile and caring ease the journey of all the patients for whom you provide care and compassion. And, in your own personal life we wish you fulfillment of your every dream.


Debbi & Jan

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