The 2006 Helene Hudson Memorial Lectureship September 28, 2006: How I learned what I thought I already knew

Vivian G. Painter


Recently, I experienced cancer from the other side: I have had the privilege of sharing the cancer experience with an intimate other. It was while I lived through this experience, this hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart and soul-by-soul walk with my husband that I really learned what I thought I already knew about how oncology nurses alleviate suffering, help heal and lessen the burden of the cancer illness. The purpose of this paper is to provide the oncology nurse with a portal into a lived experience of a person dying of cancer and to confirm what we do know, describe what we do not know and to lovingly challenge some of our assumptions so that we may become better students of our real teachers: our patients.

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