Nurse Love

National Nurses Week,

When people ask me what I do, first and foremost, I say, “I’m a nurse.” It is an honor and joy to be a part of this profession. When I had FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers), I felt an instant bond with and gratitude for the nurses who took care of me, both in the clinic as well as in the hospital.

One Silver Lining from my ’bout with FBC was particularly memorable. At one point during chemo I was so sick and dehydrated that I needed intravenous (IV) fluids – every day. One of my kind, compassionate and generous nurses (along with my oncologist) met me at the clinic – on a SUNDAY – to give me fluids so that I wouldn’t have to go to the emergency room. Yes, it was as amazing as it reads.

When I thanked them profusely, my nurse said, “It’s nothing.”  That is the same response that I often gave my patients when I went the extra mile for them. My thought was always, “it’s just what we do.”

As a nurse-turned-patient, I now know that this generosity of time and spirit is not nothing. Far from it. It means the world – the absolute world! – to patients. So, I’m happy that there is a week that celebrate nurses. As a patient, I can honestly say that nurses make all the difference in the world!

On March 25th, 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation naming May 6th as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”  It evolved into National Nurses Week. National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

If you have the opportunity this week, please say a little extra “Thank You” for the nurses who are caring for you.

* The photograph was taken during one of my chemo treatments by my dear friend Elizabeth Messina.

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Happy Nurses week, Hollye! I think that the recognition of our nurses in this country is most well-deserved. They are so often over-worked and under-paid. Their many acts of compassion and selfless service to others that are sick, wounded, and suffering are over-looked. A kind word, a helping hand, a smile, all are appreciated by those who need healing; the confident professional nurse can hasten one's recovery.
    I am proud to say that both my daughter and my son-in-law are in the nursing profession. My daughter serves in Methodist Women's Hospital in the mother & baby unit; and my son-in-law co-owns and manages Nebraska Home Health Care.

    • says

      Thanks, Carolee! How fabulous to hear about your daughter and son-in-law. Fabulous! Thanks so much, as always, for your comment!

  2. Kim C says

    Thank you, Hollye. I didn't know this. Well, for starters, I appreciate The Silver Pen.
    I'm also grateful for all the nurses who helped me through my extended hospital stays, surgeries, chemo, homecare and ongoing testing. The vast majority of nurses are compassionate, hardworking, and the ones with whom I made the deepest connections. I used to wait for certain nurses to come on shift and when I saw them, I felt reassured and safe. They kept me moving forward and hopeful – never feeling sorry for me and always helping me to believe I could handle it all. My homecare nurses made me feel normal. We talked about all kinds of things other than cancer and we laughed! I'll never forget how much I needed that. I still feel emotional writing about them today. Indeed, nursing is an honourable profession!
    Have a wonderful week.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Kim. Nurses are indeed great at keeping their patients moving forward and hopeful. I'm so glad that you had such great care. Thanks, as always, for sharing!
      Hope your week is wonderful as well!

  3. E.B. says

    Both my parents had amazing angels for nurses. They really went above and beyond. I remember each and every one of them and am grateful for their many, many acts of kindness.

  4. jp says

    I'm going in for chemo tomorrow and my friend is going to wheel me to several locations at the IU Hospital and Simon Cancer Center. I have special cards to give to many of the nurses who have become a big part of my life these past two years. I can hardly wait to see the nurses who went above and beyond to make my most recent stay in the hospital comfortable. Expressing gratitude is indeed a Silver Lining!
    While I was in the hospital I actually thought of you, Hollye, and how lucky your patients are to receive palliative care from you. Your compassion and great sense of humor is just what is needed!
    God bless.

    • says

      Dear Janis,
      Sending all of my very best wishes to you. Thank you for your kind words. Thinking about you and hoping for a smooth treatment and side-effect free response. Please keep me posted…and most of all, take good care.