- With Mayo Clinic nurse educator
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.read biographyclose window
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.Sheryl M. Ness
Sheryl Ness, R.N., O.C.N., is a nurse educator for the Cancer Education Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She helps inform patients, families and caregivers about services and resources to help them through the cancer journey.
She has a master's degree in nursing from Augsburg College. In addition, she is an assistant professor of oncology at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and is certified as a specialist in oncology nursing. Sheryl has worked for more than 20 years at Mayo Clinic as an educator. She has a keen interest in the importance of the quality of life and concerns of people living with cancer.
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July 16, 2011
Making positive change helps cancer survivors
By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
Last year, we had a blog discussion on "How cancer changes you" and so many of you wrote in to share your experiences. With this post, I want to delve deeper into the positive side. I realize it might be asking a lot to do this; however, while having cancer is a generally negative occurrence, some positive things may come from it.
I'll share a story of a woman I met who was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her initial treatment, she decided to reduce her work schedule and pursue her love for painting. She traveled to places she loved and created incredible watercolor paintings reflecting on the beauty of each place.
She stayed active in her work life, but was able to balance it with her dream of painting again. She told me she wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been for her cancer diagnosis. Previous to her diagnosis, she was extremely focused on her career and had put her love for painting on hold.
I'm sure this story isn't unique. Many of you have made positive changes in your life because of your cancer diagnosis. I've heard so many stories of love, courage and strength. At times, it's hard to be positive, as having cancer isn't exactly easy and the physical feelings of the body usually have a strong influence on the mind and outlook.
I would love to hear about your personal experiences. How did you transform the negative to positive? How did this experience change your life?blog index