what I’ve learned

What I’ve Learned From My Patients

My Funnest (Or Funniest) Moment

One of my hilarious memories is from years ago. Another nurse and I did something special when kids went off treatment. In our old clinic, we would go to our big, wide hallway in the back, and the kid and their parents would come back there to watch: We would do cartwheels to celebrate.

There was one mom who really appreciated it. Her son had lymphoma, and he was on treatment for 18 months. She dreamed of the day when Lynette, a fellow nurse, and I would do cartwheels for her son.

He ended therapy in September of 1990. I was due October 10, 1990, to have my second child. And so the day came. Her son went off therapy, and she said to me, “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this day for 18 months. And now look at you.” And I said, “Well, if you’re okay, I’m okay with it.”

So, we went to the back hallway—I was four weeks from delivering—and I did a cartwheel in the hallway. And to this day, she still talks about me doing a cartwheel when I was eight months pregnant.

I didn’t go into labor that day, and everything was good. There are lots of those fun, little crazy things that we’ve come up with through the years to make life happier for our kids and their parents.

Why Our Patients Inspire Me

what I’ve learned

In nursing school, I worked with adult oncology patients. In the early 1980s, the world of oncology was a very grim and dark place. Sometimes, I came home feeling very “cup half empty.” And I’m normally a very “cup half full” kind of person.

But when I started at Children’s, I saw a whole different side of oncology patients. Our kids didn’t know they were supposed to be sick. They didn’t read the side effects of the drug sheets. They just wanted to be kids.

We see that every day here. Our kids are faced with a hard situation, but in a lot of respects, they don’t know any different. They just accept it and think about happier things. They want to have fun and do the things that kids do.

Your attitude about how you look at things is huge. It makes a big difference in what your life is like. Our kids show us that every day.

What Our Patients Teach Me

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from the kids here is you don’t sweat the small stuff.

Every day of our lives, we are faced with things that we think are big deals. When we really just sit back and think about it, they really aren’t. They’re not going to be super life-changing for us.

The kids at Children’s teach me that even though life has many challenges for them, they have a way of letting those things go. They focus on the positive—the fun times when they’re just being kids. I see smiles here every day.

Their courage is amazing to see. The kids here challenge me to be a better person. I’ll always be impressed by their strength, and grateful for their example.

Anisa Hoie
I've been a nurse for nearly 32 years, mostly taking care of kids with cancer. My job is to give the kids and their families a personal touch while they go through treatment.

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