Sue Burns is a registered nurse in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU), where she has worked since it opened – and she has worked at Exeter Hospital for 33 years. But recently she also became a patient. In February, she had an illness that she thought was the flu. Sue credits her nurse practitioner, Laura Dhima, for getting the chest x-rays that found the mass in her lungs. She has been through surgery at Mass General followed by radiation and chemotherapy at Exeter Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care, with only two treatments left to go.
“I always knew Exeter Hospital was a great place, with great people. But it wasn’t until I became a patient that I experienced the amazing care that everyone here provides. Not just the clinical staff, but from the receptionists to the housekeepers, everyone goes out of their way to make sure I’m comfortable and supported, whether it’s bringing me a warm blanket, or giving me a hug in the hallway. And I feel very blessed that I didn’t have to travel to Boston for my radiation and chemotherapy treatments.”
Sue is very grateful for her physicians, including her pulmonologist Dr. John Brennan, medical oncologist Dr. YongLi Ji, and radiation oncologist Dr. Gary Proulx. Sue has also appreciated all the support from her PCU/ICU family. She says she’s received more than 100 cards, not to mention all the texts and other little messages they send her. Co-worker Sam Cunha had the idea to put together a team to walk in this year’s United in Wellness Cancer Walk and Trick or Treat Trot 5K. The team, which includes staff of the PCU, ICU and more, is walking in Sue’s honor.
“I knew they were making a team, and of course I joined it, but I only just recently realized they did it in honor of me. I was so moved by this!” said Sue, tearing up. “The Cancer Walk is just a few days before my last chemo treatment and I plan to walk it with the team. We even have black and orange costumes that we’re going to wear.”
“I’m looking forward to the Walk and I’m so thankful for all people who signed up to walk in my honor,” she continued, “and above all, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful care.”