9/11 plus 10: More local memories

9/11 plus 10: More local memories

Nurses tried to make the day 'normal' for patients

On Sept. 11, 2001, like any other day, I was administering chemotherapy treatments to the patients at a doctor’s office in Englewood.

There was a TV in the infusion room where patients could watch the news or a movie.

Suddenly everything changed. We knew by looking at the TV screen that a horrible terrorist attack was taking place and that the peace in our country was in jeopardy.

On 9/11, says Vicky Filman, it was important to keep things as normal as possible for cancer patients. Courtesy Vicky Filman

Later there was more and more bad news. I felt that the world was falling apart.

How could a great country like the United States of America be in a situation of fear and horror?

In spite of the horrible news, we nurses continued to give our patients the treatments they needed.

Our job that day was more difficult than any other day.

We needed to give emotional support to patients and their families related to their cancer and about the possible side effects of their chemotherapy treatments and also about the fact that our country was being attacked and some of the patients had family members working at the World Trade Center.

None of the nurses went home until the last patient was treated, and all of us tried to hide our emotions about the horror we were seeing on the TV screen and from our window – we could see the black smoke from the World Trade Center.

As always, the well-being of our patients came first, and all of us nurses tried very, very hard to make a “normal” day for the cancer patients. They deserved that.

The devotion of the nursing profession was demonstrated one more time.

I am sure that none of us will ever forget that day.

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