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AdventHealth Parker Oncology Nurse Goes from Helping Patients to Becoming One

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AdventHealth Parker Oncology Nurse Goes from Helping Patients to Becoming One

By Robin Clutters

As an oncology nurse at the AdventHealth Parker Cancer Center, Jackie Cooper knows the importance of routine screenings. She’s never missed a mammogram. But life got busy, and she was two months late to get her annual exam. In October 2022, she got a call no one wants to hear. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, but Jackie’s experience working in the Cancer Center kept her calm and focused.

“I honestly wasn’t worried. I’ve seen so many of our patients do well, and I knew I was in good hands,” said Jackie.

Like all patients of the AdventHealth Parker Cancer Center, Jackie first met with a nurse navigator who explained what to expect. Jackie already knew her surgeon and oncologist and felt at peace knowing she’d be getting wonderful care from her colleagues. On November 6, 2022, Jackie had surgery and then spent the next six weeks getting radiation. She continued to work while undergoing treatment.

“I had some patients come in scared to death about their diagnosis, and many of them felt relieved to see somebody on the other side of it,” said Jackie. “I would tell them, ‘You can get through this. I’ve been there.’”

In February, Jackie celebrated her graduation from treatment and has so much gratitude for her fellow team members.

“Getting a cancer diagnosis wasn’t easy, but some of my fondest memories are of all the people who took such good care of me.”

Jackie is getting ready for retirement after 47 years as a nurse. Ten of those have been at the AdventHealth Parker Cancer Center.

“It’s bittersweet because I feel personally vested in this department. We all work together to do whatever we can to make sure our patients have the best outcome.”

Before she retires, Jackie is spending Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminding the women in her life to get their mammograms. She even shared her story with CBS News Colorado which you can watch here.

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