What’s the ‘Why’? Chemotherapy Nurse Celebrates Caregivers’ Important Role

chemotherapy nurse

Amanda Thomas, RN, BSN, OCN, a chemotherapy nurse at Renown Institute for Cancer, wrote the following essay. Her goal: to encourage and inspire others in the nursing profession by reminding them of the “why” — why they became caregivers.

Twelve to 14 hours have passed since I was home with my loved ones. My feet are tired and mind ready to rest as I walk through my front door.

Certain days are harder than others. But one thing I have learned on my nursing journey: I am privileged to make sincere contributions to the care of my patients and their loved ones’ lives. Some days it can be easy to feel lost as to “why” our patients choose to go through such intense cancer treatments.

Recently, I exchanged a sacred moment with a patient’s young daughter. This left my heart feeling beyond grateful for the blessing to provide others with an extended gift of life. It was at this moment with this sweet girl that I learned her father’s “why.”

She was full of life, and I knew he was fighting to spend as much time with her as possible. This powerful experience inspired me and left a mark on my heart.


So many moments pass us by without a thought during certain times in our lives. What I have come to realize is that we as nurses are given a gift. We get to bless others with extended moments they may not have otherwise had the pleasure of experiencing.

Moments to Remember

My career reminds me daily that we all have moments that we take for granted. So I am here to remind you, please cherish these moments and others like them:

  • Holding a loved one’s hand
  • Breathing in the tenderness of a child’s snuggle
  • Taking in a beautiful sunrise or sunset
  • Laughing with a kindred soul
  • Celebrating a birthday or anniversary with a special someone
  • Feeling a soft breeze brush across our skin
  • Being mindful of a moment with no pain and only love
  • Taking in a first moment with a child or grandchild
  • Reading a bedtime story to a young, sweet soul
  • Dining with a dear companion
  • Watching the earth come alive in springtime
  • Worshipping a spiritual connection

As a Chemotherapy Nurse, I Consider the ‘Why’

That precious young girl lost her father, and I still think of her to this day. I learned a great lesson that day while chatting with her and have felt inspired to learn my patients’ “why” ever since. Learning a patient’s special “why” allows me to support them fully on their journey.

It’s during the moments when we feel overwhelmed that we should remember how blessed we are as nurses to have the gifts to allow happiness to enter another’s life. I believe the gifts we are able to provide for others are immeasurable. This is something I consider when I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, and it makes those tired feet more tolerable.

I would like to thank each and every one of my fellow nurses for their commitment to providing others with a life filled with precious moments. It is in each of these moments that we celebrate the preciousness of life.

May we all remember how much love and power we hold in the precious moments we experience in our careers and daily lives. I truly cannot think of a greater gift to bring to another’s life.

Amanda Thomas RN, BSN, OCN
Renown Outpatient Infusion Center


  1. All the nurse at the infusion center play a great role in cancer patients life. They help the patients as well as the care givers. I was blessed with wonderfully nurses. My family still says to this day that with the information that they received from the nurses at the infusion center it made the journey that we were on a easier one. I would like to thank all the nurse at the infusion center for all that you do. You are very special people to deal with all that you see and do for these patient on a daily bases.