Cancer Center News

Lisa Marie Doyle, RN, Staff Nurse, Gynecology Oncology, Bigelow 7

Connections

01/Jul/2011

Lisa Doyle

 Lisa Doyle, RN

Lisa Marie Doyle, RN
Staff Nurse, Gynecology/Oncology, Bigelow 7
Time at Mass General: 17 months

Lisa is this year's recipient of the Cancer Center's Oncology Nursing Career Development Award. Her commitment to broadening awareness and funding for gynecologic cancers inspired her to join the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa this September. Learn more about this incredible undertaking.

What influenced your decision to become a healthcare worker? It was actually my mother and sister’s battles with cancer that were the catalysts that led me to pursue a nursing career. I grew up without the chance to ever have met my sister who lost her battle to neuroblastoma the year before I was born. I always felt an obligation to the cancer community from a very young age, but as time and health distanced our family from cancer, so did my work in life. It was not until October 12, 2006, the day my mother was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer, when all of the feelings that I had felt so long ago came rushing back to me. I decided to change my career from investment finance to oncology nursing within days of her diagnosis.

What drew you to the Cancer Center? When I first started nursing school, my goal was to work on the gynecology oncology unit at Mass General. Bigelow 7 was not only the unit where my mother was diagnosed, but also where some of the best oncology nurses set the example for who I wanted to become professionally. I am honored to say that my first job as an RN is on Bigelow 7, and I have been thrilled to be a part of the unit for over a year. The role models, mentors and high standards of care on Bigelow 7 and throughout the Cancer Center are invaluable.

What is your favorite part of working here? The people are definitely the best part of working here! From patients and families to colleagues, I honestly feel that we are all a team working together. I absolutely love that Mass General, particularly the Cancer Center and my unit, are always focused on family-centered care. As a past family caregiver, I have had the opportunity to experience this incredible support that made such a difference in my life and my family’s lives. Similarly, as a novice nurse, I always feel supported and motivated by my Mass General “family” as well.

Do you have any advice for those dealing with cancer or their caregivers/loved ones? Take one day at a time and always remember that you are the team captain of your care. I know that “taking one day at a time” is an exhaustive piece of advice for cancer patients and their families, but it is so important. Looking too far ahead in your care or thinking of “possible” outcomes can be an overwhelming process that leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety over events that may not even occur. Taking everything step by step keeps you in the present and focused. Also, remember that we are all on one team, and you are the team captain! Patient and family education is so essential. Be sure to stick to appropriate resources like the Mass General Cancer Center website and visit the Blum Cancer Resource Room. You and your family know you best. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions and be an active part in your care!

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