A Patient's View of All That Advocate Sherman Hospital Offers To Their Patients

By: Donna Huebner, Patient

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I have been battling my Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia for 8 ½ months and during my daily treatments I have had the privilege of encountering over 30 departments and services at Advocate Sherman, each playing their own special part in my journey to remission.

In my almost daily visits I have been greeted by smiling, truly caring people who take pride in their professions and who have a genuine compassion for all the patients. I continue to receive a level of medical care that impresses me and I always feel like I have a team fighting APL with me. Of particular note is the extraordinary nursing staff that provides everything I need and they do it all with confidence, knowledge, compassion and a smile.

I had a whole team of doctors from the Illinois Cancer Specialists Office - everyone seemed to know my case and offered knowledge about my disease and care whenever it was needed. I was confident in their abilities and knowledge of my rare disease. The support staff is equally extraordinary with their smiling faces and welcoming greetings each day. The Chaplains are a source of spiritual comfort and friendly compassion that connected me with hope and strength to battle even on the toughest days.

I have received so many hugs and words of encouragement that I truly believe all the smiles and friendship helped me heal just as much as the medicine. Scheduling is easy and convenient for all of my procedures. I have had many ultrasounds, EKGs, X-rays and PICC lines throughout my treatments and truly appreciate how they explain the procedures in an easy to understand way. Food Services has the most delicious omeletes and many wonderful menu choices. My Dietitian helped me meet my specific nutritional needs and every meal is delivered and picked up by a smiling face.

Being a bit of a neat freak and cleaning fanatic, I was very happy to see how clean and tidy all the rooms, bathrooms and hallway areas are kept. With my private room I never felt like I was in a hospital and was able to bring things to make it feel like home. I spent hours enjoying the view of the lake from my window. My husband felt the hospital worked very well with our insurance and the Financial Assistant made financial stress non-existent throughout my very costly treatments. Having the Walgreens Pharmacy on premises made picking up all of my prescriptions easy and convenient. The Navigators helped acquaint me with all the services available through the American Cancer Association including transportation, educational classes and support groups.

The Cancer Center is an extraordinary place to do battle. I have a private walled room with a bright sun filled window. The Nursing Team is everything a patient could ask for and more. From their wonderful smiles and warm comforting hugs to their amazing response to emergencies and abilities to hit a vein when needed even when I was convulsing with a 106 fever- they are extraordinary! I also enjoy all the wonderful volunteers who share stories, get warm blankets, pillows, beverages, and lunches for the patients and their guests and they do it in a genuine heart-warming way.

I have had the good fortune of meeting about 100 patients and enjoy visiting with them during my treatments and sharing stories, advice or heart-felt support. And if you are lucky enough to be there on Thursday afternoons you are privileged to hear members of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra play for hours throughout the hospital. It is an hour of peace and comfort for everyone. The halls have beautiful artwork from local students like a mini art gallery.

Everyone at Advocate Sherman takes the time to know their patients as people, and to do everything they can to make them comfortable and to understand what they are doing and what you can do to aid yourself in your recovery. Everyone is part of the team and everyone does their job with all their heart - so on February 19, 2016 when I ring the Cancer Free Bell I will be ringing it for my whole team because without all of them I could not have won the battle for my life. I could never thank them enough.

Whole-heartedly appreciative, Donna Huebner – Patient