It’s about giving back
As the Clinical Director of Oncology Services and Regulatory Compliance at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lourdes works every day to give patients a chance.
Yeah, definitely. I think just being in the oncology clinical trial world, you see patients that... At least when I was at UCSF, this is their last kind of option in order to live and be part of that clinical trial is really crucial. And just the fact that they are very appreciative in everything that we do. These patients come to the clinic depending on the protocols, it can be every day, it can be weekly, it can be once a month, but really just appreciation of the staff and that knowing that this is the last resort for them, just mixed emotions. Some of these patients, it's helpful with their care, but some of the patients would be out of the study because the cancer had progressed. We've had those conversations as well, but just really, from that, really cherishing every moment I meet with my kids. Also, overseeing the pediatric infusion and pediatric clinic, seeing these kids with their parents daily, with their ports trying to get their infusion makes you just really appreciate everything.
And also, identify how determined they are. They're so little yet. They're still fighting every day coming to the clinic and having this really positive outlook in life. The innocence, it's really refreshing. When I was in nursing school, I couldn't... The pediatric rotation was actually trainers in the Burn ICU. And that's when I told myself, I could not, I could never do Peds, and that made me pick, really decide to be an adult nurse going like, "Oh my gosh, this is crazy, this is too intense." It was a Burn ICU unit. I remember after every clinical day we have a debriefing in the end, everyone would always just cry in our group. So that's what I told myself, "I can't be a pediatric nurse." Me being the clinical director over the pediatric clinic, and infusion is another opportunity to give back knowing that I can't do it myself.