Mother / daughter nurse practitioners guide children through cancer treatment, survival

October 29, 2021

3 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures


Healio Interviews

Disclosures: Gabriella and Roseann Tucci are not reporting any relevant financial disclosures.

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For Gabriella TuccI, NP, summer camp as a teenager was an unforgettable experience, but not in the way you might expect.

On the one hand, his mother was also there.

Quote from Gabriella Tucci, IP -
Source: Richard Dewitt – MSKCC

“In my early teens I went to Happiness Is Camping – a sleep camp for children and teens with cancer and their siblings in Hardwick, New Jersey – with my mom,” Tucci, nurse practitioner in surgery pediatric at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in an interview with Healio. “As a camp nurse, my mother was allowed to bring her children. I was amazed at how resilient and courageous these children were at the camp. I have seen children come to the infirmary to have chemotherapy and have blood drawn from their central lines. In less than 5 minutes, those same kids would be heading to the pool to swim or participate in one of the camp’s many adventurous activities. Happiness Is Camping will always hold a very special place in my heart.

The mission to support and encourage children with cancer continues not only in Tucci’s heart, but in his daily life. With his mother, Roseann Tucci, IP, A nurse practitioner in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s long-term adult follow-up program, Gabriella has found her way into the field of pediatric oncology.

A source of hope

While Roseann works with children who have completed active treatment, Gabriella works in what her mother calls “the trenches.” When pediatric cancer survivors move from active treatment to survival, they also move on to another part of the Tucci family tree.

“Throughout my career, my patients have died and some have gone to the survival clinic,” Gabriella said. “My mother’s experiences with survivors give me hope and allow me to continually remain positive and strong for my patients.

Roseann Tucci said she previously worked with children on active cancer treatment, just like her daughter does. In addition to being a source of hope for the long-term survival of patients, Roseann’s work offers her the unique experience of reconnecting with the adults she treated as a child.

“I just saw a patient recently who I took care of when he was 14 years old [years old], and now he’s in his 40s, ”she said. “He comes for treatment every year to be monitored for the late effects of the treatment. I am very fortunate to be able to continue caring for these patients I cared for years ago while undergoing active cancer treatments.

Roseann said her job of caring for survivors involved a lot of health education and counseling. She discusses the late effects of different cancer treatments and might discuss fertility issues or other issues relevant to young adults who are cancer survivors.

A “lifelong mentor”

Roseann and Gabriella both started out as nurses and then went on to become certified nurse practitioners, a title that allows them to take a more active role in patient care. Yet their respective roles present very different challenges.

“Last January, I started as a pediatric surgical nurse practitioner in my same unit,” Gabriella said. “The surgical team usually meet with every new patient, whether at the initial stage of the workup, in the middle of their treatments for various tumor resections and, of course, when we are consulted to remove the central catheters that they no longer need. . “
patients reach Roseann, they have different needs: to learn healthy behaviors, as well as how to advocate for their health care needs as young adults.

When Gabriella is saddened by the illness she sees in a hospital setting, her mother can offer words of encouragement.
my role, ”Gabriella said. “Whenever I need professional advice, especially after a hard day’s work, she patiently listens to me and offers me advice.

“Nursing is a tough profession, and it’s so important to have someone who understands and can guide you through the good times and the bad,” Gabriella added. “She’s my mother, my lifelong mentor. “

Additionally, Gabriella can pass Roseann’s inspirational words on to her patients. Words often mean a lot, because in this unusual generational turnaround it is the older person who represents the future.

“A lot of patients and their families may not be ready to hear about the survival clinic early on because they are so overwhelmed with the cancer diagnosis,” Roseann said, “but I think it is. great that Gabriella can offer hope to her patients. She can say to them, ‘One day you might see my mother!’ “

For more information:

Gabriella Tucci, IP, and Roseann Tucci, IP, can be reached at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065-6007.

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