Opinion articles

Monday, September 30, 2013

'Sunrise of Hope' by Joyce Skalinski, RN, OCN, BC, CHPN


This photograph was taken in Haleakalia National Park in Hawaii. Haleakalia means "House of the

Sun" in Hawaiian. Ancient Hawaiians believed it was home to the grandmother of the Demigod Maui. We arrived in the early morning and the weather was very cold. This did not dampen our excitement in anticipation of the sunrise.  We were advised that weather conditions in the park varied and viewing of the sunrise not always possible.


Visitors and vacationers were bundled in jackets. As the sun rose in the horizon we could see the beautiful yellow rings of light on the surface of the sun. Jet planes were visible above the clouds. The crowd began clapping, some prayed and many stood in silent respect of the beauty of nature. Words cannot describe the joy of the privilege to view such a wonder.


Usually my days as a nurse on the oncology unit are very busy. One day when I was feeling a little discouraged a former patient visited me. He asked, "Do you remember me?" At first I didn't, but then he reminded me how I had cared for him and helped him through a chemotherapy treatment. Today, years later, he is in remission and living a productive life.


The sunrise at Haleakalia Volcano in Maui is very spiritual and inspirational. It speaks clearly of the goals of all of us as oncology nurses.  Every day has a new sunrise and is an opportunity to provide hope to cancer patients living and fighting cancer.



JOYCE SKALINSKI, RN, OCN, BC, CHPN, is an oncology nurse in Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Maryland