As I return back to "full-time" status at the hospital this week, I am also celebrating two Work Anniversaries this month; my 1st year with Beautycounter and my 10th year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Wow. How lucky I was in 2007 to get a job at the Brigham before I had even passed my boards. Those days are long gone but I am so thankful I got in the door when I did. I started on 14CD, an Intermediate Medical floor, which is hands down the very best place to start as a new grad. There were more codes (Blue and Brown) and more laughs with an incredibly supportive and hard working crew, many of whom are still there. Two years in, I got the itch to move to Hematology/Oncology which I always had a pull towards. I loved the continuity of care and the patient population. Plus, with the ever growing research at Dana Farber, protocols are constantly changing and it’s an exciting place to be. The idea of transplanting stem cells to regenerate new bone marrow still humbles me each and every time I administer them.
I’ve been in Oncology now for 8 years. Some of my very best friends are the nurses I work with. (holler to my 6D Bougies) Again, the strong thread of teamwork and emotional support we provide each other on the good, and bad days, is everything. In the early years of my nursing career, I had a fleeting moment of a grand idea; a book titled “Lessons from a Bedside Nurse”. Every single shift I am given a slice of humble pie and perspective from my patients. Some of my very best adult friends are former patients of mine. (Hi Jimmy, Sherri, Harry) To know I can catch up with them now outside of the hospital walls after their treatment is by far the best reward as a nurse.
10 years ago I graduated from St. Anselm, which holds a traditional pinning ceremony for the graduates. At the time, I couldn’t believe we had to wear our all white dresses, tights, shoes, and caps, but now those are some of my favorite pictures from graduation. I gave our class speech which was a terribly corny rift about the Wizard of Oz of how we all set down this yellow brick road seeking heart, brains, and courage. In all of my cheesiness, I have to say the same rings true a decade later. I am so thankful to the nurses and patients I have learned from; both professionally and personally, and I look forward to the next 10 of my nursing career.
One year ago I found myself between a rock and a hard place. In an effort to feel better after spending 2 years working nights postpartum from Benjamin, I began “cleaning up” my diet which led me down a healthier path; both inside and out. When you start to read the labels on your food, you start to read them everywhere. A mom friend introduced me to Beautycounter and soon after I signed on. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Beautycounter is a skincare and cosmetic company dedicated to advocating for change in a largely unregulated industry. Beautycounter emphasizes education first and products second; while offering an incredible line of safe, high performing products. As a mom and an oncology nurse, this aligned with what I was already trying to do; feel my best and limit myself (especially Benjamin) to any unnecessary environmental toxins. In many ways, I feel like Beautycounter is an extension of my nursing career. As nurses, we are constantly educating our patients and this allows me to do that on a personal level about something I am passionate about. I’ve seen the effects of cancer firsthand. When we know better, we do better; and for my family that’s using safer products.
Beautycounter adheres to banning over 1500 harmful ingredients that are linked to human health issues. This peace of mind is invaluable. I am honored to be a part of this movement and look forward to the changes ahead. This past month our company joined forced forces with a dozen other “clean beauty” companies as a coalition to speak with Senators Feinstein and Collins re: the upcoming Personal Care Products Safety Act. We have not passed a major piece of legislation since 1938.This is huge. We are making progress; for us and for future generations. The nurse and nerd in me loves that I can say I was part of a company that played a small part in it.
Above all, truthfully, Beautycounter also allows me an additional way to contribute to Benjamin’s Future Fund. It is truly my passion project, separate of my nursing career, that allows me to save for the single most important person in my life, my son. As I reflect on this past year, a sincere thank you to each and every friend and family member for their willingness to learn more and switch to safer for their own families. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My own little Dr. Benjamin McDreamy
St. Anselm Nursing Pinning with Sara (middle school to 14CD together)
My 6D Besties (this was actually a Beautycounter girls night with my nurse friends)
My Charlestown mama friends and Beautycounter mentors Dani & Jordan