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Oncology nurse forms special bond with patients after her own cancer diagnosis

Nurse's cancer diagnosis gives her new perspective
Oncology nurse's cancer diagnosis gives her new perspective 01:30

Plano, Texas — Nurse Sharron Kerber treats cancer patients for a living — but after a routine mammogram, she became one. 

"Like a lot of people, I was a little late getting my mammogram due to the pandemic," she told CBS News. 

The oncology nurse was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2021. 

"I don't think anybody can ever be prepared for that moment," she said. "It was scary, but I'm very task-oriented." 

The 48-year-old mother kept working through chemo and multiple surgeries. 

"I think I felt better on the days that I worked. I certainly wasn't thinking about myself very much," she said. "My patients kept me going through this." 

A cancer camaraderie became her therapy at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Hospital at Medical City Plano. 

"Every time a patient would find out, they would look at me like they were seeing me for the first time. And then we could have more intimate conversations about treatment, side effects," she said. 

She didn't expect that being a nurse would make her a better patient and being a patient would make her a better nurse. 

"It's made me much more empathetic," she said. "I think I really understand on a different level what these patients are going through." 

Kerber is now cancer-free and in remission — a reminder to her patients that there's hope. 

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