Nearly six years after starting cancer treatments for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Crystal Zunino is now on the other side of the hospital bed helping patients as an oncology nurse at Navicent Health.
The former Houston County teacher made a career move and went to nursing school in 2016 with the dream of caring for cancer patients the same way she was cared for during her treatments.
Zunino says she enjoys getting to connect with patients through their shared experiences.
“This is not something that they choose and it’s scary, so to have somebody who’s been there before taking care of them, it makes them a lot more comfortable and their family members a lot more comfortable,” she said.
She’s also able to hold deeper conversations with patients about topics that are more difficult for them to talk about, like survivor’s guilt.
Those conversations and encouragement from her patients and peers inspired her to write a book about her journey.
“There are some things that are scary to talk about, so to have that and for family members to know exactly what’s going on in the mind of a patient,” she says.
She’s already sold several copies of her book “A Wisecup Once Said” and will hold a book signing November 20 at Mini Dixie Donuts in Warner Robins. The event starts at 9 a.m.
Zunino says she will have copies of the book to buy and people can also purchase one on Amazon. She says money from each book sale will help her donate books to people currently battling cancer.