After Carol Williams, our first chief nurse, there was Nurse Donna Carlson, another nurse of the old school. Donna joined us after the book ended in 1992. She started working on our research trials and worked with me on Tuesday evenings when I saw patients at Trillium.
Much like Carol Williams, Donna Carlson could read my mind, and we made a great team. The Tuesday evening clinic was high energy and fast paced; very, very busy. Somehow, Donna always kept me on the mark and was always there when I needed an extra pair of hands, including getting started with patients before I came into the exam room. She bonded beautifully with patients and many still talk about her. She is smart, efficient and generally unflappable. She helped a lot of patients through some very tough times. She was, and is, a jewel.
Nothing went right, but when we finished around 7:30 p.m., we sat down to process what we had been through.
She said to me – “Let’s start another clinic and get out of here,” Donna said.
I thought for a second and said, “We’ve already done that – 30 years ago, in fact.”
She laughed – “Then, let’s do it again!”
We hugged and laughed at the irony of the whole thing.
Love you, Donna! And I miss our Tuesday evenings. They were the best of times; they were the worst of times.