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Aug 18, 2014 11:38 AM by Domenica Fuller

Arizona Oncology nurses create hope by singing and dancing

TUCSON - "Cancer" is a word people will do anything to avoid, especially in relation to their own health.

Saying the word "cancer" can even be considered synonymous with using profanities. If it slips from your mouth, people gasp in horror. But, the nurses at Arizona Oncology are fighting against this stigma.

They try to give their patients light at the end of the tunnel in an unconventional way; a song and dance.

The world came to know this choreographed song and dance after a video of the nurses went viral. This special routine is only performed when a patient has finished their chemotherapy treatments . . . for good.

"Therapy and cancer is very difficult and anything we can do for the patient and [it's]also easier for us because it's hard for us to deal with high stress . . .so finding out how much this meant to this patient made my day and it made my week and I know it made everyone else's," said Janet Bruce, the nurse practitioner who originally came up with the song and dance.

Sammy Lavelle was the patient who posted the viral video of his nurses dancing. Lavelle was originally diagnosed with testicular cancer and his cancer later spread to his lymph nodes.

Ever since he was diagnosed, he has long awaited the day when the song and dance would be performed for him.

"You walk in and you're really nervous and you don't know what to expect and the last thing you expect is to walk into you know a celebration. Other people have gotten through this and have come out the other side. Those nurses kicked [the cancer] out of there very thoroughly. They danced it right out," said Lavelle.

Day in and day out the nurses choose to give out more than just treatments, but also hope.

"My job here has nothing to do with dying. My job here has everything to do with living and I pass out hope, so Arizona Oncology pays me to pass out hope," said Carla Alling, a registered nurse at Arizona Oncology.

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