Why do I work at the HFM Cancer Center?

Andrea Honkanen,
Patient Service Representative

I’ve been with HFM for more than 32 years and have worked in the HFM Cancer Center for nearly two years. Why did I make the change? I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life.

I see amazing things happening every day at the HFM Cancer Center—both wonderful and sad. Many of our patients aren’t sure where their journey is going or where it will end. They come to us scared and unsure if they still have a life to live. We’re able to offer them hope, provide them with compassion and care, and give them their life back. It’s amazing to watch the transformations that take place here and see how we’re able to help some cancer patients move on with their lives. We are able to help these patients find what the real meaning of life is. We’re able to give them back to their families. The patients realized what was important to them in the past, changes that needed to be made, and what’s important in their life now. We celebrate each patient’s end of treatment with a graduation—a new lease on life. What an amazing gift that is.

Not every cancer patient has a success story. Some of our patients do not beat their cancer. These patients fight hard and lose that battle, but in many ways we’re able to give them their life back as well. They find the peace they are looking for before they enter the end of their journey. We are able to give them comfort and relief from the pain that they have suffered with. We give them the very best of ourselves to help them on their ultimate journey. We have the smiles, the hugs and the tears to fight.

We develop many friendships with our patients. They find we are more like family. We celebrate the happy and the sad times with them. When they are weak, we give them strength. When they are sad, we try to find something to brighten their day. I have been very blessed to be a “healer”.

These words are written next to the bell patient’s ring when treatment is done, “Ring this bell, three times well. A toll to clearly say: My treatments done, I have won & I am on my way.”

We don’t take these words lightly. We celebrate each patient’s journey.

I love our patients and know that I have made a difference.