Michele Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist This Emotional Life - PBS

Experts Biography



Michele is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and single mother who lives in New Jersey.  In 2008, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, just a few weeks after receiving certification as a nurse anesthetist. With her world turned upside down and her exciting plans for the future put on hold, Michele struggled with anger, anxiety, and depression.

She found help through a University of Pennsylvania clinical trial focused on holistic therapy.  In addition to using medication to treat her anxiety and depression, Michele uses affirmations, aromatherapy, inspirational readings, and meditation several times a day.

Michele has been able to overcome her feelings of anger and sadness by focusing on the positive things in her life, such as her very close relationship with her daughter, nature, and her work. She has even been able to turn the devastating experience of hair loss into a positive one, choosing fun different wigs to suit her mood and outfit; her favorite is bright pink. Michele believes that her experiences have enabled her to better empathize with patients and, therefore, to be a better nurse. She has also fulfilled her dream of living on the water and enjoys boating and riding her WaveRunner.

Michele has undergone surgery and chemotherapy for her cancer. The surgery has left her with an unsightly hernia on her stomach for which she is awaiting surgery. Doctors recently told her that the cancer may have spread to her lungs. She is expecting the final results soon and continues to make plans for the future. After a fun trip to Las Vegas in celebration of her daughter’s 21st birthday, they are planning a trip to Italy.

Michele's Content

A survivor's story

  • Michele
  • Michelle, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, struggles with the changes in her life. In addition to chemotherapy, she pursues various paths in an attempt to find the tools that will help her tap into her inner strength and survive emotionally. She attends the Heal Your Life Conference and self-help book fair and discusses her experience at the conference with her daughter.