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THE PHARMACIST

" After graduation, I began my career as a retail
pharmacist with Walgreens supporting the stores
in my district and instantly fell in love with the fastpaced environment and the sheer volume of patients
I was able to see and help each day. "
was at peace and no longer suffering. I
also held on tightly to the memories and
experiences we went through as a family
over the previous year or so and as I navigated through my undergraduate career
and then four years of pharmacy school,
those personal experiences are the things
that pushed me towards my current role
and helped mold me into the pharmacist
that I am today.
After graduation, I began my career as a
retail pharmacist with Walgreens supporting the stores in my district and instantly
fell in love with the fast-paced environment and the sheer volume of patients I
was able to see and help each day. While
loving the ever-changing environment, I
found myself craving deeper connections
with my patients and I moved fairly quickly from a staff role to a pharmacy manager
role where I could get to know my regular
patients and their caregivers. I was given
the opportunity to help grow a specialty
center of excellence at my retail store dedicated to providing extraordinary care to
the HIV/AIDS community in my area. This
is where I fell in love with complex disease
state management. Developing deep relationships with my patients, making their
lives easier, and being a part of their sup-

port system solidified my desire to make
a career move into specialty pharmacy. I
spent the next couple of years hyper-focused on preparing myself by studying
different disease states and treatment options, learning the ins and outs of financial
assistance and developing relationships in
the community. I knew the path to take,
but didn't know where it would lead once I
got there! Almost five years into my career
as a specialty pharmacist, I can truly say
that the journey that led me to where I am
now was a wild ride and each stop along
the way (3 states and 5 cities!) prepared
me for my current role as an Oncolog y
Specialty Pharmacist.
Although being a specialty pharmacist
is my career, it is so much more to me
than a job - this is my life! Every person I
encounter leaves a little bit of themselves
with me and the impact of those relationships is what drives me to continue doing
what I do. Each time I sit in my consultation room with one of my patients and
their caregivers, I have the opportunity
to help make their lives just a little bit
easier and to let them know that we are
here as members of their care team. The
pharmacy is often one of the last stops
a cancer patient has after a long day of

lab work, scans and appointments with
oncologists, surgeons, nurse navigators
and case managers. We are the final piece
to the puzzle, providing the medications
these patients need for their treatment.
While the " job " part of my time with my
patients includes providing drug information, financial assistance and connection to support groups, there is so much
more that happens while we are together.
My consultation room is often the place
where all of the emotions from the journey are finally let go and I believe it is my
duty to create an environment where all
feelings and questions are not only welcome - but encouraged. Providing that
open space allows for a connection like
no other. It's the space where we get to
know one another and learn about each
other's families, where I can offer a hand
to hold or a shoulder to cry on. It's where
we share stories and where we laugh to
get through treatment side effects or cry
to get through fears and frustrations. It's
where we hug and share in loss together
and where we high five when treatment
was successful. These moments are what
continue to fuel my joy and pride in my
career.
Both my personal and professional experiences over the past 20 years are part
of my journey as an Oncology Specialty
Pharmacist and the impacts that are made
on my patients' lives as well as my own
are what drives me to stay on this career
path. I'm fortunate to be a part of a team
of pharmacists and technicians who are
dedicated to caring for the cancer patient
and their caregivers. We are here to help
navigate the twists and turns and ups and
downs of our patients' cancer journeys and
whether we are providing consultations or
a comfortable place to talk, we take pride
in being a helpful stop along the way. l

T H E SE FAQ S DE V E L OPE D BY E L E PH A N T S A N D T E A A N D AYA C A NC E R PAT I E N T S A R E A N S W E R E D BY
S Y DN E Y L . BE L I L E S , ONC OL O GY SPE C I A LT Y PH A R M AC IS T FOR WA L GR E E N C O. S Y DN E Y H A S B O T H
T H E PE R S ONA L A N D PROF E S SIONA L E X PE R I E NC E S T H AT DR I V E H E R L OV E TO C ON N E C T A N D
DE V E L OP R E L AT ION SH I P S W I T H T H E PAT I E N T S SH E SE RV E S . S Y DN E Y IS H E R E TO H E L P NAV IG AT E
T H E T W IS T S A N D T U R N S OF T H E C A NC E R PAT I E N T S ' JOU R N E Y A N D TA K E S PR I DE I N BE I NG A
H E L PF U L S TOP A L ONG T H E WAY.

26

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021


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Elephants And Tea - March 2021

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