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1950 - 2014 |  Obituary | Condolences Gallery
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May 28, 2015

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May 28, 2015

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February 14, 2015
Today I learned of Eileen's death, and I am grieving.
Yesterday afternoon, before I knew this sad news, I'd sat down at my computer to write an essay about Eileen as "an extraordinary oncology nurse" for a contest sponsored by Cure Magazine. And yesterday evening the greeting card I'd sent her a week ago appeared in my mailbox, returned to sender. And then today, when I was trying to find where to send the card and her name was not listed on the SCCA website, I looked for her on Google. Her obituary was the first thing that came up. Even though I am nearly a year late in learning the news of her passing, I feel I was lead to the information by more than mere coincidence. Eileen, if you are listening I want you to know that you are dear to my heart, that I love you, and that the world is a little bit lonelier without you in it.
In 1998 I came to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for a bone marrow transplant. Because I had a related donor, I was placed in the Orange Team, under Eileen Rossman's supervision. Over the next 5 months Eileen offered guidance, council and even defense when treatment plans got complicated. At a sturdy 5'-10 (or more) she was a formidable defender. She was also the only person on earth who could keep me calm during a bone marrow aspiration. She told me to think of my healing color and image myself in a relaxing place. And when she took the sample she was sure and quick. No one else had her skill. Her strong voice was confident and assertive, but also pleasant. Her smile was almost constant and she laughed easily. I felt like a little chick following a mother hen, or a kindergartener being led by a trusted school teacher. I loved her for it too. And years later she was always happy to see me return to Seattle, making time in her busy day to visit with me or buy me lunch. I can't image Seattle without her there. It's hard to accept that she is gone. I'm sure the comfort she gave me was magnified many fold by giving the same to hundreds of patients she helped over the years.
Because of her profession, Eileen knew better than most that life is uncertain and that, unfortunately, life isn't always fair. Eileen didn't get the long life she deserved, but her life was well lived. I am honored to have had her in my life.
May 24, 2014
I worked at SCCA for a few years as a nurse in LTFU. While I didn't know Eileen very well, I knew her well enough to recognize a nurse that was a strong advocate for her patients. I knew that if I ever needed care at SCCA, I would want to be on Eileen's team.
I sincerely hope that, in her battle with glioblastoma, that she received the same level of advocacy and care she provided her own patients during her long career. If there are advocacy teams in heaven, I know she's on one!
April 16, 2014
Keeping you all in our prayers ..Dick and Dot Green and Mike and Claudia Iles
April 16, 2014
Sorry for your loss, her life sounds like a real blessing for not only your family but many others.
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