Coronavirus News: Staten Island nurse diagnosed with cancer continued to work during chemo

OCEAN BREEZE, Staten Island (WABC) -- Jessica Malloy never imagined she would be wrapping up 5 1/2 months of chemotherapy.

Malloy is a nurse, and when she was diagnosed with cancer in August, she immediately thought of her patients in the chemotherapy infusion unit at Staten Island University Hospital.

She is now in their shoes - remembering how hard those first few weeks were.

"I couldn't believe my patients had to go through that, and I had absolutely no knowledge of that," she said. "And that saddened me a little bit."

It was second nature -- Malloy comforting people undergoing chemo -- but this was different. Her husband, Matthew, and her family were her pillar of strength.

Malloy loves her job, and even after the diagnosis, she kept working while undergoing chemo. Her patients also gave her the strength to keep going.

"I couldn't stay home and be sorry for my self and be sad and cry," she said.

On March 2, she had surgery, started radiation, and then COVID-19 hit the area -- this time forcing her to stay home.
"About last week, I could say I feel almost normal," she said, "I'm not quite there yet, but I'll get there."

Malloy is scheduled to wrap up radiation on May 21, and she tells Eyewitness News it has never been a question of if she will return to work, but rather when.

"I'm not ready to stop yet, I'm too young," she said. "I have to keep going. That's part of me, who I am."

It was once said that the character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses. And for that, we salute Jessica Malloy.

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