Abby Keller


Holistic health and life coach

10+ years oncology nursing experience

Get the support you need along your cancer journey.

What I provide

  • A safe space to explore feelings and gain clarity about your diagnosis, your treatment, your goals, your health.
  • Encouragement and expertise so that you feel confident following your treatment plan, or making a plan for what comes next.
  • Assistance in building your support systems and creating a therapeutic environment in which to heal at home
  • Room to process your diagnosis, your treatment, your recovery, and what comes next.

Who I help

Newly Diagnosed

“I have cancer… now what?” A new cancer diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming. It requires you to make plans for what comes next. Whether you are weighing different treatment options, feeling anxious or confused about your diagnosis, preparing for upcoming treatment, or simply wanting someone to process your diagnosis with, I can help.

Active Treatment

Most cancer patients experience conditions that adversely affect their quality of life. Cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy, CAR-T and stem cell transplant can be difficult to endure and require your life to change for a period of time. Whether you are experiencing pain, fatigue, GI distress, fear, anger, isolation, conflict with loved ones, guilt, anxiety, hopelessness, or other adverse emotions, or seeking to optimize your treatment by creating a therapeutic environment for healing at home, I can help.


Being a cancer survivor isn’t always easy. “Yay! You did it! You made it through treatment! You are a warrior!” People think now you are fine, you’re better. Support dries up, casseroles stop coming, people stop calling. But you aren’t back to normal. What is normal anyway? Whether you are needing to process your experiences and discover what moving forward looks like, experiencing fear and anxiety over upcoming scans, or grieving lost time or lasting complications, I can help.


Being a caregiver is extremely demanding and sometimes thankless work. You are going through a lot, too! Watching your loved one suffer can be devastating. You are not alone. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by the reality of caring for your loved one, struggling to balance your responsibilities and commitments, or feeling burned out, exhausted, or fatigued, I can help.



Hello, my name is Abby!

I am a registered nurse (BSN) and a certified health and life coach. My specialty is oncology, and I have been working in cancer care for over a decade. I have worked in acute inpatient hospital settings, clinic settings, and infusion settings. I am chemotherapy certified and transplant certified, and I have experience with a wide range of cancer treatments.

What I love most about nursing is supporting my patients. Over the course of my career as an oncology nurse, I have had the privilege of working with some incredible people, even though I am often meeting them in some of the most challenging seasons of their lives. I have been honored by their trust, and find great meaning in caretaking, teaching, encouraging, and bearing witness to their journeys, especially when they are doing the hard things involved in cancer treatment and recovery.

In my own life, I try to practice what I preach as a healthcare professional. I love creating delicious vegetarian meals from healthful ingredients, because I know how important it is to give my body good fuel. I stay fit and keep my body strong with regular exercise, including boxing, weight-lifting, and hiking. I love to ski in the winter, and paddle on my SUP in the summer. I tend to my emotional and spiritual health as well by reading, writing, singing, meditating, and talking with my loved ones and my own coach.

What is a Nurse Coach?

Because of the way our current healthcare system works, with high nurse-to-patient ratios and insurance reimbursement imposing time limits on provider visits, there are often gaps left in patient care. A nurse coach fills those gaps. Conventional treatment permits only enough time to treat the illness, but not enough time to heal the person. A nurse coach is able to come alongside you, supporting you as you face the difficulties of treatment, giving you space to process your emotions, and guiding you as you look forward to the future.

A nurse can help you understand your health better. A nurse can help you understand your medications and how to take them. A nurse can help you adjust your diet so that it is working congruently with your medical plan. A nurse can help you develop a safe exercise plan.

A coach can help you develop a routine to make new habits last. A coach can offer you support and accountability over a longer period of time. A coach can help you identify what motivates you so you can stick to your treatment plan. A coach can help you identify and move past self-limiting beliefs and behaviors. A coach can help you find out what health looks like for you!

Health is not one-size-fits-all. Health is not only physical, it’s mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, industrial, relational, cultural. What does being healthy look like for you? A nurse coach can help you set achievable goals for your life, during and after treatment. A nurse coach can empower you to put yourself first and see how it will uplift and positively impact those around you.

Maya Angelou said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” A nurse can help you know better, a coach can help you do better.


"I can't express how helpful it was to work with Abby before and after my surgery. I had so many questions and a lot of anxiety surrounding my first-ever surgery. She had amazing expertise, from exactly which questions I should ask my doctors about the procedure to help me understand the process to what foods I should eat after the surgery to help recover with less pain; since my bladder and bowel were involved in the surgery. My doctors were even impressed by my understanding of the procedures and asked me how I knew to ask the questions that I asked! Knowing exactly what was going to happen helped decrease my anxiety and feel empowered. Abby was thoughtful and understanding, a guiding beacon through the medical process which can be so confusing! She took great care to also create a list of all the supplies I would want to have for my time just before and after the surgery at a hotel. She knew all the tips and tricks to help me feel comfortable while I prepped and healed. I would recommend Abby's support for anyone navigating a health challenge."

"I reached out to Abby a couple weeks before an anxiety causing event. I am a cancer survivor and, even though it has been several years since treatment, I knew I needed help to prepare for my semi-annual scan. My conversations with Abby were really amazing. She listened to me rehash the worst parts of my experience and provided validation for my deep, physical reactions. She suggested techniques for before, during, and after that could help me through the upcoming scan. In the follow up, we were able to talk about the future and her questions challenged me to make some honest observations about myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses. Above all, Abby cared about me in THIS moment. Her background in oncology care allowed us to speak the same language, but what was really impressive was her ability to see the cancer history (and anxiety) within the context of my family life. It's all interconnected. Abby is knowledgeable, compassionate and authentic. I would highly recommend working with Abby."

"When Abby first asked me if I would be interested in doing some one-on-one health coaching sessions, I was both very excited and very nervous. Since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in November of 2017, I’ve often rejected support and opportunities to connect over my experience. To articulate my new life with diabetes felt like an impossible task, and I thought that if I could ever commit to improving it, I would have to be really “ready” to take it on. However, upon our first meeting, Abby took away this pressure. Unlike other coaching models I’ve seen, Abby didn’t want to “whip me into shape.” Her support came from a place of love, and the foundation that, all on my own, I was already enough. It was our regular meetings, though, that showed me what it could be like to live openly with it, free from guilt and fear. We would look at my blood sugar charts and brainstorm ways to keep track of my diabetes equipment, how to write notes to my doctor advocating for what I need, or just rant about how annoying it is to have to feed yourself 4+ times a day. Abby listens to you with the type of neutrality and compassion that grants this vulnerability, and then comes back with wisdom and insight to come up with real tangible plans. Through Abby’s thoughtful listening and encouragement, we explored many different areas of my life- some clearly relating to diabetes and others seemingly random- to gain a realistic perspective on what life looks like now with a chronic illness. I’ve done so many incredible things since our sessions, like walking El Camino de Santiago with my mom and learning to be easier on myself, and the confidence that Abby instilled in me has helped me get there."

Work with me

As a gift, I offer a complimentary 60-90 minute coaching session to anyone who is touched by cancer, whether yourself or a loved one. There are no obligations beyond this first session. The goal of this session will be to establish a safe space in which to explore your feelings, answer your questions, discuss your needs, and set a clear path toward health.


Contact me!

If you have questions, concerns, or want to learn more before you book a session, I would love to connect with you!


More than 1.9 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2022 according to American Cancer Society Estimates.

Nurse Coaching in Oncology Care

Oncology Nursing Society- ONS Voice August 2021 Eliza Becze, BA, ELS, Editor Coaching Roles Give Nurses New Avenues to Provide Patient-Centered Care

Read full article here

Nurse Coaching: Providing holistic care to patients with cancer
“Patients with cancer face many challenges from the time of diagnosis to the end of life. Nurse coaching is a practice that has the potential to significantly influence care of patients with cancer. This article describes how nurse coaching practices provide holistic support to patients in a way that may help to relieve cancer-related distress and assist patients in achieving their goals.”
Read full article here

E. Nurse Coaching: Providing Holistic Care to Patients With Cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2021 Jun 1;25(3):237-239. doi: 10.1188/21.CJON.237-239. PMID: 34019035.

Health Coaching provided by registered nurses described: a systematic review and narrative synthesis
“Registered Nurses are most suitable for implementing health coaching for self-care, including preventing and managing chronic illness and recovering from situations like post-surgical needs. Nurses already promote health, and therefore, are skilled in educating people in self-care. Coaching is an additional strategy for motivating, targeting and assessing progress of self-care.”
Read full article here

JA, Tsai LP. Health coaching provided by registered nurses described: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. BMC Nurs. 2021 May 10;20(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12912-021-00594-3. PMID: 33966641; PMCID: PMC8108347.

The Impact of Nurse Health-Coaching Strategies on Cognitive-Behavioral Outcomes in Older Adults
“Evaluates improvement over time in cognitive–behavioral outcomes: change talk, resiliency, self-efficacy/independent agency, insight and pattern recognition, and building towards sustainability.”
Read full article here

K., Butterworth, S., Flaherty-Robb, M., Calarco, M., Marriott, D., Ghosh, B., Gabarda, A., Windsor, J., Potempa, S., Laughlin, C., Harden, K., Schmidt, P., Ellis, A., & Furspan, P. (2022). The Impact of Nurse Health-Coaching Strategies on Cognitive-Behavioral Outcomes in Older Adults. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(1), 416.

The Art and Science of Nurse Coaching- American Nurses Association
“Professional nurse coaching is a skilled, purposeful, results-oriented, and structured relationship and a person-centered interaction with a healthcare consumer that is provided by a baccalaureate-prepared or advanced practice registered nurse for the purpose of promoting achievement of a person’s goals.”

“Achievement of the person’s goals is accomplished by first establishing a co-creative partnership with the individual, acknowledging that they are the expert in their own care. The nurse sets aside the expert role and instead assists the person to identify and prioritize desired areas for change. Thus, goals originate from clarifying and identifying the person’s agenda.”
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Southard, M. E., Dossey, B. M., Bark, L., & Schaub, B. G. (2021). Art and science of nurse coaching: The provider’s guide to coaching scope and competencies. American Nurses Association.