Tag Archives: cancer

Three-time Breast Cancer Survivor

Patient Stories

photo courtesy of Bell Photography Vira Brooks had three sons in high school. And she had newly-diagnosed breast cancer. “I remember hearing the words, ‘You have cancer,’” she said. “Those words set you back I don’t know how many millenniums.” It was a tough time for the busy mom, who’s also an administrative assistant in the Omaha Public Schools’ Special Education Services.”I decided to do what I had to do to at least see them graduate,” she said, reflecting on that time 19 years ago. James, her oldest, was a senior at Creighton Prep. Twins Justin and Jason were a couple of years younger and students at North High. “I told them all, ‘Mom will be at your graduation.’” After … Continue reading

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Support Groups Greatly Enhance Quality of Life for Cancer Patients


By Lori Simpson, Cancer Support Services Specialist, MSW Many patients need someone to lean on for support during their battle against cancer. Alegent Creighton Health Cancer Centers have all kinds of support available, from social workers and financial counselors to nurse navigators and our Image Recovery Centers. Sometimes patients and their families need to talk with someone who’s going through the same thing to cope better. Alegent Creighton Health has more support groups than any hospital system in the metro. Some are educational, others involve group discussion, and most offer a combination of both. According to the American Cancer Society, support groups make a difference. One clinical trial found that support groups helped relieve tension, anxiety, fatigue and confusion. Other … Continue reading

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Interleukin-2 Immunotherapy Can Mean “Disease-free” for Some Patients


By P.J. Meyer, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist For metastatic kidney cancer patients, there is only one therapy that offers them the chance to have no evidence of the disease long-term. The same therapy also can give hope to melanoma patients. It’s called Interleukin-2 (IL-2). I work with melanoma and renal cancer patients when they’re admitted for IL-2 immunotherapy.  IL-2 is FDA-approved and it boosts the body’s natural immune defenses against cancer. One advantage is that the doctor and patient know in about four weeks whether the treatment helps.  If it doesn’t, the patient can turn to chemotherapy and medications as another option. Here’s what the patient can expect when he or she is admitted to the hospital for IL-2 treatment: … Continue reading

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Financial Assistance Allows Cancer Patients to Focus on Getting Better

Patient Stories

At Alegent Creighton Health, the difference in our cancer care is the way we deliver it. There is something very personal about the way you’ll be treated here. One difference is our financial assistance. We offer more charity care than any other provider. He survived Hurricane Katrina. Now Charles Gonzales is determined to survive colon cancer. “I’ve never been sick in 41 years,” said the 63-year-old, who was diagnosed in March. “Doctors discovered it when I had blood pouring out in my stools. I lost so much blood I passed out.” Tests showed he had colon cancer that had spread to his liver and lungs. “I was ‘what? What do you mean? How did I get it?’ I never met … Continue reading

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Helping Breast Cancer Patients Look and Feel Better


By Christina DaSilva, Certified Mastectomy Fitter There’s no bigger compliment than when a breast cancer patient looks at you and says, “You changed the way I feel about myself!” As a Certified Mastectomy Fitter at the Image Recovery Center (IRC), I love to hear that I’ve made a difference. I see patients at various points during their healing journey. I may meet with them early on for post-mastectomy garments like camisoles and temporary forms. I often continue to follow them throughout their life—whether they’ve had a mastectomy, a lumpectomy or even reconstruction. Some women with a lumpectomy or reconstruction need a little balance and the Image Recovery Center has partial prosthetics to help them achieve that. Women who have had … Continue reading

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