Juliana McClellan has always been on top of her regular Pap tests and cervical cancer screenings, not only because it is important for her own health, but also because she has a family history of endometriosis, a common gynecological condition. That’s why when she experienced a longer-than-usual menstrual cycle with heavy bleeding, she assumed endometriosis was the cause. However, in November of 2021, a Pap test revealed that a mass on her cervix was actually the cause of the bleeding. Shortly thereafter, Juliana was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer.
After her gynecological oncologist, Dr. Jacqueline Morgan, referred her to Central Care Cancer Center in Emporia, Juliana found herself in an exam room, being told that she would need immediate radiation treatment. She was scared, confused, and worried. “The first 15 minutes, I was just trying to wrap my head around everything, like how to tell my kids,” Juliana says, “Thankfully, my fiancée was there.”
A 35-year-old mother of three boys and engaged to be married to the love of her life, this seemed like an impossible situation, one that she was not ready to overcome. That was until she went outside, took a moment, and had a conversation with Oncology Assistant Mandy Springeman. “Mandy, just from day one, she held me and cried,” says Juliana, “You know, she’s a cancer survivor too and being able to have somebody in that moment when I was diagnosed, tell me that I was where I needed to be and that I would be okay, was just music to my ears.” (more…)
Pete Krier really knows how to throw a party. The Claflin, Kansas native just turned 65 and beat what’s considered Stage III colon cancer. So Pete hosted an “I beat cancer” party, and roughly 500 friends, neighbors, family and community members gathered to celebrate Pete’s victory, his birthday, but also were educated on the importance of getting screened for colon cancer.
Last year, two days before Christmas, 57-year-old Kevin Barrett woke up in the hospital with no recollection of the ambulance ride, the MRI he received at Newman Regional Health or the surgery he had on his brain at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. He woke up to find out that he had brain cancer.
As a breast and liver cancer fighter, 73-year-old Vicki McDowell is the epitome of positivity. “I am surviving. You see, there’s this one thing—cancer doesn’t define who you truly are.”
It all started in 2004. Vicki had a mammogram where her doctor discovered a lump and diagnosed her with breast cancer. She had it removed and began radiation treatment, but in 2006, her doctor found another lump in her breast. This time, she had a mastectomy and for six years, Vicki was cancer-free.