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Navigating Through Cancer

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Uploaded on Sep 25, 2009

http://www.alegent.com/stories

In 2006, Barb Grimes of Council Bluffs was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and a lengthy series of radiation therapy, life for Barb returned to normal. Until this past February when doctors found a large mass in Barbs stomach that mass tested to be ovarian cancer. Determined to win the battle against cancer yet again, Barb was aggressive in her treatment. She had a total hysterectomy and underwent six rounds of Chemotherapy.

Overwhelmed and afraid with her diagnosis, Barb had remembered seeing a commercial about a nurse navigator program offered to cancer patients at Alegent Health. In order to access the nurse navigator service - the only service like it available in the area - Barb decided to transfer her care from another local health system to Alegent Health.

Kristin, Barbs nurse navigator, helped ease Barbs fears about her illness, coordinated and attended all physician visits and explained things in terms that Barb could understand. Now, a trusted friend, Barb looks forward to seeing Kristin again at her three month check-up in October. It was traumatic for Barb when her hair started to fall out. Kristin referred Barb to Beki, the Clinical Cosmetologist at the Image Recovery Center. Beki shaved Barbs head and helped Barb find the perfect wig, as well as lots of fun new hats. It was important to Barb that she did not look sick; the wigs and the hats have helped her to do just that.

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