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2014 Honorary Co-Chairs
|I was diagnosed with stage 2B ovarian cancer on April 19th, 2013
at the extremely rare age of 28. I have no family history or genetic mutations-
my cancer was simply a fluke. After several months of extreme fatigue, stomach
and abdomen cramping (similar to indigestion), and irregular menstruations, as
well as infertility, I was suspected of having endometriosis and scheduled for
a laparoscopic surgery. I didn't tell many people (not even my parents and I am
STILL paying for that one!) as it was embarrassing and I was told the pain
would be minimal. No one would know and we could probably FINALLY get pregnant!
Surgery went long, REALLY long, and I suspected something went wrong almost
immediately when I woke up. I was referred to the most amazing oncologist in
Sioux Falls where we discussed my diagnosis and treatment plan. May 1st, I had
a full hysterectomy and was released from the hospital on May 8th, which just
happened to be, the first-ever World Ovarian Cancer Day. In June, I
started on my 6 rounds of chemo (weekly for 18 weeks) and completed my
treatment on October 21st, 2013. On October 29th, I was deemed free of disease.|
process, my husband, Josh, and my family were constantly there to support me.
Josh ran out for ice cream in the middle of the night, rubbed my sore, achy
muscles, and supported my decision for the full hysterectomy instead of the
initially recommended fertility sparing surgery. We later found out that I made
the right decision - my cancer was too progressed, and the chance of recurrence
would have been quite high, had I kept my other ovary. My parents, siblings,
and relatives were at every chemo and played cards with me to make the
time there fun. I cannot say enough good things about my oncologist and his
staff, as well as the doctors that referred me- they'll always have my love,
respect, and friendship. Some might say a cancer diagnosis was the worst thing
that happened to them- for me, it was a blessing. I've seen the strength and
love in my husband, family, and friends. I have a clear vision for my life
and all the excitement, mystery, and surprise that awaits.
My name is Joni
Rasmussen and I am a survivor!!
|On March 23rd, 2013, the doctors found a tumor, the size of my hand, in my back ribs, on my left side. I was flown to Rochester where I spent the next two weeks undergoing tests. I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma on March 27, 2013. I started my first of 14 chemos on April 1, 2013. Along with chemo, I also had 30 days of radiation. |
On August 1st, 2013, I underwent a 12 hour surgery to remove the tumor, 3 ribs, and part of my spine. I spent 1/3 of last year in the hospital. I would like to thank my support team, "Tan-Dog's Team" for all their support over the past year. I know I had over a billion prayers said for me and they were answered on March 4th, 2014 when I was told I was "Cancer Free".
I am now working hard to regain my strength so I will be able to participate in Volleyball, Basketball, Track, and Fast Pitch Softball next year at Sanborn Central High School where I will be a Sophomore.Thank you to the Heart & Sole for your support and for asking me to be an Honorary Co-Chair for 2014 walk. It is a great honor.
| November 20, 2012 is the day my life was forever changed – the day I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. A mammogram revealed calcifications throughout my breast tissue. However, suspicious mammograms followed by biopsies were not a new thing for me – this would be my third biopsy in the past three years. But this time was different – this time, at the age of 37, I had breast cancer.|
I had a double mastectomy on December 7th and then started the process of figuring out the best course of treatment. After many differing opinions, it was decided that radiation without chemotherapy was the best choice. I traveled to Sioux Falls for daily radiation treatments from February 6 – March 13, 2013. I had subsequent surgeries on August 28, 2013 and again on March 10, 2014 for the reconstruction process.
My mom and stepdad, from ND, basically moved in with us for a couple months after my mastectomy to help with my recovery process, came back again for the first couple weeks of radiation, and were back again to help after my first reconstruction surgery. With the support of my husband, Chris, my parents, and Chris’s parents, we had the extra hands necessary to keep things running smoothly at home, get me to my appointments and to run our daughters, Cailey and Lauren, to their activities. I am forever grateful for their endless love and support.
The best news is that I am cancer free, living life to the fullest, and not taking a single day for granted! I feel stronger every day and am thankful for the reminder of just how precious life is and to have been given the opportunity to make many more memories with my husband and daughters. I truly believe that my best days are still ahead of me!