Jeff’s Story

 


A cancer diagnosis is life-changing. When Jeff House, a husband and father of two girls, received his diagnosis at the age of 49, he realized he had not been making his health a large enough priority.
 
“I was a typical male,” said Jeff. “I didn’t get physicals on a regular basis, and when I did go for an appointment, I would avoid talking to my doctor about things that made me uncomfortable. I should’ve been more proactive about my health.”
 
In 2015, Jeff made an appointment with his Prevea family doctor after experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms that included fatigue and weakness. He was referred to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. It revealed a cancerous tumor in Jeff’s colon that would need to be surgically removed.
 
“I was still pretty out of it during the diagnosis, but I could hear my wife crying quietly,” said Jeff. “She understood, but I was having a hard time grasping it at the time.”
 
While Jeff’s prognosis was good, he was terrified of the possibility of leaving his wife and daughters, 10 and 12-years-old at the time, behind. A close-knit family of four, the Houses enjoy a lot of their time together. Their home is headquarters for playing music and cards; archery practice in the backyard; chasing around their dog, Lucky; and sit-down meals. Jeff’s knack for homemade pancakes has even earned him the prominent title of “Breakfast Guy” at home.
 
“My diagnosis really got me thinking about my wife and my kids and how they’re going to need me,” said Jeff.
 
On October 23, 2015 Jeff underwent laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor in his colon. The surgery was performed by the area’s only hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.
 
“I was so well taken care of,” said Jeff. “I was up and walking the same day that I had surgery.”
 
Thanks to the success of the surgery, Jeff did not require additional treatment and today remains cancer-free. He continues to see his oncologist at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers regularly for blood work, and is also participating in a clinical trial to test the use of a drug created to reduce cancer recurrence.
 
“I think because of the way they treated us and took care of us, we remained strong through it all, and came out as a better family,” said Jeff’s wife, Susan.
 
Jeff is passionate about sharing his story in hope of convincing more people to take care of their health and to not be afraid to talk to their doctors about problems that may seem trivial or uncomfortable. The cancer diagnosis opened his eyes to a new way of life.
 
“I get after things quicker these days,” said Jeff. “I’m not going to live another 50 years. Now is the time to get up and do what I want to do.”
 

Notice of Nondiscrimination::  English

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