Jo-Anne’s Story

 


When Jo-Anne experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding, she did the right thing. She contacted her doctor and underwent tests. Jo-Anne started drug therapy to treat her symptoms.
 
After a few months, Jo-Anne was undergoing a hysterectomy when the surgeon identified a tumor on Jo-Anne’s cervix. Biopsy results confirmed squamous cell cervical cancer.
 
“My surgeon referred me to the gynecologic oncologist at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers,” said Jo-Anne. “According to my research, he was of the best in Northeast Wisconsin.”
 
Her gynecologic oncologist determined a hysterectomy was no longer an option. Jo-Anne’s cancer had metastasized to her lymph nodes and a treatment plan was determined with a radiation oncologist. The treatment plan consisted of combined radiation, chemotherapy and internal cervical tandem and ovoid treatments.
 
“I didn’t feel anxious. I didn’t really get sick. When I experienced fatigue after my active treatment was finished, I combatted it with water aerobics three to four times a week,” remembers Jo-Anne.
 
And for Jo-Anne, her adventure took a fun “twist.”
 
“My journey includes many bright spots. When my friend’s granddaughter heard about my diagnosis, she sent me a stuffed horse. My sisters and I outfitted it with a hospital mask, wristband and blanket. I called it Chemo-Sabe and took it to every appointment.”
 
Chemo- Sabe brought Jo-Anne comfort and encouragement.  That encouragement motivated her to create Chemo-Sabe Jr. ponies for kids going through cancer treatment, 138 Chemo Sabe Jr. ponies were given to the HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital Child Life department.
 
“This journey has turned me into a crusader. Caught early, cervical cancer is treatable,” said Jo-Anne.
 
Today, Jo-Anne continues to work as a virtual employee in the insurance compliance industry. She lives in the greater Green Bay area with her sister and her cat, Sydney.
 
“I’m fortunate. I have incredible support from my family, from my co-workers in the insurance compliance industry and my outstanding medical team. I’m back to work and at peace.”

Notice of Nondiscrimination::  English

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