Yvonne and Moe Barge spend a lot of time together. 52 years of marriage will do that for you. But in the last 4 months they've grown even closer brought together by an out of control disease they're determined to beat.
"I said right away we got to get you some help; we got to get you a doctor," said Moe Barge.
You see Yvonne was recently diagnosed with breast cancer - a pretty severe case – it's something she'd suspected all along.
"I had a tumor and I just guess I knew it was cancer," Yvonne said.
The tumor was growing on the outside of her chest and had gotten pretty big.
"I saw it grow," said Yvonne.
"Wednesday, May 22nd, that's when I can home from my coffee and that's when she told me she had cancer. I said how did you know and she showed me the tumor and that's when we got out of here really quick," said Moe.
They didn't know where they were going. Moe's doctor recommended Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Medical Center.
"We just ended up there and I'm so tickled we did; the care has been phenomenal," said Moe.
The tumor was so big; Yvonne would need chemo to shrink it before they could perform surgery. The discovery, diagnosis, and treatment were a lot to process but the Barge's soon learned they didn't have to figure it out on their own.
"Cancer is more than a physical disease it impacts your life at every level – and for that reason you need a team to take care of the cancer patient and family. There is no I in cancer care - there isn't there can't be, that's why you need the whole team," said Rissy Smith the Cancer Support Sevices Team Lead.
And at Alegent Creighton Health the whole team – is a cancer support team - that includes medical oncology social workers, nurse navigators, a chaplain, a mental health nurse, dietician, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more. Cancer patients are evaluated to determine what they might need outside their treatment then the team goes to work.
"What we focus on is all on the non-medical parts of having a cancer diagnosis - so the financial aspects, the emotional piece, the family piece, just in terms of basic care needs in the home," said Smith.
At Alegent Creighton Health they don't just treat the diagnosis they treat the whole person and the family. For the Barges – who've had a rough couple of months that's pretty comforting… particularly for Moe who got a little choked up when he talked about the care his wife has received.
"I love her so much. They don't know how much we appreciate it. Every one of them - there's not been one nurse doctor or anybody – they're all just great -clear down to pharmacist," said Moe.
Yvonne is still undergoing chemo to shrink the tumor – the good news is it's working. Medically her treatment is on track and she feels good. And with the help of her cancer support team, she can concentrate on what matters - getting better and not worrying about the other stuff.
If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with cancer and would like to learn more about our Cancer Support Programs, call 402-717-CARE.