Cancer Care: Support on all Sides

Cancer Care: Support on all Sides

Support throughout the cancer journey comes in many forms. For Jacob—his wife, a clinical nurse navigator, an emergency support fund and his faith—were key players in his fight against cancer.

When Jacob felt out of breath while working in the yard, he attributed it to age, but soon after, he discovered a lump on his chest and lumps under his arms. His wife, Carla, a nurse and paramedic, immediately made an appointment with an oncologist from Meritus Medical Group.

Expert care, close to home

Jacob soon discovered he had stage IV lung cancer. “When I heard the news, it knocked me to the ground,” says Jacob. But Jacob knew he wanted to stay close to home to fight his cancer.

“I didn’t want to go anyplace else,” says Jacob. When he met with his medical oncologist, Jacob felt like he was his doctor’s only patient. “He explained things down to a ‘T’ and told me to call him any time, day or night, with questions or concerns.”

Someone to lean on

Surgery was not an option, so Jacob began a series of chemotherapy treatments and now takes an immunotherapy medication. But cancer care can get expensive and without adequate health care coverage, Jacob and Carla turned to Mary Ann, Jacob’s clinical nurse navigator, for help. She told the couple about the John R. Marsh Cancer Center Emergency Support fund, a reserve established to support the unmet needs of cancer patients being treated at the John R. Marsh Cancer Center. The fund also supports the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of cancer patients.

Along the way, Mary Ann helped Carla fill out paperwork, made doctor appointments and explained the path of Jacob’s cancer journey.

“Mary Ann has been great since day one,” says Jacob. She explained a lot to us, like how in the last five years cancer medicine has gotten better and people are living longer. She also explained things in a way I can understand.”

A deeper meaning

Since beginning his cancer treatments, Jacob’s tumors have shrunk and he will soon undergo radiation therapy at John R. Marsh Cancer Center. “I feel so blessed because I feel so good,” says Jacob.

Not only is Jacob taking on—and winning—his cancer battle, he has also found serenity in his faith. “I have a lot of peace in my heart,” says Jacob. “You can’t give up on life; you have to trust in God.”

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