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A cancer story: Striving for normalcy


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Health & Wellness

Karla Strom (left) of Lanesboro, Minn., continues her recovery from breast cancer after several months of treatment. Her husband Scott (right) continues to support his wife each day as she continues treatment.

To Karla Strom, “A normal day is a good day.” These normal days are now appreciated much more since a discovery of breast cancer from a routine mammogram around February 28, 2013. Strom had no real symptoms and did not suspect that she would be one of the many who battle breast cancer in their lifetimes.

After learning the results of a confirming biopsy while on vacation, Karla returned home to a whole new routine. Surgery at Olmsted Medical Center soon lead to the oncology department at the Mayo Clinic where she would undergo two rounds of chemotherapy. Karla completed the first round of chemo, which was more aggressive round while more side effects became present in the second round.

Always looking towards the positives, Karla and Scott both express great satisfaction with Karla’s medical care. “The doctors and nurses are great, and we’ve even met a lot of nice people who were also visiting the oncology floor. They come from all over the country, and even from around the world,” said Karla.

Today, Strom, who looks to the optimistic side, is in a sort of “waiting period” in her treatment plan and undergoes regular echocardiograms to monitor her heart muscles. The drugs used in chemotherapy can be taxing on this vital organ, but she’s continuing to rebuild that muscle each day.

As Karla’s family soon found out, cancer is a disease that affects more than the patient. Karla’s husband Scott said, “This has been a life changing situation.” Karla commented, “It really changes your outlook on life.”

Each day poses new challenges for a person with cancer, and there are always fears and concerns that are in the back of one’s mind. Though she’s a tough fighter, Karla’s biggest fear is the cancer coming back. “I do not want to go through this again.”

Karla has had many coping mechanisms throughout her battle with cancer. She highlights staying busy with her favorite activities of quilting, painting and decorating. “When you’re going through something like this, you have to find a sense of normalcy.”

Karla’s family was also a great support team. “My kids are very supportive. They’ve been so helpful and they’d do pretty much anything for me.”

For other women, Karla stresses the importance of yearly mammograms. Similar to her situation, it is vital to get checked even if there is no history of breast c .....
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Red Cross recomends increased iron intake prior to blood donation

Fri, Oct 4th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Many people can donate blood, but even healthy donors are sometimes temporarily deferred due to low hemoglobin levels. The American Red Cross recommends eligible blood donors eat a well-balanced diet with extra iron-rich foods pr ..... 
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Key dates for new MNsure health insurance options

Fri, Oct 4th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

As of October 1, Minnesotans have a new resource to find health insurance coverage that fits their needs and budget. MNsure is a marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find, compare, choose and get quality health care cove ..... 
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Harmony bloodmobile collects 36 units

Fri, Oct 4th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

The blood drive held in Harmony on September 24, 2013, succeeded in collecting 36 units of blood. This number was achieved by several donors giving two units, as there were only 35 donors who presented, and several deferrals. Congratulations to thes ..... 
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WMC offers siblings class to new families

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

A new baby in the house can be difficult for older brothers and sisters. To help families prepare for the addition of a new member, Winneshiek Medical Center is offering a Siblings Class, led by the WMC OB Nurse Coordinator, Carol Voss, RN, BSN, and ..... 
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Rural clinics - where you’re family

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Health & Wellness

Nichole Halverson returned from her honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, only to find herself feeling ill. She called the Mabel Clinic for an appointment. “I thought of Kirsten right away, and got an appointment with her for that very morning! ..... 
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Pheasants Forever offering first ‘Hunting for a Cure’

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

AUSTIN, Minn. – Pheasant hunters will come together in early October for a new fundraiser in LeRoy, Minn. to raise support for The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned breast cancer research. Mower County Pheasants Forever, of Austin, and the Tri ..... 
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Help meet local flu reduction goals - get a flu vaccination!

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone over the age of six months obtain a seasonal flu vaccine each year as soon as it offered. This is especially true for people with health conditions or their care givers. Accordi ..... 
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One-of-a-kind Minnesota nursing home payment program promotes overall quality

Mon, Sep 16th, 2013
Posted in All Health & Wellness

A one-of-a-kind Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) program that provides nursing homes additional payment for quality improvement projects shows promise for encouraging overall nursing home quality improvement, according to a study publishe ..... 
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