FARGO— Stephanie Hanson, of Hallock Minnesota, found out she had stage 1B breast cancer last November. She was in the middle of chemotherapy treatments when the first positive coronavirus were detected in North Dakota. Due to hospital visitors restrictions, Stephanie was battling breast cancer alone since late this spring.
She went through six rounds of chemotherapy at Sanford's Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo before she had a double mastectomy in May.
"I had to come out of surgery and be in my room and nobody could be there with me after. I had to that on my own. So that was difficult," she said.
Facetime played a significant part in keeping in contact with her support system who was two hours away in Hallock...especially when Stephanie was driving four hours daily for radiation treatments.
"We tried to be that support for her, even though she couldn't have her family," said Dr. Sommer Nurkic.
Dr. Nurkic emphasized staff in the cancer center treats patients like family, especially when their own family can't be with them.
Dr. Nurkic underlined: Cancer has not acknowledged that COVID-19 exists.
Now that Stephanie is cancer-free she's advocating for everyone to stay on top of their health.
"I sent out an email to all of my coworkers. I said spread the word- your wife, your sister, your mother- you have to be tested it's important," Hanson said.
Dr. Nurkic echos this, "The evidence is clear- the early they catch it the better they can treat it."