Courage through the Journey
On September 26, 2013, Jerry Woodson, Neshkoro, completed a series 33 radiation treatments for nasopharyngeal cancer—a rare type of cancer in the upper part of the throat, behind the nose. If the new Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator with its advanced capabilities hadn't been installed in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center last spring, he would have had to travel to Madison or Milwaukee five days a week for seven weeks. Jerry's wife Susan said, "Jerry was adamant that he wanted to get care close to home." When Jerry was having a PET scan done at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Susan recalls, "The nurse held my hand and explained to me that Jerry had expressed interest in being treated in Oshkosh. She said Dr. Rick Davis, radiation oncologist could see him. Dr. Davis would come in on Friday before going on vacation. That's CARE. She heard what Jerry said, she talked to me, and they made it happen." Jerry still tears up when talking about Dr. Davis although he says, "I'm a marine; we don't cry much." During the course of treatment, Jerry became very fatigued and his throat was so sore from the radiation that eating was difficult; confirming that the decision to seek care close to the comfort of home was the right one. Jerry is now recovering his strength, appetite and his retirement interests of wildlife, flowers, landscaping and travelling with Susan.