I loved my job as a nurse practitioner for the Department of Veterans Affairs in my home state of Montana. I helped service members improve their health and wellbeing, but an essential tremor in my hand began to affect my work and eventually forced me into early retirement in March of 2017.
I was familiar with how devastating essential tremors could be after watching my father struggle with his- eventually needing help to dress and feed himself.
I wanted to avoid that same fate and began earnestly looking into treatment options for essential tremors. Deep brain stimulation was a treatment I had heard about, but given my healthcare background, the risks associated with the procedure made me wary. Then, some internet research led me to more information on focused ultrasound.Read more
I’ve always felt good and been in great physical shape – which is one of the reasons why I hadn't been to a doctor for close to 15 years. Then, in October of 2016, I received a company email inviting employees to participate in a preventative health evaluation that would allow us to earn credit towards our next year's insurance premium.
Because of my good health, I wasn't worried about the exam that included a barrage of blood tests. But something told me to do it. One of these tests was a screening for prostate cancer called the Prostate–Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which turned up something concerning. My PSA measure was high, indicating prostate cancer might be present.
At that point, I went to see a urologist who, after some additional testing, delivered the diagnosis: localized prostate cancer. My doctor gave me my options.Read more
It’s not all that often you hear from those of us living with Alzheimer’s, but since my diagnosis seven years ago, my husband, Jim, and I have spoken to more than ten thousand people about this disease – educating, encouraging, and inspiring others to live rich and fulfilling lives in spite of their condition. Most recently, I had the privilege of taking this message of positivity and hope to Congress.Read more
26 years ago, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and had a tumor removed from my chest as well as six rounds of high-dose chemotherapy. For over a decade, I had no evidence of disease, but a recent check-up scan found a malignant solitary fibrous tumor that has since been removed from my hip.Read more
Thanks to the years dedicated advocacy from countless patients, industry stakeholders, lawmakers, and concerned citizens, Congress has finally passed, and President Trump has signed into law, the permanent repeal of the medical device tax. This measure, widely supported by lawmakers from both parties, was included in the government’s year-end spending package.Read more
Today, the House of Representatives voted to fully repeal the medical device tax as part of the year-end government funding package. With just two weeks until the tax is set to go back into effect, this is a huge step forward in our repeal efforts!Read more
In 2009, I started to experience pain in my lower abdomen. My mother took me to her gynecologist, who assumed it was a cyst without running any tests. Months went by with no improvement, so the doctors continued giving me medicine for the pain under the assumption that it was a cyst. In September of 2011, the pain and nausea worsened.
A few weeks later, I started having blood in my stool, so I went back to the doctor and told her all of my symptoms. The doctor did an ultrasound and found fluid in my pelvis, which she believed to be a cyst. My mother convinced the doctor to give me a colonoscopy, but they couldn’t schedule it for a month. I went to another gynecologist who scheduled me for a colonoscopy the next week.Read more
In my 20’s, I suffered from pain and bleeding that my doctors misdiagnosed as hemorrhoids. Because I was so young, my doctor didn’t order a colonoscopy for another four years, but when the procedure was finally ordered, they found a large tumor. At the age of 34, I was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer.
My doctors moved quickly with treatment - I went through radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Luckily, I have now had no evidence of disease for a year.
Through genetic testing, doctors discovered that I have Lynch syndrome, a hereditary condition that increases your risk of certain types of cancer, including colon cancer. This means I will have to get a colonoscopy every year for the rest of my life.Read more
Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer. By the time my doctors found the cancer, it had already metastasized to my liver and lymph nodes.
Despite the shock of my diagnosis, we moved quickly to treat the cancer. I had a surgery and began chemotherapy right away. One year later, I beat the odds – I had reached no evidence of disease (NED) status, meaning my cancer was gone for now.Read more
Last week, patient leaders from across the country joined Right Scan Right Time for a Capitol Hill fly-in! These delegates came from eleven different states and met with dozens of lawmakers about the need to repeal the medical device tax before it goes back into effect at the end of the year.Read more