Avera Medical Minute: North Dakota woman says prayers helped cancer journey

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 1:26 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It’s often said you know who your friends are when you go through a rough time. It turns out Marlys Thompson had a lot of friends praying for her as she went through breast cancer treatment.

“I had a lump found a lump in had a mammogram had an ultrasound, and then they did a biopsy,” said Thompson.

After 24 years of being free from breast cancer, she was facing treatment.

“Four weeks of aggressive chemotherapy, every other week, and then after that, 12-week, weekly,” said Thompson.

It’s normal to have some nagging thoughts about what could happen.

“Anxiety, waiting for the surgery and finding out how everything was gonna go,” said Thompson.

She told the faculty where she worked at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. They responded with faith.

“Everybody stopped what they were doing, and prayed, right there. So, I know that helped,” said Thompson.

The support she received will never be forgotten.

“Family. Praying. A lot of friends praying, so I truly believe that’s what got me through this as well as I did,” said Thompson.

The team at Avera St. Lukes in Aberdeen helped plan the battle against her cancer. It was only a 40-minute drive away.

Avera Certified Nurse practitioner Christopher Nelson says a team comprised of experts through the Avera network reviews every case.

“At this center, we have a lot of experience treating many different cancer types. We will have surgeons and we will have pathologists, we will have radiologists, will have medical oncology, radiation oncology, some nursing staff present, and we all take a look at the case and collaboratively, figure out what the best plan of care will be going forward,” said Nelson.

There was good news.

“Luckily for Marlys, she was an early-stage breast cancer so her plan of care consisted of chemotherapy and surgery,” said Nelson.

Care at any of the Avera facilities is consistent and close to home.

“The services that we offer here are exactly the same, that you would get down in Sioux Falls or anywhere else,” said Nelson.

Providing the latest options.

“That’s one of the things that we can offer here is access to clinical trials,” said Nelson.

Marlys knew she could call with questions or concerns.

“And we want our patients to know that we are here we are available for anything at any time,” said Nelson.

Knowing a medical team is doing all they can, brings peace.

“Just have to kind of believe that God knows what’s going to happen. He’s got it under control. I feel good. I feel good. Yeah” said Thompson.

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