Cut Bank Patient’s Battle With Cancer During COVID by Jan Haemig

My name is Jan Haemig, and I have lived in Cut Bank for 45 years. In late June, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I received a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. My prognosis is good, and my treatment has included lumpectomy and chemo, followed by radiation. 

Photograph of Janice Haemig
Janice Haemig

I think my story is pretty typical of others who received cancer diagnoses during this time. You wonder how you will be able to manage getting to all the appointments, surgeries, chemo, and radiation, especially when you face winter roads and live so far away from treatment. I was fortunate that my husband could get time off from work for the 1-1/2 hour trip each way so far. I have to compliment the staff for scheduling appointments so I could combine them when possible. During a time of stress, as well as undergoing chemo, all staff were positive and supportive, and I appreciated their consideration.

My last step in this process, which I am just starting, is radiation five times a week, which should take about 3-1/2 weeks. Although I’m not looking forward to staying in a hotel during this time, it’s the best solution for now. I feel fortunate that the Legacy Foundation pays hotel expenses in the interim while their housing facility is being built. Having a place to stay relieves some of the stress of dealing with cancer, knowing I won’t also have worry about making daily drives in bad weather.

It’s been exciting to see the new building going up, which will make it simpler for patients to stay near where they are getting treated. It will be convenient to have kitchenettes in their rooms so they don’t have to leave to get food, especially since many cancer patients are immunocompromised. And especially during the time of COVID-19, patients can stay away from others who may pass on illness. It will be a quiet, convenient oasis for people experiencing a difficult time of their lives.

I appreciate the Legacy Foundation and their work to help cancer patients!

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