The Day I was Diagnosed by Beth Duke

January 24, 2000, is a day that changed not only my life, but that of my family, friends, and co-workers. This was the day I was told I had stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma. I decided that day that Cancer was not going to beat me.

My children were 14 and 16 years old at the time. Having to tell them was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. When they asked if I was going to die, my response was, “I’m not planning on it.”

After many appointments to get baselines done and a treatment schedule organized for the next six months, life as I knew it was changed.

Fortunately, we live only one mile from the Clinic. Had we not, I am not sure what we would have done, with our kids, home and jobs.

With the cost of travel and overnight stays, plus having to pay a caregiver for the kids, or being alone while doing treatment while my husband stayed at home would have been devastating. My family was my rock. My husband sat through every treatment with me. Treatments ranged from three to five hours. As we are not from Great Falls originally, we had no immediate family in the area. Fortunately, we were blessed to have a great network of friends who helped with the kids, and provided meals for our family three times a week.

While going through treatment, I was thankful that the trip home was quick and I could get settled. Having a place that is comfortable and quiet is needed for not only healing, but also provides a feeling of safety and security.

I just had my 19 year check-up with Dr. Guter on July 29th. I am thankful every day that he came into my life. Without the Great Falls Clinic and Dr. Guter and his team, I truly believe I wouldn’t be enjoying life today.

Beth is the the broker/owner of Coldwell Banker, The Falls Real Estate located in Great Falls. She has been married to her husband Steve for 36 years and they have two grown children and three beautiful grandchildren. They have lived in Great Falls for over 31 years. Beth dedicates her time volunteering with the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation Leadership Cabinet and has been a member since early 2019.

Do you have a story to tell? Do you know someone that has had an experience they would like to share? Please submit your testimonial to Samantha at samantha.shinaberger@gfclinic.com. We would love to share your story and hear from you!

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