“There’s Always Something New to Try”
First Diagnosed in 2002
“I was just shy of my 41st birthday when I found out I had breast cancer,” said Omahan Trichel Jorgensen. Her initial treatment plan included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, “but the biopsy indicated there was a high chance the cancer might come back.”
In 2004, the cancer, did indeed, return. “Several lesions popped up on my spine,” Trichel recounted. “That’s when I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.”
Finding the Right Treatment
“I had chemo again,” Trichel said, “and fortunately, those lesions became stable.”
Continuing under the expert care of Dr. Margaret Block and the team at Nebraska Cancer Specialists, Trichel received chemotherapy and medications to manage her condition.
Trichel’s maintenance program shifted in 2009 when regular scans showed the presence of another cancerous lesion, this time on the socket of her hip bone. “We did some radiation and the changed the regimen,” she explained.
Things Don’t Stay the Same
To keep the new lesion and her overall condition in check, Trichel remains in active treatment. In part, because she knows from experience that cancer treatments and medications continue to improve and become more effective.
“An example is the drug Herceptin,” she said. “You hear a lot about it today and a lot of people are taking it. “But back in 2002, when I was initially diagnosed, it was still in a trial phase.”
Even today, 19 years after Trichel’s initial diagnosis, new treatments are still becoming available.
Building Her Own Way Forward
Throughout nearly two decades of cancer treatment, Trichel has found incredible support from her husband, her mother, her daughter – who just got married last year – as well as from her Nebraska Cancer family. “NCS is like a second home. They are a part of my life.”
The other person who’s played an essential role in her journey is none other than Trichel herself. She advises every patient to “be your own advocate. You know what you need to do, and you can be the one to do something.”
As she and her husband get close to completing a home remodel, she sees so much ahead. Frequent golf games at Oak Hills, visits with her mom here and in Texas, new books to read. “Cancer,” Trichel said, “is not going to keep me down.”