“I never imagined that you could find skin cancer in the form of a lump without having any visual signs on your skin,” said Manning resident, Jeanne Kerkhoff. “I am hopeful that by sharing my story that everyone realizes the importance of self-exams and early detection.”
Jeanne manages the Northwestern Mutual Financial in Manning, is an active community member and volunteer, and has four growing children. In late 2020, Jeanne visited with her primary care provider for what she thought might be a hernia. Further exploration and testing showed evidence of melanoma spreading to her lymph nodes. Thanks to the quick action by her medical team in January 2021, she underwent surgery to remove multiple lymph nodes, began recovery and started receiving immunotherapy.
It wasn’t until her surgical wound would become infected that she would receive care at MRHC. Jeanne’s surgical oncologist referred her to the Wound Care Clinic at MRHC for ongoing management of her surgical wound.
“I’m so thankful I was able to go to MRHC for the wound care since it’s located in my hometown,” she said. “The wound vac and drainage tubes kept me from maneuvering around and doing things myself,” she added. “I had to rely on my husband and kids to help me out, which was definitely a change for the family.”
“Dr. Luong and nurse, Kendra Tiefenthaler, were able to help minimize and manage my pain. They also prescribed antibiotics for the infection and Kendra taught me how to clean and change the dressings daily to treat the infection. I was immediately impressed by Kendra’s genuine concern for my care, her efforts to get answers and help me, along with Dr. Luong’s attention and ongoing wound care treatment. The best thing about the care I received was their genuine care and advocacy.”
After seven weekly visits to the wound clinic, Jeanne’s wound was healed. “I was ecstatic! I’m so thankful and blessed to not be attached to any tubes anymore, and I have new empathy for those who do. Kendra and Dr. Luong exceeded all my expectations and provided comfort during a challenging time!”