Delta, CO (June 27, 2023) – When you go in for your first routine mammogram, you expect to get a call back about your results, but you don’t expect to be hit with the news that you have cancer when you’re so young. For McKenzie Jacobson, that was her reality when she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
“It’s never easy [to get that kind of news],” said McKenzie. “I had never had a mammogram before and Christi Anderson, Nurse Practitioner, at the Delta Health West Elk Hotchkiss clinic sent me for my first one. That next week I got a call back that I needed to get more tests done; I hadn’t even turned 41 years old yet.”
McKenzie was with the Radiologist at Delta Health that same day and found cancer on her lymph nodes and had biopsies completed. She was diagnosed on October 20, 2022, and her treatment started at the Delta Health Oncology, Hematology, and Infusion clinic on November 10, 2022.
“It all went really fast and you didn’t have a chance to breathe which was kind of good,” said McKenzie. “You didn’t have a chance to think about what was going on you just did it. And I was able to focus on what we needed to do.”
After her diagnosis, McKenzie met with surgeon Dr. Nickel at Delta Health Surgical and with Dr. Rouch, her Oncologist to create a treatment plan and to get her started on chemotherapy.
“Dr. Rouch is so easygoing and easy to talk to,” said McKenzie. “I’ve tried to bring humor into things and she has embraced that with me. When I first met with her we went over the game plan and tried to find the best possible outcome together.”
Navigating the cancer experience is different for every patient, and for McKenzie, she leaned on her support system of close friends, and her family.
“My husband and my two kids [were amazing],” said McKenzie. “You have to lead by example [when going through this]. I am a veteran and we get taught that you have to push forward. My faith has also been a huge part of my being able to get through this.”
McKenzie used to work at Delta Health and was comfortable and familiar with the staff and knew she would receive great care. She said that everyone throughout the whole process was wonderful and made sure she was comfortable and received a personalized treatment plan.
It was also crucial to McKenzie that she advocated for herself throughout the journey. “It’s your own health and you have to be the squeaky wheel and advocate for yourself and if you don’t know how to do that then reach out to people and ask,” she said. “Every time I knew I needed to get a test done I was calling people; not because I didn’t think they would, but because I needed to get moving and wasn’t going to mess around.”
Fast forward and McKenzie is excited to share that she is cancer free as of March 30, 2023. She had surgery this year and had a double mastectomy as well as a lymph node dissection where they took out 17 lymph nodes and all of the results came back negative. And this June McKenzie also “rang the bell,” which marks the milestone of being completed with treatment and signifies closing this difficult chapter.
McKenzie still receives immunotherapy every three weeks at the Delta Health Infusion Center and continues on with radiation and meeting with Dr. Rouch.
To learn more about the Delta Health Oncology, Hematology, and Infusion Clinic, go online to deltahealthco.org/grand-mesa-oncology-and-infusion/ or call 970.399.2895.