Mike Neeson is an active guy. When a cancer diagnosis in September of 2008 threatened to slow him down, he turned to the University of Minnesota Physicians. “Upon finding the tumor, I went to the University of Minnesota for more tests and advice. My original concerns included the chemo treatment and possible side effects. Then the colostomy bag really freaked me out, not to mention the 20% chance I’d also have a urostomy bag,” said Mike.
Surgeons at the University of Minnesota did recommend removal of Mike’s bladder, which led to a double ostomy. It’s been over two years since the surgery and according to Mike, life is sweeter now than before, “I never did have any real significant side effects from chemo or radiation, and the bags turned in to a non-event. I’m golfing, skiing, biking, playing tennis, and traveling extensively (yes, through airport security) everything I was doing prior to being diagnosed.”
Mike’s treatment and follow-up program is a partnership between urologic specialists, kidney specialists and cancer specialists. “All of my check-ups have been perfect. I didn’t miss a one day of work in 2010 for health reasons,” said Mike.
The experience has brought Mike a greater appreciation for life and a renewed commitment to help others facing the same journey. “I still go to a local ostomy support group once a month, not really for myself, but to help others, especially the newer folks. I try to tell them that the life they lead after surgery is really up to them. For me, there are no more bad golf shots, all golf shots are good even if they’re in the rough. I’m closer to my wife and kids; I have better work/life balance and stronger relationships. Plus, I’m much more compassionate and volunteer oriented.”
For over 100 years, physicians at the University of Minnesota have been known for their groundbreaking work in diseases that range from the most common to the most complex.
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