West Fargo mom thanks seasoned nurse for catching cancer early – InForum

WEST FARGO – Jessicca Bye is ready for some well-deserved family time on the beach after an unexpected year battling cancer.

“Now it has so much more meaning,” Bye said.

Like many, Bye’s life is busy with work and chasing children. But a year ago she didn’t feel herself.

“I’m a single mom, I’m busy all the time. I’m always tired, that’s just the norm,” Bye said. “I just felt a little off.”

Her Essentia Health provider, nurse specialist Joe Halvorson, performed tests and eventually scans. Then it got worrying.

“Then the race was on,” she said.

A colonoscopy then confirmed it. She had stage 3 colon cancer.

“It’s amazing how you just sort it out. When you get into a set of problems, how do you just get out of it,” Bye said.

She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Now on Thursday, March 16, Bye celebrates its completion. She went to her first-ever Timberwolves game with her son and then to sun-drenched beaches with family thankful she’s finished treatment.

“Don’t put things off, there’s never an excuse not to go to a game,” she said. “You work to live, not live to work.”

To say Bye appreciates her nurse practitioner is an understatement. Halvorson said he’s happy to see a patient celebrate victories like this.

‘It started with you. You saved my life,” Bye told Halvorson.

“You listened to your body,” said Halvorson, who also thanked the entire team of health care providers for helping catch the cancer early.

“That’s what it’s about, trying to meet those challenges in a way that makes life go on in a really wonderful and celebratory way,” Halvorson said.

“Just the things I learned about this,” Bye said. “If we hadn’t done what we did when we did it, it would be a completely different story.”

‘You believed me. Thank you,’ Bye said to Halvorson

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a reporter with WDAY-TV since 1983. He was born in Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work has taken him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez, Mexico and the Middle East. He has received multiple Emmys and a national Edward R. Murrow award.

Email contact: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone number: (701) 241-5317

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