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

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

“Now it makes so much more sense,” Bye said.

Like many, Bye’s life is taken up with work and the pursuit of children. But a year ago, she didn’t feel like herself.

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

Its Essentia Health provider, nurse practitioner Joe Halvorson, performed tests and possibly scans. That’s when things got worrying.

“So the race began,” she said.

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

“It’s amazing how you just figured it out. When you’re given a problem set, how you come to figure it out,” Bye said.

She underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

Now, on Thursday, March 16, Bye celebrates completion. She went to her very first Timberwolves game with her son, then to sunny beaches with her family grateful to have completed her 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 his nurse practitioner is an understatement. Halvorson said he was 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 providers for helping catch cancer early.

“That’s what it’s all about, trying to deal with those challenges in a way that allows life to persist in a really wonderful, celebratory way,” Halvorson said.

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

“You believed me. Thank you,” Bye told Halvorson

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a WDAY-TV reporter since 1983. He is originally from Vining, Minnesota, in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have taken him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez, Mexico and the Middle East. He is the recipient of several Emmy Awards and the National Edward R. Murrow Award.

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

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