West Fargo mom credits thorough nurse for catching cancer early – InForum

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

“Now it means so much more,” Bye said.

Like many, Bye’s life is busy with work and chasing after children. But a year ago, he didn’t know himself.

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

Her Essentia Health provider, nurse practitioner Joe Halvorson, performed tests and eventually scans. That’s when things started to worry.

“Then the race was on,” he said.

Then a colonoscopy confirmed it. He had stage 3 colon cancer.

“It’s amazing how you just figure it out. When you’re given problems, how you just figure it out,” Bye said.

He underwent chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Now on Thursday, March 16, Bye will celebrate graduation. He went to his first Timberwolves game with his son, then to sunny beaches with family, who are thankful he got the treatment.

“Don’t put things off, there’s never an excuse not to go to the game,” he said. “You work to live, you don’t live to work.”

To say that Bye appreciates her nurse 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 credited the entire team of providers for helping catch the cancer early.

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

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

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

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

Contact us by email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone number: (701) 241-5317

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