Dan Lingor hugging Cindy Vigen at Avera St. Luke's Cancer Care Center.
You don't have to live in a metropolitan area to get high quality cancer care, especially with Avera's 4 Cancer Centers. In fact Nancy Naeve Brown went to Aberdeen to meet a prostate cancer survivor who was so relieved to get his treatment close to home.
Two years ago after Dan Lingor from Aberdeen was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had it robotically removed at the Mayo Clinic. Two years later, he found out the cancer had come back. He was so relieved he didn't have to travel back and forth to Rochester for his radiation treatments.
Dan says, "Oh otherwise I would have been in Rochester for 7 weeks. I was so happy to get it here. With the people here you aren't an 8 digit or 10 digit number you are Dan. Even when I walked in today, Cindy at the front desk came out and gave me a hug. It doesn't get any better than that."
Avera St. Luke's Cancer Care Center added a linear accelerator to their high tech treatment arsenal seven years ago. Certified Medical Dosimetrist Scott Holzer says, "The key to any type of cancer delivery is getting enough radiation to the tumor to destroy the tumor yet not damage the normal cells too much and the linear accelerator greatly aids us in doing that."
Dan had 35 radiation treatments at the Avera St. Luke's Cancer Care Center. He would come in to the radiation vault, lay down on his back comfortable and the linear accelerator went completely around him in a 360 degree rotation stopping in 7 precise locations for about 30 seconds each and he would be done in 15 minutes.
Dan says, "I really felt comfortable here. I would walk in everyday and joke around about stuff. I would try and stay upbeat because I would see little kids in wheelchairs. (He pauses) They have it a lot worse than I did."
On his last day of radiation, Dan borrowed his niece's cap and gown and marched in to the staff humming pomp and circumstance. When you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis it's great to have family by your side and the family at Avera St. Luke's will always be on your side. As for Dan's prognosis:
Dan says, "It's good. They said I'll die from something else. Thank goodness."
We'll hope that's at least 30 years from now.
Dan turns 60 this January and is planning a trip to Vegas with his wife. They both know they have a lot to celebrate.