In many ways, Jacob Moreland’s story is common. It’s a story of overcoming adversity, of perseverance and of the power of the human spirit. It’s also a cautionary tale of the importance of regular health screenings – something about which many people still need to be reminded.
In late March 2012, the 78-year-old Milwaukee native was feeling fine. He was enjoying retirement with Clare, his wife of 38 years, while keeping busy following the Air Force Academy football team, where his eldest son coaches. He had no reason to suspect anything was amiss.
“I felt good,” he says. “There was no indication of anything.”
As he does every year around this time, he went to his doctor for his annual check-up. And as is recommended for all men over the age of 50, Jacob had a colonoscopy. The results were unexpected: stage III colon cancer.
“I was more shocked than scared,” says Jacob. “I went in for the examination and the next thing I know I’m lying in bed in the hospital.”
The surgery was to remove part of the affected colon, but he still needed a full round of chemotherapy. Though the path before him was long and unknown, Jacob faced it head-on with unwavering spirit and steely resiliency. “Bring it on,” he thought.
Every two weeks for five months, Jacob went to Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee Cancer Center for treatment. On November 12, 2012, his chemotherapy regimen ended and on December 12 he was deemed cancer free. Jacob credits his cancer team for getting him through treatment, with a minimum of side-effects.
“The care was great,” Jacob says. “The nurses and doctors were fantastic. When you walk in they make you right at home. Whatever your whims are, whatever you need, they’re right there for you.”
But even more than the compassionate and expert care he received, Jacob’s life was saved when he received that precautionary colonoscopy back in March. For Jacob – and men and women everywhere – early detection often makes all the difference.