'My faith helped me' Woman faces 2 diagnoses in 2 years


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Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ JoElla Nierman poses for a photo at her home. Nierman was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the past two years. The first diagnosis came in May 17, 2011. She received over 250 cards of support during the past two years.


Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ JoElla Nierman poses for a photo at her home. Nierman was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the past two years. The first diagnosis came in May 17, 2011.


JoElla Nierman was conscientious about having an annual mammogram.

She went for one in December 2010 and came out with an all-clear from the doctors. But a few months later, she sensed something was wrong. On May 17, 2011, she went to the doctor and told of her discomfort.

“Then there was the call ‘you have cancer,’” Nierman said. “If it hadn’t been for me catching it early, I would have waited, and it could have spread.”

Nierman scheduled surgery that June and began chemotherapy treatments in July. They ended Sept. 29 last year.

“I remember that day so well,” Nierman said. “I was having my last chemo treatment and also got a new granddaughter that day.”

Her son Jason Nierman and his wife, Lindsey, decided to name that granddaughter Ella Rose after her grandmother.

JoElla Nierman thought her battle with cancer was behind her, but this April she began to have pain where she had her mastectomy. She made an appointment with her doctor, assuming there were problems with scar tissues. But the doctor didn’t find anything.

At the end of May, however, she felt a lump.

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