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RELAY: Tiffany named honorary speaker

May 10, 2019
Sue Sitter - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Although nurse and cancer survivor Darlene Tiffany lives near Bantry in McHenry County, she's been familiar with Rugby for several years.

"A lot of people would say, 'Oh, you must be new in town,' and I always had to laugh because if you were ever in the hospital, or if your family was ever in the hospital, then you'd know me, but if you weren't, you wouldn't," Tiffany laughed.

"I worked in the Heart of America Johnson Clinic (and HAMC/ Good Samaritan Acute Care) in my nursing career," she continued.

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Tiffany said tiredness on the job and blood test results started her on her cancer journey in 2013.

A referral from former Johnson Clinic provider Tammie Harder sent Tiffany for more tests, which eventually led to a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.

"I was diagnosed in August, 2013, and I went on chemotherapy, and multiple myeloma is a blood cancer. I did try to work, and do my treatments, and it seemed like, you know to begin with, I did okay, although I did have some ups and downs in my treatment."

Tiffany said she received her chemotherapy at the Roger Maris Cancer Center at Sanford Health in Fargo.

"I worked for almost two years with multiple myeloma, but I ended up having some complications, and that's when I took a medical leave, and I decided I couldn't go back to rigorous 12-hour shifts," Tiffany added.

Tiffany said multiple myeloma can go into remission and return after a period of time. Hers went into remission in 2015, and doctors put her chemotherapy on hold, monitoring her for the cancer's return, which they expected would come after some months.

Tiffany has not required more chemotherapy for four years.

Tiffany said she still follows doctors' orders and has scans and tests regularly.

She credits her faith and strong support from her husband, Will, family and friends for her positive attitude and health. Tiffany said she also attends Journeys Cancer Support Group at HAMC, and she's grateful for the support she receives there.

Tiffany, the 2019 Relay for Life Honorary Cancer Survivor for Pierce County, said, "I don't know what I'm going to say yet (for the opening ceremony). I haven't written it out yet."

However, she said she was grateful to be a part of the Relay for Life, and plans to continue participating for many years to come.



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