MOFFIT, N.D. (KXNET) — Arleen Fettig owns a ranch in Moffit North Dakota, she and her husband both work on the ranch and have several duties when it comes to taking care of her family ranch.
“It depends on what time of year it is,” said Fettig. “But right now we are tying up our hay. We have two double mowers or we will use a hay bind.”
Maintaining a ranch means a lot of physical exertion. That’s one reason why it’s so important for them to make sure that they are healthy.
“I always go in for my yearly,” said Fettig. “And my husband Tony would always say well you should be doing this with your health and stuff.”
However, three years ago Fettig had to face a shocking reality. Fettig traveled to Sanford Hospital for her yearly check-up. She didn’t think doctors would find anything abnormal because she felt fine.
However, doctors did see a spot when the results of her mammogram came back.
“They did find a lump and stuff,” said Fettig. “And I couldn’t feel it and the doctors didn’t feel it.”
Later, Fettig received a phone call. Her doctor revealed that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer.
“My mind immediately went to my husband and my kids,” said Fettig. “Gosh, how are they going to handle this.”
The good news: the cancer was spotted early.
Doctors were able to perform a mastectomy and she didn’t need any radiation treatment.
“Most of the time we are able to do that in a combination surgery called an immediate breast reconstruction,” said Dr. Theresa Hegge.
Dr. Theresa Hegge was Fettig’s plastic reconstructive surgeon. She says luckily Fettig caught the cancer in time and Fettig was able to get her mastectomy and undergo reconstructive surgery quickly.
“The reason we do routine mammogram screenings is because, unfortunately, by the time you feel or detect cancer yourself it has to be a relatively large lesion or mass,” said Hegge.