OSHKOSH – Sherry Loderbauer is the firm manager of a small law office in Appleton. So when she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in October 2015, she marshaled all of her strength to focus on completing her tasks.
“I needed my company, and the work, too. It helped motivate me,” Sherry explained. Then she laughed. “It also helped distract me from feeling sick!”
Another thing that helped distract her? The caring treatment she received from Aurora Cancer Care in Oshkosh. After an unpleasant experience at another medical facility, she was happy to find a good fit with her new surgeon at Aurora.
“I cannot say enough about Dr. Peter Johnson,” she said. “He is an awesome surgeon and goes out of his way to assist whenever and however he can. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a great bedside manner.”
Sherry has high praise for other members of her care team as well, including oncologist Shamsuddin Virani, MD, and Karen Garwood, RN.
“Dr. Virani and Karen, who I think has been there for 30 years, just took me under their wing, caring for me at such a critical point in my life,” she described. “Karen did the treatments. She was extremely reliable and made me feel completely at ease. She played a huge role in my treatment and I will forever be grateful to her! And every time I went in, there were granola bars, cookies…it was so welcoming.”
In fact, Sherry was so impressed by Karen’s work and compassion that she nominated her for a Daisy Award, a national recognition given to extraordinary nurses. Karen won the award and Sherry attended the ceremony.
“It was great to be there with her to celebrate.”
After finishing her second round of chemotherapy last April, Sherry signed up for the Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer in Oshkosh, creating a team of 15 that raised $1,500.
“It was an awesome time for our entire family. And every week or so, I’d update my Caring Bridge site with my condition,” she explained. “I also included a link to the Lombardi Walk site so it was really easy for people to donate. It worked great!”
This year, she’s getting the gang together to tackle cancer again at the same walk.
“My whole family’s been affected by cancer, so we’re all touched that we participate together,” Sherry said. “Everyone has a different experience with cancer. But we have a common bond that we can celebrate.”
It’s been more than a year since Sherry’s last chemo treatment. So far, the cancer, which usually recurs within three years, has not made a comeback. Now she is staying busy and has even managed to find a silver lining in everything that’s happened to her.
“I can honestly say that one of the best things that has come out of my cancer diagnosis is the wonderful people that I have met and been treated by along the way. Aurora played a huge part in this.”
How you can help
Sign up for one of 10 Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer events near you. Money raised will support local cancer care and research initiatives by Aurora Cancer Care and is eligible for a 50 percent match from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
All proceeds from the Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer will stay local. To see all walk locations and join the team, go to LombardiWalk.org.