Benefit planned for local nurseOn Nov. 9, 2011 local nurse and mother of three, Julie Place’s life changed. That was the day that she learned she had stage II breast cancer.
By: Jillian Dexheimer, Pierce County Herald
On Nov. 9, 2011 local nurse and mother of three, Julie Place’s life changed. That was the day that she learned she had stage II breast cancer.
According to Place, a nurse supervisor at the River Falls Area Hospital for the past eight years, an itch saved her life. While scratching that itch, she felt a lump.
The primary tumor, she felt, was undetectable by a mammogram and was only seen by an MRI. “I feel the Lord gave me an itch,” she said.
“Although many cancers are caught by mammograms, young breast tissue is different,” she said.
According to the National Cancer Institute, younger breasts have more dense tissue thus making the tumor harder to detect.
Place, a Hager City resident, does not know her prognosis but does believe that she will be healed. She will be receiving chemotherapy, having surgery, followed by radiation to treat her cancer.
The words, caring, friendly, helpful, and great mom are words that keep emerging from the mouths of those who know her.
Place’s mother Marvis Birkenmayer of Red Wing, Minn., said, “She is a very caring person and an awesome mom.”
Fellow nurse Cindy Bayer also talked about what a great mom she is, “She is a very involved mom who loves her kids.”
Place’s diagnosis has been hard on everyone; husband, kids, mother and father. “A dad is supposed to protect his daughter,” Place’s father Dave Birkenmayer said.
To deal with the stress that cancer placed on the family, humor has been a way to break the tension. Her dad recalls a time that Place’s husband Mark, an employee at Red Wing Software, donned one of her wigs and came out to surprise the kids. “The kids were rolling”, Dave said.
In addition to being a nurse, which her mother says she has wanted to do since she was in kindergarten, Place enjoys scrapbooking and gardening.
For more please read the Feb. 22 print version of the Herald.