Truman staff members beat cancer together

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The saying goes there is strength in numbers, but there are two women at Truman State who know the truth behind those words more than most.

Diane Bloskovich, Advancement Office coordinator of operations, and Financial Aid Adviser Mary Jane Kiefer experienced one of the hardest times of their lives together — their diagnoses with breast cancer and the treatment that followed.

Kiefer said she and Bloskovich met while working together at a facility in Kirksville. Kiefer said for many years, the two traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to get their mammograms and made a shopping day out of it. During 2004, the two did not make it to Kansas City together and Bloskovich was late making an appointment.

Bloskovich said when she went to Kansas City during December, she heard news that changed everything.

“They found something on the mammogram, and I had to have another test, and I was pretty much thinking this is just one of those things where you have these tests, and they finally come in and say everything is okay,” Bloskovich said. “That turned out not to be the case, and I was just in shock.”

Bloskovich said she didn’t thnk this was really happening to her and it took her quite a while to wrap her head around the fact she had a life-threatening illness.

Bloskovich said she had surgery during January 2005 and went through four sessions of chemotherapy followed by 20 sessions of radiation. She said she finished her treatment during June 2005. Despite the difficulties that arose, Bloskovich said she continued her work at the University.

Bloskovich said she missed a few days of work, and for each one of her chemotherapy treatments she missed a half day. She said she could use 30 minutes of her lunch time for radiation and though she was able to continue working, it was very difficult.

Bloskovich said this experience has deepened her friendship with Kiefer.

“It’s the unknown that is so scary, and it takes someone that is close to you and understands you that will help you face that unknown, and be brave for you,” Bloskovich said. “We have just always been there for each other, and this is one thing that has brought us even closer.”

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