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Like Nowhere Else – Video transcript of Dan’s story

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[SOFT MUSIC]

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A man in an orange jacket and hat walks in the snow.

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DAN: Hi. I’m Dan Novi. I now live in Gully, Minnesota. I have been a welder most of my life.

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He is sitting in the living room next to a woman.

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This is my wife, Tina. We have four children in total. I have two. She has two. I enjoy hunting, fishing, being outdoors most of the time. When we moved here a little over a year ago, our plan was to buy the farm. We put up 300 Christmas trees, an acre of strawberries, let out some chickens. He had big plans. You know, we prepared everything for our future, it was looking good, and then in April we found out I had lung cancer. Plans changed drastically. I was at work and I coughed and something came up and it was blood.

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He heads for a hunting blind in the snow.

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I said I had to come in. We need to check this out. And we kind of knew beforehand that it was going to be cancer, because chances are, if you’re coughing up blood, something’s going on in the lungs. And then they examined me. I had a CT scan. They came back with, yes, it’s cancer. Our options at the time, the doctor said, were probably chemotherapy and radiation. But then we did some more tests, we included the PET scan. My doctor there in Fargo said maybe we could do surgery there. So we went to Dr. Marks. He looked at him. After numerous tests together, we decided that surgery was possible, but there would be a lot of risk. They knew they would have to take the entire right lung. And we did the breath tests and whatnot and we’re coming back. You know, we had 35% of lung capacity. So he decided I would be on oxygen for the rest of my life. You know, we sat down and talked about it. And we decided to do an operation and take the right lung. TINA: Making this decision was not an easy choice. But if we went ahead with the surgery, I knew he would have a longer life if he had the lung removed. If I did chemotherapy and radiation, I knew he would have a shorter life and I wanted him to be here much longer. DAN: On August 16th we went to Fargo. They did the surgery on us. But during that time four hours passed, five hours passed. She was getting nervous and upset. She went up to the nurses station and said, where is my husband? And they called back to the OR and said Dan would be in another hour and a half. So that was a total of 7 hours of surgery. By this time she was so upset that she took my daughter back to the hotel and just broke down.

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In the photo, Tina and Dan are smiling.

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She got a call that Dan was out of surgery. So she rushed back and I think she was quite excited to see me without the oxygen on. I’ve been walking since the operation. Anywhere from, say, down to the chickens and back is 120 yards. I probably walked a bit further than that without any oxygen. There is no oxygen in the house for me. Since then I have been doing very well with only one lung.

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We are approaching the main entrance of Essentia Health. We enter an exam room. Sign, Essentia Health, Fosston.

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So now I’m doing chemo in Fosston, MN, which is only a 20 minute drive, compared to 2 1/2 hours to Fargo. Essentia in Fosston is also a great place. Great doctors, great nurses. I will have my last three chemotherapy treatments there. What really stood out in my Essentia care, number one, is Amy. She was always on the phone with me. She gave me her phone number. If I have any questions, I can call her. She made sure my needs were met and whatnot, so I appreciate that. And Dr. Marks was remarkable with the surgery. I can’t thank him enough.

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Sign, Essentia Health Cancer Center. MRI machine in a scanner room.

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And I’m walking around with one lung and we all thought I’d be on oxygen. And when I talked to him up there at my first appointment after the surgery, he was amazed at how well I was doing. So Essentia took really great care of me.

(DESCRIPTION)
Dan and Tina walk through the snow. Text like nowhere else. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle.

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