You appear to be using the Good Mobile App to view this site.

You'll have a better experience with this site in your device's default browser, which you can use by clicking here.

Ministry Health Care Community Report
Community Report

Forward Facing

Forward Facing

One breast cancer survivor’s journey in learning attitude is everything and healing her battle wounds by helping others

Janice Zuege exudes positivity. Her zest for life seems to perpetually propel her ahead.

Picture bicycle tires circling round and round, a kayak maneuvering through clear waters, a pair of skis gliding across freshly fallen powder. Her passion is getting out and getting active, oftentimes with her husband, Roy, who has hiked the Grand Canyon – twice – right alongside his wife of nearly 30 years.

But two years ago, all that forward momentum came screeching to a halt.

"I felt like a freight train hit me," she recalls, voice quivering with emotion.

It had been 10 years since her first bout with breast cancer in 2003. A lumpectomy, six weeks of daily radiation, five years of Tamoxifen, and regular check-ups finally gave way to a sense of normalcy.

The former teacher and long-time associate principal of Hortonville Elementary and Middle Schools felt like she had beaten the cancer that had turned her world upside down.

"Everything was fine," she says. "I was doing great. No concerns whatsoever."

But as soon as she received the phone call asking her to return for a follow-up mammogram, the same swirl of feelings – fear, uncertainty, anger – came flooding back all over again.

"At that point, my heart sank," she says.

The emotional element – not the physical – was a larger challenge to overcome the first time around, she says, and the news that cancer had returned sent her reeling all over again.

"When you hear that diagnosis, it is shock and disbelief," Zuege says, "because I looked at myself and I thought, wait a minute. I’m living a healthy lifestyle, I’m watching what I eat, I’m exercising, I’m doing everything right, and there’s no history in the family. It was kind of the almighty question of, why me?"

She came to the realization that there’s no answer. There are no guarantees in life. You can do everything possible to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Though she was left powerless in that sense, Zuege did realize she had control of one element, and it would turn out to be the fiercest weapon in her battle to overcome cancer.

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

Published November 2015

Please wait while we gather your results.

Westwood Clinic in Wausau

Ministry Health Care leaders and community members joined together in September to mark start of construction on our newest clinic in Wausau.

100-Year Legacy of Care Continues with New Emergency Department

Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point opens new ED to meet community need.

Hospitalist Program Earns National Recognition

Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital’s program is one of four featured during a panel on healthcare innovation by Catholic Health Association.

Ministry Good Samaritan Launches Advanced 3D Mammography

Women in Merrill and Lincoln County have access to the most up-to-date technology for breast cancer screening.

Got Gumption?

Faced with heart and kidney failure along with the prospect of hospice care, one man turned to family and his health team in order to find his way back home.