Kootenai | Kootenai Health | Issue 4, 2023

12 FACING CAN By Kim Anderson Facing a cancer diagnosis is a challenge for anyone. The emotional toll on the patient as well as their caregiver is intense. For Mike and Jane Walker, the situation was doubly difficult. Following months of fatigue and other symptoms, the longtime Post Falls couple was each diagnosed with cancer over the course of a year. Jane, an activities director at a senior living facility, had been feeling rundown. She thought she might be experiencing a urinary tract infection, but her symptoms kept getting worse. It was February 2022 when Mike took her to the Kootenai Health emergency department. Jane was admitted to the hospital. A series of tests over the next five days determined she had myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition affecting bone marrow where the body no longer makes enough healthy, normal blood cells. One spouse with cancer is devastating. Mike and Jane Walker experienced cancer diagnoses and treatment together.