Fort Dodge native Vicki Kampen enjoys a very active
lifestyle with her husband, four children and seven grandchildren, so a cancer
diagnosis last year was an unwelcome surprise. Along with family activities,
Kampen enjoys spending time with friends, camping, and working in her
yard/being outside. Because of her busy lifestyle, Kampen did not hesitate to
visit her provider when she had a health concern in February 2021.
Kampen knew something was wrong, especially since she had a
hysterectomy in 2001, when she started experiencing blood and large blood clots
in her urine and more frequent urination. After her normal OB/GYN provider,
James Turek, MD, ran multiple negative urinary tract infection tests and normal
exam results, she was referred to UnityPoint Clinic Urology – Fort Dodge.
“I didn’t consider going anywhere else at this point; I just
wanted to find out what was going on,” she said.
Upon more specialized testing and exams by urology provider,
Jordan Reeder, ARNP, Kampen was diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer (high
grade urothelial carcinoma of the bladder) and referred to the Norma Schmoker
“Our main goal was to get Vicki back to her busy life as
soon as possible,” said Reeder. “Because she was determined to find out why she
was experiencing her symptoms, she will continue to enjoy the things she loves.
Vicki is a perfect example of why it’s so important to advocate for your health
and voice your concerns with your provider when you notice something isn’t
Kampen and her oncology provider, Sarah Tofilon, MD,
developed an aggressive treatment plan. She had surgery, received chemotherapy,
and now has only one more immunotherapy treatment. Even though treatment and
recovery haven’t been an easy feat, Kampen could see her care team was
professional and compassionate.
“I had a lot of anxiety about what was happening, and it has
been a long journey,” Kampen shared. “I could tell the care team really cared
about me as a person and my feelings.”
Kampen felt comfortable asking questions and was confident
her care team would get her answers. During each step of the way, they
explained what was happening and what the next steps were.
"Vicki always approached her treatments with a positive
attitude,” said Dr. Tofilon. “Despite some side effects from treatments, she
remained upbeat throughout and is doing very well currently."
Kampen now returns for scans every three months. So far,
there has been no evidence of disease.
“I would recommend UnityPoint Clinic Urology and the Norma
Schmoker Cancer Center because my care team really paid attention to me and
made me feel like I really mattered,” Kampen said.
Her advice to others? Go with your gut feeling. If you feel
something is not right, continue to pursue answers.
Learn more about UnityPoint Clinic Urology – Fort Dodge and
Norma Schmoker Cancer Center.