Grateful for your Prayers
U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
In my weekly columns to South Dakotans, I frequently write about important policy discussions happening in Washington or highlight the issues that South Dakotans have been talking to me about. However, this week is different, as my wife, Jean and I have some personal news to share.
As many South Dakotans already know, Jean recently began cancer treatment for a malignant high-grade aggressive tumor that was discovered near her sciatic nerve. Her team of doctors in South Dakota referred her to The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she is currently being treated.
Many South Dakota families have faced a cancer diagnosis, including our own. As those who have been through this know, a cancer diagnosis is one of the most difficult and trying times for a family. Throughout this process, I have thought many times about the South Dakota families that have had their own health struggles. It is during a time like this that I feel most grateful for our community.
While it has been a difficult few weeks, those who know Jean know she is resilient and strong. She’s been a rock for our family for more than 40 years and continues to show her strength as she begins her treatment and works to make a full recovery. Through all of this, we are strengthened by our faith in the Lord and the overwhelming support of our family and friends. There is no power like the power of prayer, and we remain tremendously grateful to the outpouring of prayers from so many. We have received great comfort and peace in that support.
We’re also grateful for the wonderful medical professionals within our community that we’ve worked with over the past couple of months. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. The technical medical terminology can feel like listening to a foreign language. But with the guidance of Jean’s doctors, we’ve been assured that we are on the right course toward eradicating the tumor. While we don’t know exactly what her entire treatment will look like at this time, we have confidence in the highly-qualified team of doctors at The Mayo Clinic overseeing her treatment.
In the midst of our very busy lives, it can be a challenge to reprioritize schedules to focus more attention on what we usually take for granted: our health. But again, in our community we have had so many colleagues and friends who have volunteered to help out or fill in during our absence. As we focus on getting Jean healthy, I’ll be splitting my time between Rochester during Jean’s treatments, Washington, D.C., and back home in South Dakota.
We’ll continue to update you on Jean’s progress, but in the meantime, we are grateful for the continued support and prayers for Jean and for our family. We are so thankful to be surrounded by a close-knit community that will stick by us. Times like this make me grateful for our community and especially proud to be a South Dakotan.