Creighton basketball coach McDermott, wife offer hope to breast cancer patients -
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Creighton basketball coach McDermott, wife offer hope to breast cancer patients

Creighton basketball coach Greg McDermott and his wife, Theresa, a breast cancer survivor, talk about chemotherapy and morphine drips the way many people talk about the weather.

They shared their journey of seven years ago during a visit Thursday with two breast cancer patients at Methodist Hospital.

“It's pretty emotional. ... It brings back a lot of memories,” McDermott said of meeting with two women who are just starting their own journeys.

He told Cindy Albus: “Theresa has been down your road.”

Albus, of Morse Bluff, Neb., had a double mastectomy Wednesday.

Theresa McDermott asked her about pain medication. “Are you on morphine?” she asked. “I was. I had a weird reaction.”

That was just the start of their conversation. The women talked easily about reconstruction procedures, drainage tubes and the logistics of showering after surgery.

The McDermotts wished her well and offered their email addresses — in case she has questions — before moving to the next room to tell Misty Biel of Ogallala, Neb., that it gets better.

“That's good to hear,” said Biel, who also had a double mastectomy Wednesday. “I know it's going to be a long road, but I'm glad to get it started.”

The McDermotts learned Biel and her husband, Jim, have twin 6-year-old girls. Theresa, whose daughter was 5 when she was diagnosed, recommended buying a few books about cancer written especially for young children.

Her other piece of advice? Let your husband do the online research.

“There's almost too much on the Internet,” she said. “Greg made me get off.”

For good reason, he added. “I would show her articles that were 99 percent positive,” he said. “She'd read that one sentence that wasn't and say, 'Did you see that?'”

Biel let out a quiet, appreciative laugh — she knows the feeling.

“It's encouraging to hear (from) someone who has already been through it and see how well they're doing,” Biel said after their visit.

The McDermotts also presented an autographed poster to Methodist to thank the hospital, its staff and volunteers for distributing T-shirts and posters at Creighton's annual Pink Out game in February. The game raises awareness for cancer research.

“We appreciate the support of Methodist for our Pink Out game,” McDermott said. “What we do wouldn't be possible without sponsors.”

The game raised $30,000 for the American Cancer Society.

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