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Cancer Clinic patient: ‘I can’t say enough about these good people’


October 14, 2017

Cliff McMurry is no stranger to cancer. He faced it daily for four years in the mid-90s, when his first wife was battling leukemia. They constantly drove the 60 miles from their home near Grinnell to receive cancer care in Des Moines. “During that time, that was the only traveling we did, driving just between my garage and the hospital,” he said, “and I still put 30,000 miles on my car. That’s how much we were on the road for treatment.”

Twenty years later, and now an oncology patient himself, Cliff is grateful he has the option to get his care much closer to home.

“I was diagnosed with stage four cancer in May 2016,” Cliff said. “It started in the colon, went to the cecum, to the liver, to the lungs, to the lymph system. I had it throughout.”

Cliff started visiting with Dr. Dan Buroker, an oncologist who sees patients at the Skiff Cancer Clinic, where Cliff also underwent extensive chemotherapy.

“I’m fortunate that, in my case, I can go to Skiff instead of going all the way to Des Moines,” Cliff said. “I remember driving my wife during a blizzard when I couldn’t even see the road. What a dangerous situation. There’s a big difference between 16 miles and 60 miles.”

Although Cliff’s cancer is advanced, he is pleased with his progress. He has his CT scans done at the Philips Imaging Center at Skiff, and his most recent one showed a decrease in his cancer. “I think I’m surprising everyone, including myself,” he said.

Cliff is grateful for the compassionate individuals he’s gotten to know during his time at the Skiff Cancer Clinic.

“I can’t say enough about these good people. It’s very encouraging when you’re surrounded by good people. That support and encouragement is exactly what I need. I could give them each a hug every time. They’re wonderful, and they all know I mean it.”

(Photo: Cliff McMurry, with Skiff Cancer Clinic staff Carrie Cibula, Veronica Mangrich, RN, and Olivia Harper, RN.)

Skiff Medical Center
204 N. 4th Ave E.
Newton, Iowa 50208
Phone: (641) 792-1273
Toll-free: (888) 792-1273

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Skiff Medical Center, a member of Mercy Health Network, is located in Newton, Iowa. We provide services to Jasper County residents in all major health areas, including general surgery, orthopedic surgery, radiology, obstetrics, emergency medicine, hospice, home care, laboratory, respiratory, audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The Skiff Specialty Clinic hosts more than 20 physicians specializing in cardiology, dermatology, ENT, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, pulmonology and urology.
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