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New Ulm Medical Center

Hometown cancer care with advanced services is right combination for local man

For Gardell Kuelbs, New Ulm, two things rise to the top of his grateful list during a year when he had a serious health scare. He is grateful that the kind of cancer he was diagnosed with (non-hodgkins lymphoma) is one of the easiest to treat and he is grateful that he had the New Ulm Medical Center Cancer Center close to home to treat it.

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Gardell Kuelbs received one of six treatments recently at the New Ulm Medical Center Cancer Center. Mandy Schwarzrock, RN, is one of several nurses on the unit – most of whom are Oncology Certified.

In April of this year, Kuelbs began coughing more than normal. When blood began coming up with his cough and he began getting weaker, he went to see his doctor. He was initially sent to Abbott Northwestern Hospital due to a simultaneous, emergency health concern, where he received his first chemotherapy treatment.

“It was a good thing that I went to Abbott, but I didn’t want to stay there for sure and was glad to find out that New Ulm could handle my treatment,” Kuelbs said. Within three treatments, his cancer was gone, Kuelbs said. He will ultimately have six treatments.

“I have been so happy with the (oncology) clinic and the way we’ve been treated here – especially the gals down here (in the department). They are fun to be around,” Kuelbs said. “I tell them that sitting here, watching them work is better than a TV show. Everything here is upbeat.”

When he first returned from his stay at Abbott, Kuelbs said he was unable to drive and had to rely on his wife to drive him to appointments at the medical center. “She wouldn’t have been good driving to Mankato or the Twin Cities.”

While Kuelbs was appreciative of the treatment he received at Abbott, he couldn’t wait to get back home.

“People have got to get it out of their heads that they have to go to Rochester or some other big place for something like this,” Kuelbs said. “I told the doctor at Abbott that I’d get better a lot faster at home than I would up there.”

Though his treatments will be done by the time the new Cancer Center opens, Kuelbs said he is excited for the prospect of the new department. The bigger space and upgraded environment will match the already great care being given in the department, he said.

For more information about the Cancer Center at NUMC, go to our Foundation page.