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Updates on I-Ho Pomeroy’s cancer fight and memories of her time in Bozeman



Bozeman, Montana — I-Ho’s Korean Grill is located in downtown Bozeman, but it wasn’t always there. I-Ho first came to Montana while attending Eastern Montana College, which is now MSU-Billings, and the University of Montana in Missoula. Her spouse is from Billings, and he wanted to move to Bozeman instead of Missoula.

“So he said no we are not going to go stay here in Missoula. So we are going to go to Bozeman. I don’t know anything about Bozeman. So we came here for me so I can go back to school,” said I-Ho. “But instead of going back to school, I got a first job, was Great China Wall, chinese restaurant. I did it very well one year. And then I ask my husband, I want to do something else. And then he made my food cart. At that time, only two food carts—hot dogs and me.”

A few years later, I-Ho successfully campaigns for and is elected to the Bozeman City Commission. The food cart develops into a physical restaurant. Everything is good until this spring. The husband of I-Ho comes home from his East Coast college reunion.

“When he came home, he find out and he realize I am totally different. I’m sleeping all the time, and then he find out I couldn’t walk very well, I could not talk, so he said, ‘I-Ho this is not you, something is not right,’ so he took me to the emergency room and emergency young doctor almost cried. He did a CT test, find out I have glioblastoma,” said I-Ho.

An aggressive type of brain cancer is called glioblastoma. Radiation, surgery, and a lot of chemotherapy are all part of the treatment. I-Ho has approached everything in the same way that she has managed her company and served on the city commission.

“Every three months, MRI, how the cancer is doing or not. So I cannot control but I do my best, how about that?”

I-Ho, too, keeps up her walks and her yoga routine, trying to keep things as normal as possible. Even so, she’s had to adjust a little.

“During the chemo, I decided not to go to hot yoga because it’s a little bit too much. When i do chemo, you know chemo is killing everything, right? So i relax a little bit,” she said.

For I-Ho, unwinding included taking walks around her town, going to the hot springs, and eventually going back to hot yoga after chemotherapy. Everyone has a different way of unwinding.

When informed that her lifetime of labor makes it difficult for her to imagine relaxing, I-Ho remarked, “I have worked hard, now I’m relaxing, how about that?”


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