CHOOSE MEMORIES - May 4, 2006
I have completed 12 radiation treatments. Each treatment
takes about five minutes. This seems like such a short time each
day to change my life for seven weeks. But I am climbing my
mountain. God is giving me these 35 days. They can be used for
memories or ordeals. I choose memories.
The first two weeks were very frustrating, because of
equipment malfunctions and lack of reliable cell phone service.
I would arrive at the center and be met by three glum-faced
staff who would tell me, “It is off for today.” The memory is
that of a pharmacist, Steve Crawford, formerly of Calhoun
County, and a hospital administrator, Mark Doak, a former
accountant at Calhoun General Hospital, who took a few minutes
to let me know that “We care that you are being inconvenienced.”
This was also a good time to renew a long-time friendship
with Betty and Voras Haynes. We attended Holy Week Services and
had lunch together each day. It was very special to share this
Christian experience with them.
The next week was a memory because of five grandchildren
“taking care of me!” They made the trip to the cancer center
several times and enjoyed meeting the caregivers. I was amazed
at their ability to help with meal preparation and cleaning. The
best part was taking part in their fun and laughter.
Last week’s highlight was visiting three tourism centers to
gather information on places that would be of interest to
children. I picked up all kinds of brochures and maps.
I took notes for the time coming when Calhoun County will
have a visitor’s center. A new friend drove for me on Wednesday.
We explored Elkins and had lunch at a unique restaurant. We
talked of many things . . . America, West Virginia, our
counties, homes, family and faith. Most important was her prayer
for little things, like radiation equipment!
Cancer treatment is literally changing day by day.
Information will be available in the near future about new
cancer drugs that have been clinically tested with amazing
One cancer survivor told us that 25 years ago she was
employed in a legal office in Chicago and managed her treatments
by going very early in the morning so her employers would not be
aware of her situation. She said that she is still not
comfortable in talking about it. There is still some reluctance
in treating it as another disease.
PLEASE do not be afraid to have your mammogram, Pap test,
colonoscopy or other screenings. Knowing about early detection
of cancer and available treatments and help can save your life.
Early detection and knowledge can make a big difference. Don’t
give up! You CAN climb your own mountain.