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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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My Journey With A Monster

My Journey With A Monster

Everyone thinks, “It can’t happen to me.” Surprise! Cancer does not discriminate.

For some time I had been experiencing pain in my hip and feeling tired. I attributed the pain to arthritis and the tiredness to the stress of caring for my elderly mother. Dr. Birdsall suggested I have an MRI to determine exactly what was going on.

By this time I could barely walk. I took the MRI on Thursday, May 23, 2002. The very next day, I was going to my mother’s to bring food. As I was going down the steps, my hip broke.

My guardian angel was watching over me that day. My shirt sleeve caught on the handle of my door and prevented me from falling on my face and possibly injuring myself even more. I could not move. I was sitting on my step in excruciating pain.

My angel helped again. Someone walked out of the church, which is across the street from my home. I called out, “Please help me!” He looked around, saw me, and called my son and sister for me. My husband was the hospital visiting with my mother.

911 was called. I was taken to Lady of the Sea Hospital where x-rays showed a broken hip. The orthopedist was not available, so I asked to go to Thibodaux General. Surgery was performed there, and hip replacement was necessary. When the bone came back from the lab, cancer had been detected. I had Type B Lymphoma. It was in 10% of my bone marrow.

When I was told I had cancer, I became very angry. “Why me?” The anger lasted for about five minutes when I realized how devastated my husband and two sons were. I made up my mind then and there to fight and beat this MONSTER that had invaded my body.

I had to go to rehab for a few days to learn how to deal with a broken hip. Throughout my stay in the hospital, my wonderful husband and two sons and grandson were at my side every day. I knew I was loved, but now I realized how much.

I told my mother that I had been helping her but now I needed her strength and prayers. On November 17, 2002, my beloved mother passed away, one week after I had told her I was in remission.

I had to take six chemo treatments. I prayed I would not become ill from the treatments. By the grace of God, I was able to take all six treatments with no ill efforts besides being very weak.

Now, I am back to normal, taking part in many projects in my church and the Lafourche Volunteers for Family and Community.

I thank God every day for my wonderful family, doctors, and nurses who were with me every step of the way. I can continue on life’s journey without the monster tagging along. I can be a viable part of my family and community. I am truly blessed.

Please help support the American Cancer Society by attending Relay For Life on April 11 at the Larose Civic Center from 12 noon till 12 p.m. The money raised is used for research to help eliminate the cancer monster.

Barbara Chaisson
Cut Off