At the age of 44, there are still a lot of roads in life left untraveled. My patient Glenda Holcomb started on a new path when she became pregnant with Kayla at that age. Her husband was thrilled. He finally had that little girl! When Kayla was 15 months old and Glenda was eight weeks pregnant with another baby, her husband had an accident at work and suffered a severe head injury. He never regained consciousness and never got to meet that little red-headed boy named Kaleb. Glenda was left to raise her children alone. No one had expected that hairpin turn in the road of life and there was no way to prepare for it.
Kayla is now 7 and Kaleb is five and Glenda says having these two young children has given her a purpose after her spouse died and it is those children that have given her a determination to press on. The next bump in the road was a diagnosis of breast cancer and Mom couldn’t take off. Glenda said "that chemotherapy is going to have to be scheduled around my kids."
Glenda called my office one day and I could hear in her voice that she was sick. I don’t mean under the weather…I MEAN SICK. Sick as only chemotherapy and cancer and a little exhaustion can make you. Even then, she was worried about her kids. She has struggled since the diagnosis and has often even had trouble getting money together for gas to get to and from her doctor appointments. There has been little time over the past few months for fun and the entire family needs a chance to feel free of a disease that has them in its grasp, if only for a little while. Glenda said she has always dreamed of going to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for Christmas, of renting a cabin and spending a few days in the mountains insulated from the outside world. But there’s no money for such luxuries. She has little money for toys when there are so many medications to buy right now. Kayla loves Barbie Dolls and because she loves the color PINK she’d enjoy a pair of pink cow girl boots or a pink guitar! Kaleb would love a bike and a baseball glove and bat.
Glenda has been putting off getting her pair of prescription eyeglasses and she could really use them. It would make driving a whole lot safer! She does not ask much for herself. Her kids are her joy and her priority. She is a mom first and a very good one.
I think Glenda needs something to take her mind off her worries. A getaway or possibly a new coat would be great. She could use some new shoes, too. When I asked what would be the perfect holiday she said “everyone being together, having a good meal and being well.” What more can anyone require? Thanks for any help you and your listeners can offer.
Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial
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