Why I Relay – Carol Strickland

News & Events > Why I Relay – Carol Strickland

June 2, 2016

PCT_relay_for_lifeEvery single person knows of someone that is close to them that has been affected by cancer. Cancer is hard on all, not just the patient. We must remember the caregivers that relinquish a lot of their time to help the cancer patient.

Fifteen years ago I lost my dad. Not to cancer specifically but to a list of other ailments. Through 9 years of sickness my mother, Marcia, stood right by my father’s side. From doctor’s appointments, dialysis, numerous surgeries, to moving out of her home to having to retire years early to become his caregiver. My father was not an easy man to say the least. My uncle once said that after everything she’s been through with my father she had earned a seat right next to the “big guy”. And to top it all off my mother cared for my 2 kids so that I could go back to work. She probably spent more time in doctor’s offices and hospitals than she did her own home. But she never once complained.

PCT_relay_for_lifeYou would think she earned some down time after he passed and my kids no longer needed a full time sitter. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. First she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a lumpectomy and many treatments of radiation, she seemed to be in the clear. She even was able to enjoy a couple vacations to Aruba. However, that feeling of relaxation was short-lived. Uterine cancer was up next. This time the cancer totally kicked her butt. After surgery to remove her uterus she began chemo. Chemo was really hard on her and she spent several days after each treatment in the hospital extremely sick. Months went by and she was finally done. Or so we thought. More spots were found in her abdomen and the chemo began all over again. And even though she spent a year bald, she always had a smile on her face. And I’m happy to report she is now cancer free and was able to celebrate her 78th birthday recently!

Remember how I said that cancer is hard on all? Well lucky for my mom, her caregiver was my sister, Betty and her family. They all took turns bringing her to and from appointments and treatments. Sitting with her during chemo and just plain being there for her. I will always be eternally grateful that they were able to be there for mom when I could not.

PCT_relay_for_lifeThe reason why I Relay is so that people like my mom can still be here to enjoy whatever time they have left on this Earth. And for all the wonderful caregivers, like my sister and her family, that go above and beyond to help assure their loved ones not to give up!

— Carol Strickland, Member Service Supervisor/Accounting