A Story from Mary
A Story from Mary about Treatment

Mary was very upset when she was told about the cancer. The provider held her hand, asked her to relax and told her cancer was very early stage of growth and her chances of surviving and living a normal life were very good. She said she wanted to go home and pray and tell her children what was going on.

She told her children a few days ago about her breast cancer diagnosis. She had another appointment today with the provider to talk about treatments. Mary is sitting in the living room with all four of her children.

Mary: I was very surprised when the doctor told me today that I had a choice of chemo alone or surgery and radiation. If I have the surgery it means having the lump removed and then having radiation for six weeks. If I have the chemo, it means going to the clinic for several weeks to have the treatment.

Margaret (the 15-year old): Mom, which one is the best treatment for curing the cancer?

Mary: The doctor says my cancer was found early enough so that both treatments are likely to be good to cure the cancer.

Joe (the 20-year old): But mom, if you have to do treatments for a lot of weeks, how will you get back and forth to the clinic. Are you going to feel well enough to take the bus?

Mary: I dont know how Ill feel. But the clinic is only 12 miles away and I only have one bus transfer to take.

Caren (the 17-year old): I can drive you to the clinic, Mom. Then you wont have to take the bus if you dont feel so good.

Mary: Yes, that would be nice. But I need to make certain I can schedule the appointments so that you dont miss your college classes.

Joe: Whether you do the chemo or the surgery with radiation, one of us should be with you and take you to the clinic.

Lance (the 22-year old): I agree. At least one of us should be with you the whole time. I can talk to my boss about taking some time off to help. Hell understand.

Margaret: They both sound pretty scary to me. Mom, are you scared?

Mary: Im a little scared, but I feel better since I talked with the doctor today and I went to Larry, the traditional Indian healer and prayed with him for a while. We also talked about it. He will come over later tonight to pray with all of us. But I told him I wanted to talk with you first about my choices.

Caren: So which do you want to do, mom?

Mary: I have been thinking about it all day long. I have been praying and asking the Creator for guidance. I think I dont want to do the surgery. It just doesnt feel right somehow.

Margaret (crying): But mom, wont you get sick from the chemo?

Mary: Well, a lot of people do get sick. I wont know how Ill react until I start taking it. I just dont want anyone to cut my body unless it is in ceremony. I just feel it isnt right for me to do.

Joe: Okay mom. What can we do to help? I dont know anything about chemo. Is there something I can read?

Mary: Yes, the provider gave me these booklets today that explain some of the side effects and what may happen. I think we should all read them. I think we just need to wait and see how I do with the chemo.

Margaret: I can help with the cooking and cleaning.

Caren: me too, mom. I can also help drive you to the clinic and stay with you.

Lance: I think we need to find out how often youve got to go for treatments and Caren, Joe and I will work out a schedule to take you. We can all take turns staying with you while youre having the treatments. Is that okay? For us to stay with you while youre getting chemo?

Mary: Yes, the nurse showed me the room today where chemo is given and it looks pretty comfortable. There were other family members with the patients today. So I think this will be okay to do. Well work it out together. Now, lets pray.

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