Meet ScarlettFebruary 1, 2012 • Posted by Gil in Stories • • 0 comments
When I began as IT Consultant for Wine For Cures, I never expected to be diagnosed in the fall of 2011 with cancer myself. Shortly after beginning work, I was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. I had been teaching IT classes for the unemployed and doing consulting work for Wine For Cures when my lungs filled with fluid. The doctor traced the cancer cells in the lung fluid back to my left ovary. My entire abdomen was full of cancer. It was quite a shock. Now, I could tell you a tale of cancer markers, white blood cell counts, chemotherapy and test results, but that is not where the real story exits.
The real story exits in the sense of community who has come together to surround me with caring and comfort during my illness. The real story exits in the true caring nature of human beings and how they show compassion for another human being during difficult times. The real story is quite an incredible story.
When I found myself being suddenly rushed into the ER with my lungs full of fluid, one of my students from the employment center, D, suddenly showed up at the ER and stayed with me from 4pm to midnight when they finally admitted me to the hospital after running x-rays and CT scans. Then, D took my dog home to take care of him while I was in the hospital.
When I got home from the hospital, my students came by my apartment and dropped off easy meals to help me get through chemotherapy treatments. They came by and checked on me, got me out of my apartment on my good days for outings to the Art Museum or the Park or a Movie or Dinner. They volunteered to stay with me overnight in my apartment on the nights when I suffered severe side effects from chemotherapy treatments. They got me to doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy appointments.
I am so looking forward to returning to other activities including my work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where I lead lectures and tours of the Picasso exhibit last year.
My colleague, G, from Wine For Cures, as a Leukemia survivor, has been my greatest cheerleader. When I need encouragement from test results or difficult side effects from chemotherapy, G calls with moral support.
Every week, I learn about another prayer list that I am on. I have a Master of Divinity degree from the Seminary, and I have taught Religion courses at the University level. I was also a Supply Preacher and a Campus Minister. I did a lot of Inter-faith work. Friends from every faith and Christian Denomination have contacted me to let me know they are praying for me. Former university students keep in touch with me to check on how I am doing and find out what they can do for me. Former faculty members from the university have contacted me. The faculty, staff and President of the Seminary keep in touch to find out what they can do for me and let me know they are praying for me. All of these prayers give me strength and encouragement.
I have had Seminary friends come from as far as Baltimore, MD to Richmond, VA to stay with me in my apartment when I’m going through surgery or chemotherapy to take care of me. I am on prayer lists all over the country, including the Buddhist Monastery in New York.
I find this amazing and a tribute to the natural compassionate nature in human beings.