I am currently working with a patient who I met through the UCF Scholarship Program. Sally (name changed for privacy) recently had a relapse of Hodgkin lymphoma. She was originally diagnosed in 2008, 2 weeks after the birth of her second child.
Sally has been through quite a lot in her young life- an abusive husband, losing custody of her children, losing a parent to cancer and her own diagnosis. In spite of all of this, she has an amazing spirit and I love when she stops by the office for a visit.
Things are tough right now for Sally, as you can imagine. To compound everything, she is having financial difficulties. Her prescription co-pays alone are nearly impossible for her to cover. She also does not have family support in the area so the UCF staff has been helping out to transport her to her chemotherapy.
What caused me to blog about her this week is that currently Sally is struggling with her hair loss. Her hair is falling out in clumps from the chemotherapy, it will probably be all gone in a week or so. She is terrified of scaring her small children with a bald head when she sees them this week (during her once weekly 3 hour visit)…they don’t even know that she is sick yet.
I personally cannot imagine what Sally is going through and thinking. I am also a mother and I can’t imagine the anxiety and anguish that she must be feeling with the fear that she might scare her children.
When we hear that someone has been diagnosed with cancer- we think life or death- the big picture- but there are so many small things that cancer takes along the way…