Cancer, what a powerful word. It is one word that no one ever wants to hear. In October of 2000, my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was scared for him and for myself. It was a learning experience for both of us, but the big shock was on Nov. 7, 2000,when I, Toni Oliverson, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
I had surgery on the 15th of November and the doctor said it wasn't good. He told me I might have two and one-half to three years. I was out of the hospital on the 20th. On the 21st, I visited the oncologist in Provo. He told me that he could give me several more years than the first doctor said. I told him, "Go for it."
I had my first chemo treatment on Dec. 1, and lost my hair on Dec. 12.
The support I received from my friends, neighbors, family, and my Orangeville Second Ward family was overwhelming. There were many days when I felt I just couldn't do it any more. I am tired most of the time, have my share of nausea and other side effects, but then my beautiful children and grandchildren walk through the door and I know what ever I have to go through is worth it because I love my family so much and want to see my grandchildren grow up. I've been lucky enough to see another grandchild come into the family.
I lost my husband in July 2004. I have been on chemo ever since, every Monday I get treatments, I am two months into my fifth year and I plan to be here for a lot more. I know that without my family, my church, my very special friend, who is also a cancer survivor, and my faith in my Heavenly Father, I could not do this.
It is all the support given that makes surviving possible. No one could do it alone.
The first survivors walk that I was in was amazing. As I walked around the track at the high school, there was cheering for all of us. As I reached the place where the luminaries were, I was so surprised at the names of the cancer victims.
We need to do anything that we can to support the Emery County Cancer Chapter. Get involved and help. All of our lives will be touched by someone with cancer, a family member, a friend, who knows. We are all victims of this dreaded disease.
God bless us all. Cancer survivors are truly a rare breed.