It was time to slow down. At 61, Barbra Clark was deciding whether to continue working full-time or cut back to part-time. As a Jehovah’s Witness, she looked forward to volunteering in the ministry when her work schedule was lighter.
In 2005, a suspicious mammogram made the decision for her. There was a mass in her left breast, and a biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of cancer. She began a regimen of chemotherapy to shrink a tumor in her left breast prior to having a lumpectomy.
By the time she recovered from surgery, Barbra’s life had changed. Always on the go, she found that she had no energy. She was weak and only wanted to stay at home. Friends encouraged her to get involved in her local community center. It made a difference, and soon she started volunteering.
She also took part in the cancer Survivor’s Clinic and support group at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital where she had all her care. She says both are wonderful. “The staff let us know we are individuals. We can overcome anything. I always knew I had someone to talk to. Anytime I have an appointment in the hospital, I go to the waiting room just to let other patients know they will be fine.”
Today, Barbra must listen to her own advice. She has diabetes and struggles with neuropathy. And doctors have found more tumors in her left breast. She is waiting to hear about treatment options. “At first, I was down,” she says, “but I went to a two-week Bible class and felt better. If I lean on God, I can keep going. I’m taking every negative thing and putting it in a box. I won’t take the lid off.”
Barbra credits her children, good friends and her faith with helping her get through the first cancer experience. “I wouldn’t have made it without the help of Jehovah God.”
As in her first cancer treatment, she’ll rely on the staff at LBJ. “When I had no money, they treated me as though I had all the money in the world. Now I could go anywhere in town, but I’ll go back to LBJ. That’s my family, and I won’t leave them.”