Evangeline Roberson tells a story about her close friend, Eva. When Eva described some symptoms that sounded disturbing, Evangeline pleaded with her friend to see a doctor. Finally, she made an appointment and tricked Eva into going. It was too late for Eva. She went from her clinic visit to the hospital and then to hospice.
So in August 2010, when Evangeline’s doctor at Harris Health Martin Luther King Jr. discovered a lump in her breast, she did not need to be persuaded to pursue treatment.
“Eva’s experience made me want to get care quickly,” she says. “I tell everyone not to wait. If there is a problem, go quickly, go boldly.”
Evangeline had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, all at Ben Taub Hospital. Both the chemo and radiation were hard on her. But she is thankful that at a follow-up visit in November 2011, doctors saw no sign of cancer. She eagerly awaits each subsequent visit.
“All of my care—diagnosis, surgery, chemo, radiation, follow-up—has been through the Harris Health System. Most of it has been at Ben Taub, and it’s all been great.”
Evangeline’s life centers around helping others, a trait she learned from her mother. Before her cancer, Evangeline volunteered in nursing homes. One volunteer opportunity turned into a paid position. But she stopped working when her mother became ill and required care. She discovered her cancer shortly before her mother’s death.
Her dream is to become a writer. “I wrote creatively before the cancer. Now I have some memory issues. But I’m doing some memory and writing exercises. I take notes of sermons and TV shows, and then I write about them. Just recently, I’ve picked up a pencil and paper to try to write creatively again. I hope to write a novel one day.
“I can see that I’m growing. I truly believe in God. I think he’ll keep moving me forward until one day I become a writer.”