According to the National Cancer institute, “In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.” That is just over 35%. I have listened to the stories of two people that are part of our Elmwood-Murdock family whose lives have been affected by cancer.
The first person I interviewed is a brother to Mrs. Lisa Schmidt, Bob Talbitzer, who is a teacher in Kearney. Who currently has brain cancer, Grade 5 glioblastoma femoris. He was gracious enough to let me tell his story in this article. My first question is of course, was, “How has cancer affected your life? Your loved ones?” He responded with, “I have a very poor short term memory. I am more anxious and am quick to anger, and finally slightly fatigued. My family is great but it is evident that they are not only concerned but sad as well.” Family is crucial when you have cancer. They are one’s back bone and carry one through everything, never losing hope. The next question I asked was, “If you could tell your past self one thing what would it be?” He gave me an inspiring response, “Not to live life like you're never going to die. I wish I would've been more attuned to the things going on around me, rather than just taking part in the world in which I have lived.” The fourth question I asked was, “Do you have a special quote or song that gives you hope?” He responded with, “As a Christian I have many Biblical quotes, but of all those I would say a song sums it up the best. The song is by Laura Daigle called Trust in You; I really would encourage you to listen to it.” The final question I asked Bob got the most heartfelt response, “What are you most thankful for?” He replied, “For God placing my wife smack dab in front of me. She has been not only a great mother, great wife, but my best friend.” I wanted to give Bob a special thanks for letting me interview him. Have a great life, Bob, YOU deserve it!
The next person I interviewed was our Algebra and Geometry teacher right here in Elmwood-Murdock, Mrs. Kim Tennal. Mrs. Tennal is on the other side of my cancer story as she speaks of her husband, who has stage 3 colon cancer that has spread all throughout his body. Mrs. Tennal Says that her husband's diagnosis of cancer has, “certainly made us appreciate each other a lot more.” His sister died a year ago from colon cancer so they are both relying on each other for support. I asked her, “If you could tell your past self one thing what would it be?” She responded with, “Take more time to enjoy the little things.” The Tennal family has a special quote that is certainly true: “10L TOUGH, NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!” Mrs. Tennal’s niece also has stage 3 colon cancer. Mrs.Tennal is thankful, “That there are so many people that care and pray for us everyday.” If she got the chance to do it over, Mrs.Tennal would tell her husband to go to the doctor sooner because colon cancer is preventable if you catch it. It is very important not to ignore the signs and she also advises everyone to get a colonoscopy right away if you have one or more symptoms of the disease because you can never be too careful when it comes to your health.
Both Bob and Kim are cancer superheroes because they have really made an impact on one life or another. Bob fought cancer for his family and loved ones, and Kim is superwoman to her strong husband. But they aren’t the only ones; please help us support other cancer superheroes by spreading awareness. Together, we can do this!