As a registered nurse and the manager of pediatric services for Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Gene Glave knew all about cancer treatment — and its aftermath. She had administered chemotherapy to the youngest cancer patients for years, celebrating as many emerged well and weeping for those who lost the battle.
So in early 2006, when Glave discovered a suspicious lump in her breast and was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, she knew to expect the unexpected. To help her cope, and to help others walking through similar valleys, she started a blog — one laced with humor. It was the way Glave decided to face her battle.
“Writing helped me make fun of the cancer,” Glave wrote. “If you can laugh at what is happening to you, it loses power over you.”
She even took her battle to the stage. A familiar presence in the Charleston theater community, Glave put on a one-woman show called “The Mammologues,” reflecting on her experiences, both good and bad, in her battle against cancer.
Friends, co-workers, family and supporters contributed to a sold-out show and 100 roses to show Glave how much they appreciated her sharing her story. Instead of keeping them for herself, Glave took two dozen to a nearby nursing home that night and another two dozen to a church the following day.
At work on the pediatric floor, Glave always interacted with patients, holding and comforting them as they went through uncomfortable procedures and rolling out the red carpet when someone needed extra-special TLC.
So, it didn’t surprise her co-workers that following her diagnosis, Glave would continue to work.
And, no one was surprised that within days of her surgery, she helped open Kid Spot, a new, child-friendly area in the hospital’s outpatient surgery waiting room.
Glave finished her chemo treatments in May 2006. She never looked back. “I am more and more convinced that breast cancer needed to happen to me because I am able to talk to so many women who are in the beginning of the valley I just walked through, and I think I can be some comfort to them,” Glave wrote on her blog.(source)
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