Giving Back After Getting More

By Jennifer Black

 After being diagnosed with cancer in July of 2011, I thought I wouldn’t have the time or the strength to do a lot to help myself, let alone help others. God gave me a second chance, and I beat the illness and have more time in this world. I went through radiation and chemotherapy. I was really sick and went through my treatment. The doctors told me that usually people with lung cancer they don’t live after one year. When I went for my CAT scan in October they said they did not see any more cancer cells.

 They want me to come back in March to look at it again. They did find spots on my lungs so I have to go in for treatment, now in February. If it is not one thing it is another. Twice a week for two hours I stand outside the West Side Market on West 25th and Lorain Ave, passing out the Cleveland Street Chronicle, a Northeast Ohio Street newspaper that’s, profits goes to the vendors who are low income. I enjoy vending because I get to meet a lot of people in the community, at the same time give it something back. I also love putting smile on someone else’s face while I’m vending.

One day at a time. Giving back, after getting more, I still take pain pills. Some days I have good days and some days are bad. Some days I can’t get out of bed. I can’t stay on feet to long. I am real short of breath. I still feel like I’m sick. I hurt all day. I get dizzy. My arm goes numb; I still feel I have cancer.

Without that Medicare, I don’t know what I would do. I don’t think I am well. I think I am going to have to get a second opinion. That is why I took this job with the paper. It takes my mind off the pain; they are talking about taking me off Medicare. I don’t know what I would do. I was on disability before my cancer. I have always had health issues and they diagnosed me with a regular disability and put me on Medicaid. I feel lucky to be on disability and Medicaid because I don’t have a problem paying for medicine or going to the doctor. I just wish I could get healthy.

I am tired all the time. I know a lot of people who have to pay for their medicine or doctor co-pays even on Medicaid, but I don’t. I feel real lucky. I hope the cancer does not come back. I don’t want to be sick. Lying down seems to make it hurt worse and I try not to think about the pain. I hope that God takes away the cancer and will make me well. I am tired of suffering.    

Copyright Street Chronicle/NEOCH FEBRUARY 2014 Cleveland OHIO