In July 2003, Kay Powell of Richmond, then 57, lost her job when her employer moved its manufacturing operation overseas.
Because of how she became unemployed, Powell was eligible for assistance with up to two years of schooling.
While she was exploring her career options, Powell was hit by an even greater challenge.
Her annual mammogram detected a lump in her breast.
That was on Oct. 4. Twelve days later, she was at Pattie A. Clay Hospital undergoing a lumpectomy.
“I was one of the luck ones,” said Powell, who moved to Richmond 26 years ago. “My cancer was detected early.”
The operation by Dr. Hamed Koury appeared to be successful, and she has been cancer-free for the past 10 years.
“I’m a strong believer in getting an annual mammogram,” she said, attributing her survival in large part to early detection.
With her surgery out of the way, Powell went back to thinking about what she would do for the rest of her life.
She decided Eastern Kentucky University’s child development program was the best fit for her, and both her husband and daughter encouraged her to enroll.
And after earning an associate’s degree, Powell went to work for the preschool program at Richmond’s First United Methodist Church.
She kept that job until her husband’s poor health led her to give it up to care for him.
While she was recovering from her surgery, Powell was visited by Arlayne Francis, co-founder of the Madison County Breast Cancer Support Group.
Members of the group visit breast cancer patients to deliver a “Recovery Basket” filled with items they will find useful after surgery.
The baskets typically are decorated with pink tissue and include items such as coffee mugs, candles, hand lotions, notebooks, coffee, tea, chewing gum, hard candies, devotional books and goodies from local beauty salons.
Powell appreciated the visit and the basket, but she didn’t get involved with the group until later.
While attending a Body Recall class, the exercise program for older adults, Powell noticed that she and another woman, Phyllis McDaniel, were wearing identical T-shirts promoting breast cancer awareness.
As they talked, McDaniel told Powell about her participation as an active member of the support group.
Recalling her initial experience with the organization, Powell decided to attend a meeting and has been active since.
Among the members are women who have been cancer-free for years longer than she, Powell said, and that helps give her hope of remaining free of cancer.
She also finds strength and satisfaction with the group to help others who are in the battle against breast cancer.
Powell was able to reassure a cancer patient who was anxious about taking a medication that she had taken. She shared her experience, telling the new patient about potential side effects and how to cope with them.
More recently, she worked a booth for the support group at a local fitness center to help raise money for a cancer patient to pay her medical bills.
On Nov. 2, she will be volunteering again, helping the group stage the annual Women’s Wellness Fun Day.
- Lifestyles & Community
Boost your energy without caffeine
When your energy level starts nose-diving in mid-afternoon, do you reach for a cup of java or that canned energy drink for help?
If so, you’re like a growing number of American men and women. In one recent USDA report, women in their 30s consume about 165 milligrams of caffeine each day, but by age 50, the daily average climbs to 225 milligrams.
While the cup of daily coffee isn’t bad ― the antioxidants in java are good for you ― a half dozen cups a day can be. Not only that, it’s like putting a bandage on the problem. Instead, combat your fatigue with these energy boosters.
Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
A young boy grew up in Berea, in a family that was blessed with a variety of musical talents.
His mother was a member of a female group who performed onstage regularly at Renfro Valley, in Rockcastle County.
This young man would routinely attend shows to watch his mother, and other artists, perform on stage. He was eager to learn from them every chance he could. He knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in the music industry and was willing to seek advice and mentoring from those who were experienced in the industry.
’Tis the season for giving
There is a feeling of pride that wells up in all parents when they see their children giving something of theirs to another person. It is all the more poignant when children are giving something that they greatly value and reflects a significant sacrifice on their part.
Young children are often looking for ways to contribute and help others’ out. The trick for parents is to have children continue their giving behaviors as they get older.
Moving to Richmond was the right decision
I was just thinking the other day about a decision I made 30 years ago that was definitely right.
I answered the call of First Baptist Church in Richmond to serve as its minister of music. My first Sunday in that position was Nov. 27, 1983.
The shopping frenzy cuts into Thanksgiving
Anyone who was out this weekend, whether to join in the bargain hunt or out of necessity, met with heavy traffic and people on a mission. Some in a great holiday mood and some frustrated with it all.
I heard a lot of talk about the days when the “blue law” that kept businesses closed on Sunday was in effect. This law came about in colonial times to keep a “rigid religious standard.” But as time progressed, it was shown that those not necessarily religious liked the idea, too, as a family day and day of rest from a busy world.
Does first Thanksgiving compare our observance?
I have done some research on what our forefathers actually ate on the first Thanksgiving in America. This is probably what happened.
Prepare your home for the holiday
Reading “The Night Before Christmas” has always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. In the poem the family has prepared for a visit from St. Nicholas with stockings hung by the chimney with care. The chimney must have been clean because Santa came down it with no trouble, just a little ashes and soot on his fur.
Difficult ordeal made easier by caring friends
I was just thinking the other day about a number of things related to my broken hip and that were happy experiences rather than difficult ones.
Resistance to change prevents opportunities
“I heard we may be getting a new computer system installed” a co-worker shares with you. “I heard the changes to the system may be pretty big. I don’t know if I can learn a whole new system again. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we had to upgrade to this one.”
St. Mark Christmas Bazaar Dec. 7
St. Mark's Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. One of the favorite items, the Cookie Trays, a glass plate filled with delicious homemade cookies and decorated with holiday flair will again be available as will tables of other baked goods including pies, cakes, coffeecakes, fruitbreads, candy, and homemade bread. Jams, jellies and pickles will add to the goodies that will tempt your palate. There will also be craft items and a silent auction of two wooden angels, nearly life-size and handcrafted by parishioner Don Fourre, that will be a bargain. What would be a better time than now to purchase them to decorate the front of your home.
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