Family helps Welch through fight with cancer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Carol Welch said it was the support of her loving family and the power of prayer to get her over her battle with breast cancer.

&8220;When I would go to the doctor&8217;s office I would see people who had been going through what I was, but for years and alone,&8221; Carol said. &8220;I couldn&8217;t imagine going though treatments and the whole ordeal without family support.&8221;

In May of last year, after a routine checkup and yearly mammogram, Welch, 67, discovered she had breast cancer.

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&8220;I guess my initial reaction was shock because there was never a history of cancer in my family and I had that attitude that it could never happen to me,&8221; Welch said.

Around the time Carol discovered she had cancer, her daughter, Kellie, moved back from Florence with her son, Austin, three daughters, Rebecca, Haley and Shelbie, and one granddaughter, Abigail Lane, to be closer to home.

&8220;Of course there was that fear of losing her and the concern with what she&8217;d go through as far as treatment,&8221; Kellie said. &8220;But everyone tried to keep a positive attitude.&8221;

Carol said the doctors attributed her cancer to estrogen hormones she had been prescribed.

&8220;They told me, at my age, that type of medicine was dangerous,&8221; Carol said. &8220;They all said I should never had been taking those things.&8221;

Carol said she was fortunate that the doctors caught the cancer early and were able to treat it quickly.

The doctors started her off with six treatments of chemotherapy and then six treatments of radiation, Carol said.

&8220;The radiation wasn&8217;t bad at all but the chemo was a different thing,&8221; Carol said. &8220;There were times when I&8217;d lay down to sleep and I&8217;d start to shake badly.&8221;

Carol said her friends at the Vidalia Assembly of God Church were more confident than she that she would pull though.

&8220;I never talked about it to them, I mean I couldn&8217;t even say the word cancer,&8221; Carol said. &8220;But my friends had several prayer sessions and they just knew I&8217;d be OK.&8221;

Her friends and family turned out to be correct when on April 19, doctors told her no signs of cancer in her body still existed.

&8220;I&8217;m glad she is at the end of that long journey,&8221; Kellie said. &8220;I keep thinking of how on Mother&8217;s Day we all were so happy to have her here with us.&8221;

Carol and her family are particularly looking forward to their family reunion in Bull Shoals Lake, Ark., this July.

&8220;It will be a sigh of relief to see all of our family members, who prayed and hoped for the best, together again,&8221; Kellie said.