UNION CITY, Ohio - Pam (Page-Arnold) Young was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer on Nov. 16, 2012, and was given eight months to live by doctors who told her it was incurable.
At the present time, Young is undergoing radiation on her hip bones and back and chemotherapy to slow down the cancer.
“I’ve got cancer in the bones,” she said during this interview. “I’ve had three treatments of chemo so far and will have three treatments every three weeks. So far, it seems to be doing some good.”
She said she will start taking steroids after the chemo.
Young was having flu-like symptoms when she became sick.
“I coughed and it felt like a chest cold,” she recalled. “They treated me for pneumonia.”
But it was nurse practitioner Elizabeth Holmes who found the culprit.
“She did blood work and my liver enzymes were high,” Young said. “She sent me to a cancer doctor and they did a biopsy of my liver. It had spread throughout my body. The cancer doctor was on top of it.”
Young underwent chemo as soon as the results came back.
“They told me from the beginning I’d have eight months, but I’m going to be here a long time,” she said.
Husband Lonnie explained that the lung cancer she has is a rapid growing cancer.
“I was finally happy in my life,” Pam teared up. “God gave me the happiness in my life right now. We weren’t expecting cancer but I won’t let it stand in my way of being happy…not just for me but others, too. I know where I’m going to go, but I worry about my family, husband, children and friends.”
She and Lonnie, who has worked at Treaty Supply in Greenville since 1987, were married June 16 last year, after having met at a local establishment, known as Sarah Bella’s, in Union City.
“I was singing karaoke and he was playing pool,” she said. “And, it went from there.”
“Both of us were going through hard times at the time and finally we were happy…then boom,” said Pam. “Friends tell me, ‘You’re like your mama, you’ll make it through it.’”
Young, daughter of Ruth and Dale Page of Union City, Ind., would like to get the message across that even though someone has cancer, look at the positive side of it, even if it’s bad news. I have a lot of help from family and friends. I don’t ever give up. I’ll keep the fight going.”
“Live while you’re alive,” Lonnie added.
Pam has three children, Timothy, Harlie and Eva Arnold and four grandchildren with another on the way.
“They’re everything to me,” she said. “My grandson has gone to treatment with me sometimes.”
Husband Lonnie shaved his wife’s head before she started her chemo.
“My cousin is making me hats and sending them in the mail,” she said. “I think I got one for each day of the month.”
Lonnie, she said, is keeping things going on at home while she undergoes her treatments.
Her treatments take place at the Richmond, Ind., Cancer Center.
“My cancer doctor is Dr. Sehkar, who is very good and right up front with me, and my radiation doctor in Dr. Kumar,” she said. “All the doctors get together to check up on me and see how I’m doing. There are navigators there to answer our questions. They’re there for comfort and to help with financial assistance. They are the nicest people up there. I want honesty and the doctor is very honest and blunt.”
She and her mother have had some comical things occur while at the cancer center, making the visit even more interesting.
“I lost my car twice,” Ruth said.
“We laughed all the way home,” Pam added.
Young, who had a port put in on Dec. 7, said she is a smoker, but is trying her hardest to break the habit.
“Emphysema kills oxygen in the lung cells and sets off the cancer,” Lonnie explained.
“My sister, Wendy quit when she found out, and my brother, Danny, did too,” she said.
Basically, Young’s restrictions are that she not be around anybody with a cold or temperatures over 100.4 degrees.
“I’m careful about that,” she said. “I wear a mask. I can also do no heavy lifting or I can’t fast dance. I had a great Christmas with everybody in the family. I couldn’t go out, so they came to my house and visited.”
A benefit has been set up for Young on March 2 from noon to 10 p.m. at Paws Bingo Hall in Greenville. Planned for that day are a dinner, bake sale, cornhole tournament, Jail-n-Bail, 50/50 and other raffles, auction and door prizes to help paying for her residing medical bills.
There will also be live entertainment with Everett Garland providing karaoke and the bands Tantrum and Dyslexia Funk planning on being there too. Young is hoping to be there, and she’ll probably sing a few tunes if she’s able.
Anyone wanting to contribute anything to the benefit can call Young’s mother, Ruth Page, at 765-978-0421.