North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
6Jhe Daily Tar HeelWednesday, November 15, 1989
School adds burden I
Py JESSICA YATES
Assistant Arts and Features Editor
When college students think of
cancer, they remember grandparents,
a middle-aged neighbor or maybe
even a small child in their hometown
who had the disease.
But they rarely think of those
cancer patients they can relate to the
most their own peers.
The truth is, people in their late
teens and early 20s can and do get
many kinds of cancer.
Although very few cancers occur
before the age of 40, cancer of the
testis and Hodgkin's disease have a
higher rate of incidence in the young
adult age group than in other age
groups, said Carlan Graves, coordi
nator of the National Cancer
Institute's cancer information serv
ice in North Carolina.
Fortunately, both types of cancer
are "very curable," she said. Even at
the most advanced stages, 75 percent
of testicular cancer patients will not
die of their cancer if they live five
years without a relapse. If the cancer
is treated in the least advanced stage,
the five-year survival rate is greater
than 95 percent. "Those sorts of things
are very encouraging," Graves said.
Hodgkin's disease is a form of
lymphoma, or cancer of the lym
phatic system. Its incidence has two
age peaks one in the early 20s and
a higher peak in the late 70s.
The five-year survival rate for the
least advanced stage is up to 90 per
cent, Graves said. In the most ad
vanced stage, however, the survival
rate is only between 40 percent and
But numbers don't begin to con
vey the problems that young adults
diagnosed with cancer must face.
Many of the difficulties that accom
pany cancer are associated with spe
cific treatments, said Lynne Brophy,
head nurse at the hematologyoncol
ogy clinic at North Carolina Memo
Brophy said she had seen about
five UNC students with cancer at the
clinic in the past year.
"With surgery (to remove the
cancerous area), students might need
to take some time off and go home. If
they're graduate students and inde
pendent from their family, they might
have to stay in the hospital or have a
Students often feel nauseous for
one to three days after chemotherapy
Grits, trees and history: 'Shu' offers
Jim Shumaker wrote a book. Sort of.
Shumaker, who by all accounts is
half grizzly and half teddy bear, is an
associate professor at the journalism
school. He is the school's resident gruff
but lovable ol' news hound.
"Shu," his book, is a collection of
columns printed in the Charlotte Ob
server during the past 1 5 years. (For the
uninitiated, "Shu" is Shumaker's nick
name.) The book comes complete with il
lustrations by Jeff MacNelly, a former
UNC student who did not graduate but
did win the Pulitzer Prize at the age of
24. (Pretty cool, huh?) MacNelly is
now an editorial cartoonist with the
Chicago Tribune. Along with Pat Ol
iphant, he is one of the most influential
doodlers in the business.
Just to get this out of the way, Shu
maker has denied being the inspiration
for P. Martin Shoemaker, a main char-
Manpower is looking
for students interested
in earning great pay
plus commissions. We
offer flexible hours,
valuable training and
plus free use of a per
sonal computer. If
you're a full-time stu
dent, sophomore or
above, with at least a B
average and are com
YOU AS A COLLEGIATE
REP to promote the
sales of the
SYSTEM2 on campus.
For experience that
pays call today.
(the use of anti-cancer drugs) and
sometimes lose their hair, she said.
Radiation therapy, which sometimes
is applied every day for several
weeks, can have similar side effects.
Costs of cancer treatment can be
another burden. "It can be finan
cially very devastating,"Brophy said.
Treatment can cost more than
$100,000 per year, especially if a
bone marrow transplant is involved.
"But the earlier you catch it, the
simpler and less costly the treatment,"
The physical effects of cancer also
can be traumatic, especially "if your
cancer is disfiguring in some way or
causes a major change in appear
ance, such as a scar or hair loss,"
Acancer diagnosis can affect one's
sex life, too. Some kinds of treatment
can cause infertility, although Bro
phy emphasized that many cancer
patients can have children.
Despite UNC's size, students with
cancer are not common, and they
know it. "You don't want to act dif
ferently from other people you go to
school with, and you don't want to
ask for special privileges," Brophy
said. "It's a fine line."
Barbara Walker, a social worker
at the hospital, explained that col
lege students who have been striving
for independence may have a diffi
cult time coping with the setback.
'To be leaving your hometown and
learning to be independent and then
have this crisis and have to become
dependent again it's hard to
struggle with it."
Parents also have it rough. They
must provide students with consid
erable financial and emotional sup
port, Brophy said.
Parents often worry too much
about their children, she said. "Pre
cautions need to be taken, but give
them (the college students) space."
Patients undergoing chemother
apy or radiation should not consume
alcohol, smoke or use drugs to avoid
adding toxicity to the liver. Some of
these treatments add damaging
amounts of toxicity as it is, Graves
As the stress of being diagnosed
with a potentially terminal disease
snowballs, depression may set m.
"It's very common to be depressed
when you have cancer, Brophy said.
"It changes the course of your life."
acter in MacNelly' s syndicated daily
cartoon, Shoe. Shumaker writes:
"A graduate student at the Univer
sity said she had seen MacNelly on
network television, the Today show,
and he had identified me as the inspira
tion for P. Martin Shoemaker. I told her
you couldn't believe anything nowa
days unless you read it in the newspa
per. After getting out of the Air Force,
Shumaker attended the University on
the G.I. Bill. He, like MacNelly, did not
graduate but did go on to study at Co
lumbia University, also on the G.I. Bill.
He then wrote and edited for the Dur
ham Morning Herald and later the
Chapel Hill Weekly (which became the
Chapel Hill Newspaper).
Today he teaches news writing to
frustrated novelists and still writes the
weekly column for the Charlotte Ob
server. He has managed to gain respect in
i m i
128 E. Franklin St.
AMEX, VISA & MC accepted
UNC student learns
By JESSICA YATES
Assistant Arts and Features Editor
A diagnosis of cancer can wreak
havoc on the GPA, lead to hair loss and
cause a student to miss Carolina bas
But it doesn't have to ruin your life,
said Kim Betts, a junior criminal jus
tice major from Salisbury. Betts was
diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in
November 1988. She was 19 years old.
The classic symptoms of Hodgkin's
disease include enlargement of one or
more lymph nodes for several weeks
and later, fever, fatigue, weight loss,
itching and night sweats. But the tell
tale signs came upon Betts rather sud
denly. "I woke up one morning and I had a
pain in my chest." she said. "The only
thing I thought was that my lung col
lapsed." She went to Student Health
Service, where doctors discovered from
X-rays and a computerized tomogra
phy scan that "there was something
different there," she said.
They told her that they would have to
remove and examine tissue from her
sternum area to determine if it was
cancer. The diagnosis was confirmed
two weeks later.
Hodgkin's disease is one of the more
curable cancers, according to Carlan
Graves, coordinator of the National
Cancer Institute's cancer information
service in North Carolina. But like most
other cancers, its recovery rate depends
upon the stage in which treatment begins
and whether or not the cancer has spread.
Betts won a lot of points there. "They
caught it early," she said, "and they
haven't found it anywhere else."
Fully recovered from Hodgkin's
disease now, Betts has check-ups every
three months. But the road to recovery
was by no means short nor easy.
Betts chose chemotherapy to treat
the cancer in spite of side effects like
hair loss and nausea. "I was so scared it
(the cancer) was other places. I just
wanted to cover all the bases."
She experienced the typical side
effects. "It did make me sick. They
have drugs to stop your nausea, but
they didn't help me a lot. Also, I lost all
my hair, so I had to wear a wig."
Although she felt sick for at least a
day after her once-a-week treatment,
Betts remained in school as a part-time
student, against her doctor's recom
mendation. "I'm proud of myself for
staying in school," she said.
Other health complications made life
difficult for Betts in February near
exam time. She contracted a severe
staff infection from a catheter (a tubu
lar device that permits injection of fluids
two fields, reporting and teaching,
where it's rare to find people who re
spect even themselves.
His book, put out by Citizen Publish
ing, is a collection of almost 100 col
umns and essays, each little more than
a page long.
Shumaker's columns are reminscent
of the editorials he wrote for the Dur
ham for Chapel Hill papers. They could
supposedly scorch a politician at 100
Few editorial writers ever learn to
fashion an argument without making it
so obvious and didactic that readers
feel like they accidently happened
across the text of a Baptist sermon. But
Shumaker can be as subtle as scalding.
His writing persuades without ma
nipulating. He is confident and paints a
scene as well as any of the Southern
writers vying for the mantle with
Faulkner and Welty. He could teach
T.R. Pearson a thing or two about peri
ods an altogether overlooked and
underappreciated form of punctuation
The book's columns cover life in
Orange and Chatham counties and
Shumaker's adopted home, Caswell
Just starting out?
Exploring Career Opportunities?
Anxious about job hunting?
Can I get you a job? NO. (Sorry)
Can I help you find a career or
master job hubting
You have marketable talents,
dreams & expectations.
LET'S EXPLORE THEM
offer at reasonable prices:
Job Search Techniques
$5.00 Off Your First Appointment
i with this ad
directly into vessels or body cavities) in
her chest. "It almost killed me. I was in
the hospital for two weeks."
She stopped chemotherapy and
started radiation therapy on her neck
and chest in March. This continued
Although the cancer treatment was
nearly a semester-long ordeal, Betts
finished with a semester grade point
average of 2.9. "I was really happy
about that. My teachers were great and
Dean (Roberta) Owen helped me a lot."
While her success is well-documented
in medical files and academic
transcripts, Betts has not forgotten the
emotional pain of fighting such an
"I didn't talk about it a lot, but it
would have helped. I tried to act so
strong ... like I could handle it. At the
end I had clinical depression because I
tried to keep everything inside, because
my parents weren't dealing well with
it, and I basically felt like I was alone.
Sometimes when your body gets sick,
your mind does too."
According to Betts, her parents re
acted in much the same way. "My family
I don't think they knew how to deal
with it. They were just real confused,
like, 'Why is this happening?' My dad
said my mom aged 10 years because of
what happened to me. It was a shock."
But her parents remained optimistic
and open about the subject of cancer.
"They talked to people about it, and
you learn from others who have had it."
Even so, "No one really knew what to
say," she said.
Betts credits staff members at North
Carolina Memorial Hospital for pro
viding her main support system. "They
were wonderful doctors. Everyone over
there was so caring."
But doctors and nurses can't com
pensate for the weekend fun college
students yearn for. While many stu
dents were going on dates, attending
ball games and partying, Betts's social
life was virtually non-existent.
"When you're on chemotherapy,
you're very susceptible to infection, so
I basically shut myself out from the
world. I went to one basketball game,"
When she started wearing an artifi
cial hairpiece, it brought stress to social
"I was self-conscious about having a
wig, though it really looked like my
real hair. Actually, I got compliments
about my hair. After I wore it for a
month it was no big deal."
Now, Betts said she isn't depressed
anymore, but the emotional rockslide
could have been avoided. "I didn't join
The pieces on Orange County and
Chapel Hill are poignant and the kind
of thing that people otherwise might
not remember in the near future. Five
years can be a long time in a college
town, and Shumaker's memories go
way back by local standards.
Students spend only five to six years
in town, even less if they don't gradu
ate, and most townies have moved here
recently and work for the University. A
THE KENAN CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS
Welcomes One of America's Most Outstanding Entrepreneurs
Chairman, Perot Systems
To Speak On Internationa Competitiveness
Wednesday, November 15, 8:00 p.m.
David Gergen,editor-at-large, U.S. News and World Report
To Speak on "International Relations for U.S. Business"
Thursday, November 16, 8:30 a.m.
A panel discussion on "International Business Ethics" led by
Arthur Miller, Harvard Law School professor and creator of the
televised "Arthur Miller's Court".
Thursday, November 16, 10:00 a.m.
All events to be held at the Dean E. Smiih Student Activities Center
on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel I Iill.
Free bus transportation for Thursday's program starts at
7:45 a.m. from Chapel Hill's University Mall.
THE FRANK HAWKINS KENAN INSTITUTE OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
UNC MBA STUDENT ASSOCIATION
to cope with cancer
. ,. v -;V:f
iX Jf .
-''"A if " -- - ,
j - - v: y
fJ AX K f tr)
" " - I j"'M& I
I -' ' v
'tJ' - - ;
j? - :k - - :;
!:; ' . ' -
Junior Kim Betts successfully battled cancer while at UNC
a support group, but maybe I should
have ... For a long time I was like, 'Why
me?' But I don't even ask it anymore
basically because I faced it, it hap
pened, forget about it, go on with your
life. I can't live in the past. You can't
dwell on it."
a look at the past
second generation resident of Chapel
Hill is a rare sight indeed.
So it can be hard to get a handle on
recent local history.
Not many students realize the events
that turned Chapel Hill's rag-tag tree
huggers into a rag-tag lobbying force to
be reckoned with. They helped push a
tree protection ordinance through the
town council this fall. (Fines up to
$10,000 can now be levied against
careless tree defilers.)
Shumaker details two tree-killing
atrocities that have occurred within the
past few years, one by "a barbecue
palace" (presumably the Sonny's that
stood on Highway 15-501 before it was
forced out of business by an informal
boycott) and one by Duke Power.
More significant is Shumaker's
chronicling of the changes that have
taken place in the rural and formerly
rural parts of Orange County during the
past 20 years as the Triangle has grown
and yuppies have taken over land that
had belonged to grits and their ances
tors for generations. Three of the book's
columns address the subject directly,
and it is a constant undercurrent in the
columns about life near Chapel Hill.
"Part of the country (in Orange) is as
it has always been, gently rolling with
red clay rises and falls. Along the
stretches the developers haven't gotten
to yet, the pines and cedars and hard
woods and hollies and dogwoods march
right up to the shoulders and you still
Despite the pain, frustration and
confusion of dealing with cancer, Betts
said she did learn from the experience.
"The biggest thing I learned about
myself is that you wonder how you
could get through something, but when
it happens, you do. Anybody can cope."
feel that strange loneliness peculiar to
southern rural roads on a Sunday after
noon." The University train station and post
office where Shumaker's grandmother
worked is now home to a trailer park, a
fact Shu finds degrading.
But he reveals a soft, personal side,
too. He has pined away for movie star
Ava Gardner since the war. He was
inspired to write about his admiration
from afar when she revealed in an inter
view that, if she had found the right
man, she would have given up her ca
reer for the sake of love.
'The tragic part is that she didn't
know about my feelings, and I didn't
have a clue to her true heart's desire,
giving our relationship its Romeo and
Juliet overtone," Shumaker wrote in a
column from 1983.
He never says if she responded to his
Despite Shumaker's semi-unrequited
love for Gardner, the book is dedicated
to his "long-suffering" wife and old
lady, Doris, whose portrait of Shumaker
graces page xi of the introduction.
It's a shame Shumaker never wrote
the best-selling novel he and most
other news writers dreamed about.
But fiction's loss ...
from page 1
Squad to take him in for treatment.
University police picked up the other
After the incident, Smith called the
nude run a "whim" of the three pledges
involved and called the idea of frater
nity hazing "stupid."
Handled With Care
the copy center
Open 24 Hourc
1 14 W. Franklin St.