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The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, November 15, 1989, Page 6, Image 6

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6Jhe Daily Tar HeelWednesday, November 15, 1989 : Spotlight School adds burden I for student 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 65 percent. 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 rial Hospital. 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 home nurse." 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- EARN WHILE YOU LEARN Manpower is looking for students interested in earning great pay plus commissions. We offer flexible hours, valuable training and business experience, 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 puter familiar, MANPOWER NEEDS YOU AS A COLLEGIATE REP to promote the sales of the IBM PERSONAL SYSTEM2 on campus. For experience that pays call today. MANPOWER' TEMPORARY SERVICES 929-0279 ALICE LOCKHART patients (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," Graves said. 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," Brophy said. 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 said. 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." Tom Parks Book 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 REMEMBER ONLY LffSAWAY ITEMS UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE AT nvfiflin 0 Connection VA i m i "Where Seeing Is Believing!" Mon.-Thurs. 10-5:30 Friday 10-6 Saturday 12-6 128 E. Franklin St. 967-GOLD 1 rn i 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 ketball games. 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 paces. 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 and brevity. The book's columns cover life in Orange and Chatham counties and Shumaker's adopted home, Caswell Career, IE IS 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 techniques? YES! You have marketable talents, dreams & expectations. LET'S EXPLORE THEM TOGETHER! offer at reasonable prices: Career Counseling Resume Writing Interview Coaching Job Search Techniques CALL 933-5480 $5.00 Off Your First Appointment i with this ad a 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 until mid-April. 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 indiscriminant killer. "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," she said. When she started wearing an artifi cial hairpiece, it brought stress to social relations. "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 James Shumaker Beach. 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 if J THE KENAN CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS Welcomes One of America's Most Outstanding Entrepreneurs Ross Perot Chairman, Perot Systems To Speak On Internationa Competitiveness Wednesday, November 15, 8:00 p.m. also: 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. Sponsored by: 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 - - :; !:; ' . ' - DTHTracey Langhorne 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 open letter. 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 ... Report from page 1 Squad to take him in for treatment. University police picked up the other two streakers. 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 Quality Copies Convenient Hours Specialty Papers the copy center Open 24 Hourc 1 14 W. Franklin St. 967-0790

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