VOL. 25, NO. 1
JAN, 6, 1978
you can't give up/ cancer patient says
By William Erwin
Polio gave Alfred Schofell a lame right
leg; emphysema made him short of
breath; cancer took his voice box. Last
year, a cancerous tumor the size of an egg
grew on his jaw.
But "you can't give up," he says,
pounding his fist on the dining table in his
Schofell, 56, isn't about to give up. He's
one of an estimated three million
Americans alive today who have a history
of cancer. With the help of his family and
some able health professionals, he has
learned to accept the changes his disease
has caused. Now he's squeezing as much
living as he can into each day.
The former construction foreman and
his wife, Vivian, tend a greenhouse full of
plants that they sell to neighbors in their
coastal plain community of Grantsboro
east of New Bern.
In February they start raising vegetable
plants from seed — Homestead and
Rugert tomatoes, peppers, cabbage,
collards and broccoli. They sell four kinds
of ivy, and geraniums, wandering Jew,
THE FISH ARE WAITING at the mouth of the Neu*e for Alfred Schofell
(right) and grandson Chris Santimaw, but a few more plants in the
greenhouse need to be repotted first. Cancer and other diseases have
presented Schofell with some detours,
roadblocks. (Photo bi/ William Erwin)
yet few insurmountable
If s not just wedding bells and diaper pails
By Parker Herring
You used to not have much of a choice.
For most couples it was wedding bells
to diaper pails without much thought
given to doing anything else.
But increasingly young people are
thinking about whether or not they really
want to have children. The role of
parenthood is being scrutinized as people
take a look at the age-old values associated
A nursing course. Nursing 121 A,
entitled "Parenthood," was designed to
give Duke students a basis for deciding
whether or not they want to become
Gerber image vs. reality
"If people understand what parenting is
all about," said course instructor Betty
Harris, RN, "then they can make a
"People need to discover for themselves
if their idea of parenthood centers on the
Gerber baby image or on realistic
expectations," she said.
Harris started teaching the course in
1972. Initially 14 female nursing students
were the only ones enrolled in the class.
Now the course is open each semester
to Duke undergraduates, with
enrollment computer-keyed so that the
student ratio is 50% male, 50% female.
"I've found it's better to have it that
way (50-50)," Harris said. "One semester
I had one man and 19 females in the class
and the discussion kept getting askewed.
"The courses places a heavy emphasis
on what it is actually like to be a parent,"
she said. "It complements courses in child
Chronology and fantasies
Harris said her course explores the
chronological aspects of parenthood —
why people have children, what
pregnancy is hke, what family-centered
birth is like, how to parent children of
different ages, parenting adult children
and the relationships of grandparents.
Students explore their fantasies about
parenthood and are exposed to the
realities of modern parenting.
"More people are having problems
being parents today," Harris said. "A lot
of that is associated with the high divorce
rate and more women working. Many
families are faced with the problem of not
being as accessible as their parents were
"The early stages of parenthood are
rough for most people," she continued.
"Being a parent is a lot more work than
most people think."
And parenthood can be a shock to
"Many people suffer a type of reality
shock when they first become parents,
and how new parents react to the
(Continued on page 3)
Fall shifts their energies from
greenhouse to dining table, where they
make plaques from sea shells they gather
beside the Atlantic 30 miles away.
Quite a fisherman
Whenever he can, Schofell fishes for
croakers and spots at the mouth of the
Neuse River. Sixteen-year-old grandson
Chris likes to come along; so does
daughter Jane Santimaw, head
psychiatric nurse at Craven County
Hospital. They live next door to the
Four other children and seven other
grandchildren are scattered from
Arapahoe, down the road, to northern
New York state.
Schofell says hell never forget the
morning five years ago when he and son
Jeffrey and Chris pulled 468 pounds of
fish out of the Neuse. In one morning.
"The only thing I can't do now is swim,"
the proud grandfather told a visitor
earlier this year. "1 could once swim as far
underwater as you can swim on top," he
He can't swim because he has a small
opening at the base of his throat. It's the
standard opening patients use for
breathing after they've had their vocal
Wasted no time
Once a four-pack-a-day smoker,
Schofell developed cancer of the voice box
three years ago and he had to have the
organ removed. But he wasted no time
before learning how to speak again.
Pat Jernigan, speech therapist at
Craven County Hospital until recently,
visited the patient before his operation.
Then about three weeks later, as soon as
(Continued on page 2)