CIRCLE OF HOPE by Sharon Waller


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Sharon Waller's daughter Jobi was eight years old when her leg was amputated to stop the spread of osteogenic sarcoma, a rare form of cancer centered in her kneecap. Doctors told Jobi's parents that there was a 97 to 99 percent chance of death from recurrence within the next year--most probably within the lungs. At first Waller was inclined to wait out the odds; but her husband, through a combination of moxie and research, came up with the name of a doctor at Stanford Children's Hospital who specialized in chemotherapy for ""hopeless"" cases, and was testing a rare drug called Adriamycin. For a year Jobi was subjected to an arsenal of anti-cancer drugs in turn, one of which was Adriamycin, another of which was so poisonous it required an injection of antidotes or ""rescues"" every three hours after its administration. The side effects took their toll: violent nausea, listlessness, the eventual loss of hair; but most devastating of all was the separation--along with her mother--from the rest of the family back in Minnesota for weeks at a time, coupled with the hospital atmosphere of constant tragedy and death. Jobi is now 17 years old--she did indeed beat the odds--and leading a normal life in preparation for becoming a surgeon herself. Her parents have since divorced, Waller has remarried, and gradually some family scars--notably the bitter jealousy of Heidi, Jobi's older sister, over all the attention Jobi received--have diminished. Waller preaches hope, positive thinking, and action to combat cancer; her line is right in tune with the thinking of the times, so parents in similar situations (if not the casual reader) may find this an inspiration.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1981
Publisher: Evans