Not only do sisters, Carolyn Hanes and Judy Pender live close to one another in their home state of Louisiana, their hearts are also closely intertwined with deep affection and tenderness. Carolyn, a wife and mother, began her battle with cancer in the spring of 2016 with “terrible dizziness and severe headaches”, she says. She saw her doctor in Louisiana and was diagnosed with large B cell lymphoma and had multiple aggressive brain tumors that affected her vision and memory. Carolyn’s doctor recommended MD Anderson in Houston but he was told it would take up to four weeks to be accepted.
With time of the essence, Carolyn and Judy, her caregiver, begged the doctor to make one more call! Well, Judy says “God’ s angels surrounded us and Carolyn was accepted immediately, so we headed to Houston on May 12th.” They arrived at the MD Anderson emergency room and it was “like they knew us, they were so welcoming” says Judy. Carolyn was treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Judy says “it was a wonderful day on August 16 when Carolyn was able to ring the bell in the radiation department signifying that treatment was finished!” The doctors and nurses were astonished at how well Carolyn responded to treatment. But, in Carolyn’s darkest days, she tearfully recalls, “I was so, so sick, I just wanted to go home but my doctor told me I would die a painful death in two to three months, so the angels surrounded me again and I made the choice to continue treatment.” Currently preparing for a stem cell transplant in late November, Carolyn says “It was not approved by my insurance at first, but with an appeal by my doctor and again with the help of my angels, it went through.”
Carolyn and Judy say that the angels at Halo House have blessed them with a lovely apartment that is close to the hospital (within 20 minutes) which is a requirement for a stem cell transplant patient. “The apartment is so homey and the grounds are so clean and safe. We have a washer/dryer too, which is a big convenience!” “Without a doubt, having our Halo House apartment is a big stress off our shoulders and we are so grateful!”
Trying hard not to cry, Judy says “My sister is so sweet and so gentle and our many family members and friends have surrounded her with so much love and support. We have laughed and cried through all of this knowing that our faith in God and His angels have brought us this far.”