Don’t let the fear of tomorrow ruin your today. – John Talley
‘People have commented on how brave I am,’ said John Talley. ‘I always tell them there is NO bravery in my actions. No one gets in line and volunteers for these things. You just do what you have to do. You have two choices – either try or lay down and die.’
‘Cancer has not been my life, just something I had to do at times,’ he said. ‘The rest of the things I’ve done have been my life.’
John Talley, at 52 years old, has a profound sense of accomplishment for the daily things he has done to survive. He is a survivor in the truest meaning of the word, a person who has coped well with the difficulties in life to remain alive. As a child, and then as an adult, Tally has found his triumph in living, because the odds were, time and time again, that he would not live.
Talley feels that cancer has shaped him, and that his personality, his drive and the man he has become were formed by the health issues he has faced throughout his lifetime. His personal victory is in living a full life. He has become educated and trained, built a career, a marriage and a family, and made his contribution to the world with his hard work and determination. He dearly values basic things, like working to support his family. While others may take this for granted, Talley considers it a privilege.
Dave Hohenshell is a technical writer, who works for Vermeer Corporation. He has been Talley’s friend for over 40 years. ‘If I had to sum up John Talley, I’d say he is the bravest man I’ve ever met, or probably ever will meet,’ said Hohenshell. ‘I’ve seen John battle cancer at least four times. I just knew every time that John would pull through it, because of his will. It’s just another challenge in his life. He would not let that get the best of him. Most people would give up in that situation, but he just takes it on full force, and does whatever he has to do to knock it back.’
‘Even though he’s had a lot of sickness, he’s managed to be very successful at his job. He wants to rely on himself,’ Hohenshell said. ‘John has always had the outlook that – hey, I’m not going to let this get me down. He’s the kind of guy that takes control of his life, whether it’s his job, family or whatever. Most of us, if we had gone through even one or two bouts of what he’s gone through, we would have given up.’
‘I think his experiences have made him stronger as a person,’ Hohenshell explained. ‘I used to go to the hospital and visit him. I’ve seen him when he was at his sickest and when he was healthiest. I have a lot of love and admiration for him. I sat him down once and asked him – did you ever think, based on your history, that you would have a wife and two kids? He said – yeah, I expected to. He feels he has had a good life, in spite of all the adversity.’
John Talley was born in Chicago. His parents divorced when he was three years old. He lived with his mom in an apartment, in a suburb near Sam’s Place, a neighborhood tavern that Buck Owens wrote a song about.
When Talley was seven years old, a drunk driver leaving Sam’s Place hit Talley with his car while Talley was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. The crash left him with broken ribs and two broken legs, with a compound fracture of both bones on the left leg. For the next three months, he was in the hospital with his left leg in traction, and a cast on his right leg. When he left the hospital, his left leg was in a cast and he was using a wheelchair. It took six months of wheel chair use and then crutches. Talley was not supposed to walk, and got in trouble with his doctor, as they had to repair the bottom of the cast because Talley kept walking on it.
When the cast came off, his left leg was one inch shorter than his right leg, and his knee was locked up. The muscles were nonexistent, and the leg was so scrawny it did not look like it belonged on his body. He walked on crutches for a long time. Talley really wanted another bicycle, but his mother was very apprehensive. She finally gave in and got him another bike. He would peddle it with his right leg and could only push the peddle over the top with his left, as his knee would still not move. Eventually, as hot baths and bike riding turned out to be great therapy, his knee freed up and he regained strength in that leg.
His mother married again, an over-the-road truck driver the boy considered as his Dad, Bob Talley.
In 1968, just after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, Bob Talley was far away on the East Coast, and extremely worried about all the riots in Chicago. Long distance communications were not very good in those days. John Talley’s Dad made it back home in a couple of days, and when he entered the house, he said that the family was moving… right then. He had a couple of his trucking friends with him and they loaded up all of the family’s belongings in the trailers.
The next morning, the family moved into a rented farm house three miles south of Deep River, Iowa, a town where Talley still lives today. Moving from a city where there were always many kids around, to a place with no one to play with, was a big culture shock for the boy.
The next year, Talley was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. At first, Talley’s parents tried to keep the boy from knowing what was going on. One evening, he was watching Marcus Welby, MD, the television show, and there was a boy on the show going through all the same tests that Talley had taken. After the show, Talley asked his mother, ‘I have Hodgkin’s don’t I?’
She told him that he did, and wanted to know how he found out. He told her he saw it on Marcus Welby.
Hodgkin’s disease is a rare lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. It is a malignant, progressive, sometimes fatal disease of unknown cause, marked by enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver, also called Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The disease occurrence shows two peaks: the first in young adulthood, and the second in those over 55 years old.
The 10-year overall survival rate is more than 90% for any stage, though early diagnosis may help. Since many patients are young, they often live 40 years or more after treatment. However, few studies follow patients as long as 25 years, and those studies are of older treatments with more life-threatening adverse effects, so it is impossible to predict long-term outcomes of newer, less harmful treatments. Radiation treatments, and some chemotherapy drugs, pose a risk of causing potentially fatal secondary cancers, heart disease, and lung disease 40 or more years later. Modern treatments greatly minimize the chances of these late effects. The Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer
Talley had an advanced case, and it was spread throughout his torso and neck. He received around 113 cobalt treatments, a radiation therapy used for treating cancer. Doctors told his mother that if he had not been a ‘guinea pig’ and taken the large amounts of cobalt radiation, they thought he would only have about six months to live.
Cobalt treatment is a radiation therapy used to kill cancer cells and prevent the cancer’s spread to other organs. It can help destroy or damage the genetic materials of cancer cells, preventing their rapid growth and division. It is a painless and localized form of treatment for cancers that causes damage only to targeted cancer cells. eHow Health
The next year, Talley’s Dad had a heart attack while on the road in Pennsylvania. Talley’s parents filed for bankruptcy. His Mom went to Pennsylvania to be with her husband, and Talley stayed with an elderly couple about a mile from where they lived.
It was almost Christmas time, so Talley would walk down to his house after school. He decorated it for the holidays. There was a real tree in his class room, so he asked his teacher if he could take it home on the last day of school before the Christmas break. She agreed, and he dragged it with him on two school buses to the family’s home.
Talley’s Mom and Dad got home on Christmas Eve, and were surprised the house was decorated and the family had a tree. Talley remembers it as a good Christmas, even though there were few material gifts.
When he was 14 years old, Talley had a recurrence of Hodgkin’s. He thought it was the end for him, because he knew that the doctors had already pushed the limit on his radiation therapy. He soon found out they had a new Chemotherapy – MOPP.
Talley would get injections every other Friday and handfuls of pills in between, three times a day. The shots made him extremely ill, and he spent most of the weekends over the toilet. The treatment worked, however, and Talley was cancer free again.
In 1964, researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed the first combination chemotherapy that cured a number of patients who had relapsed following a standard radiation therapy regimen. This drug combination was called MOPP and was, for a long time, the standard treatment for Hodgkin’s disease:
ο Mustargen (mechlorethamine, nitrogen mustard)
ο Oncovin (Vincristine, VCR)
ο Procarbazine (Matulane)
ο Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone)
MOPP has been mostly replaced by another combination chemotherapy called ABVD (Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, Dacarbazine), which is now the standard chemotherapy regimen for Hodgkin’s disease in the United States. However, MOPP may be used if there are lung or heart conditions present or allergies to any of the medications in the ABVD combination. Additionally, 30% to 40% of people will relapse after treatment with ABVD, which will require ‘salvage’ treatment with MOPP (American Cancer Society, 2009). LymphomaInfo.net
The radiation took its toll on the teen’s body and he developed Scoliosis, a lateral curvature of the spine. He was put in a Milwaukee brace that went from his hips to the top of his neck. He had to wear it 23 hours a day for 3 years.
He also developed Tachycardia (excessively fast heartbeat). He felt that his heart would beat as if it was going to come right out of his chest wall. Over time, he learned that he could control it, if he could get to it quickly, when it first started. (This is a form of Biofeedback that Talley apparently discovered he could train himself to do.)
Talley never let these health problems stop him. He worked weekends at a truck stop during the school year. During the summer, he worked the third shift at the truck stop and would detassel corn part time, even though it was hot out in the fields in that brace.
‘I’m not sure how young I was when I first said Hodgkin’s wasn’t going to kill me, the cure was going to kill me,’ Talley said. ‘I had that feeling for a long time, way before there was any talk about late effects.’
In his teen years and early adulthood, he had an attitude that he needed to live fast and pack as much as he could into the time that he had. He drove fast and took a lot of risks. Talley joked that, ‘my guardian angel could fly really fast.’
He spent his spare time in the garage as one of the gear head crowd. He had a ‘67 Mustang he had rescued from the scrap yard and brought back to life. He spent as much time fixing the parts he would break – engines, transmissions, rearends – as he did driving it.
When he turned 18, his Junior year in high school, he received some money that was set aside for him from the time he was hit by the car. Poor interest rates and inflation left him just enough to buy a new car, a 1977 Ford Mustang Cobra II, which he drove for a year.
The next spring, in his Senior year of high school, he traded it for a customized Dodge Van, going into debt for three years to pay the difference. He was already working the second shift full time at a nearby Tool & Die plant that made Auto Parts. There was barely enough time to get home from school, change clothes and make it to work on time. He got off work at midnight, went home, showered and got a little sleep before doing it all again. The schedule was too demanding for him to complete his classes, so he took all the tests and earned his GED before the end of the school year.
He soon found a better paying job in the machine shop at Vermeer, a manufacturer of farm and industrial equipment.
At age 19, feeling sick and suffering from chronic fatigue, he went back to the University of Iowa Hospital. They ran a battery of tests that all came back negative. He insisted there was something wrong. After more testing, they decided on surgery to remove his enlarged spleen and check some internal lymph glands.
They opened his abdomen from just below his ribs to a couple of inches below his navel. He suffered complications after surgery, from fluid in his lungs, to a critical emergency when his heart raced, then nearly stopped, while doctors rushed to save him.
The physicians found Hodgkins in his spleen and in the lymph nodes around his spine. He had also contracted a staph infection that was contributing to his lung problems, so he was given medication and his room was quarantined.
Talley was back on MOPP Chemotherapy again, which made him ‘sick as a dog,’ he said. ‘Not good when you have a large abdomen incision trying to heal.’ After a month in the hospital, the infection was under control and he was allowed to go home.
He went through the rest of the chemo and it did the job. During the ordeal, he went from a weight of 185 lbs. down to 120 lbs.
Luckily, Talley had thought ahead and purchased insurance that would make his van payments if he became unable to work or died. His parents had co-signed the loan for the van and he wanted to protect them. He also had worked at Vermeer long enough to be eligible for one year of disability payments. It was enough to survive on while he was still living at home.
When the Chemo was over and he had regained some strength, he went back to work. That did not last very long, as he had physical problems and fatigue. The doctors at the University of Iowa told him that he needed to find non-physical work. He ended up on social security disability.
During this time, Talley met his future wife, Jeanne. ‘It sounds okay today, having 4 years difference in our ages, but when I was 20 and she was 16, it looked… um, not the best?,’ he said. ‘Well, we liked each other and stuck it out. Soon I found a program that would send me to a training class at a community college and pay me minimum wage for the hours in class. Even though I would lose my disability, I jumped on the chance.’
Talley went to the Des Moines Area Community College Machine Drafting Program. He moved to Ankeny and rented a small, cheap, efficiency apartment about 5 minutes from school. It took him a while to get back into the swing of things, but he had a goal and knew this might be his only chance to make a life for himself. He excelled in the course, finishing with a 3.89 grade point average. Jeanne moved in with him when she graduated from High School. Talley still had to finish his course over the summer.
When he graduated, the couple moved back to Deep River, and with some help from his parents, rented a small house.
‘In 1981, the economy was like it is now, really rough going. I applied and interviewed for any drafting position I could find,’ Talley said. ‘There were always people laid off from somewhere else with 10 years of experience applying for the same position. I did not blame anyone for hiring the experienced workers.’
‘Jeanne and I had planned that I would get out of school, get a job, save a little, and then we would get married. It became obvious that things weren’t going to work that way,’ said Talley. ‘We decided not to let it stand in our way, and had a small, inexpensive ceremony in my parents house, with a few close friends.’
‘Sometimes you need to rate things as small victories,’ Talley said. ‘ Even though I had once been a child that they doubted would ever walk again, then a 10-year-old that had been given 6 months to live, I became a 21-year-old man with some secondary education and a new wife. I was happy!’
Talley applied for any jobs he could find. He got a job cooking and washing dishes for minimum wage at a truck stop on the interstate, and was glad to have it. He worked there for about 6 months while applying for any drafting positions he could find. One day, Cunningham Inc., a small mechanical contractor located about 35 miles away, called back and offered him a job. ‘It was a 25% loss in pay, a farther drive, and no more free meal, but I took it,’ Talley said. ‘No future in being a grill cook!’
Talley knew nothing about heating and ventilation, and was drawing buildings and ductwork, which he knew nothing about. So he studied everything he got his hands on. He read manuals from SMACNA, NFPA mechanical codes and manufacture literature on breaks and lunch hours. He would bring them home with him. ‘If I am going to do something, I am going to learn as much as I can, so I know what I am doing. I have great internal drive. I want to be proud of what I do.’
A fixer-upper house came up for sale that Talley talked his wife in to buying. They paid $6,000 for the house on a personal contract. ‘Jeanne was very unsure of this and actually cried,’ Talley said. ‘This place needed a lot of work, and I convinced her I could fix it. I can fix or repair anything I want to. If I don’t know how, I will find out. I was not a carpenter, I was a mechanic type, always working with steel and gears. With books, TV shows, and paying attention, I taught myself what I needed to know. I rebuilt every wall, ceiling and floor in every room, including the closets. I moved doors, enclosed porches, rebuilt all the plumbing and all the wiring. I built a garage and more.’
‘Jeanne and I were happy, poor but happy,’ Talley said. ‘We have received a lot of compliments on our home. I do not think I could ever get Jeanne to move out of this house now.’
The couple had two children. First, Julie was born, and 6 years later, their second daughter, Jennifer, came along. Julie is now 21 and off to college, and Jennifer is now 15 and in high school.
Talley still had heart problems and felt they were getting worse. He made an appointment at the University and had some tests. They saw that his aortic valve was leaking, decided to do a heart catheter and check the arteries. He got a stent where one of the main arteries off the aorta was blocked about 75%.
Things went well for a few more years, when he noticed his right nipple felt strange. He went for his annual cancer check and told the doctors. They examined it and said they would watch it. The next year, when he went in, he knew something was wrong. A needle biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. Because he had undergone so much radiation, that was no longer an option and they recommended a complete mastectomy.
‘It was rough on me mentally, of course,’ Talley said. ‘This would be my fourth battle with cancer and the second form of cancer in my life.’ He had the total mastectomy with radical dissection. They removed 23 lymph glands. The surgeon said, ‘that’s got to be some kind of record.’ They sent Talley home late the next day with tubes and catch devices for drainage, and a prescription for Tamoxifen, a drug that blocks the effects of estrogen, commonly used to treat breast cancer. He was instructed not to drive for six weeks and not to go to work, but he was back at work after two weeks.
About 5 years ago, Talley was back at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. Their hospitals and clinics are recognized as one of the best hospitals in the United States, and it is Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center.
He went to get his heart checked again, as he could tell things had gotten worse. After his earlier tests, they told him that some day he would have to have a valve replaced. They did an echo and found his aortic valve had severe stenosis, the contraction or stricture of a passage, duct, or canal. They urged Tally to get the valve replaced quickly.
From research on the internet, he was fairly familiar with all the heart valves and their pros and cons. During his research, he had learned that the Cleveland Clinic was one of the best in the word in the cardiology field, so he decided to go there for a second opinion.
Talley and his wife took a trip to Cleveland, met with one of the cardiologists at the clinic and had a battery of tests. This cardiologist had 50 patients with radiation-induced heart disease. Later that day, they also met the head of the Cardiology Department, Dr. Bruce Lytle, well known as the top in his field.
Due to the difficulties the radiation history presented, a standard heart valve replacement surgery was not an option. Their recommendation was to wait. They said that Talley was highly functional, and the risk was too great for the quality of life he still had. They wanted him checked every 6 months.
He went home and continued life the same as it had been before going to Cleveland. As usual, Talley ignored it as much as he could and went to work every day. He could feel that things were deteriorating slowly. He did not go for 6 month checkups and depended upon himself to know when he needed to take further steps.
Things were okay until about 18 months ago. He had some blood coming from his gastrointestinal system, and due to his age, he arranged for a colonoscopy test at the University. When the doctor came in, the news was obviously not good. They found colorectal cancer at the base and the end of the colon, and thousands of polyps in between that would become cancer. They explained that the entire colon was HOT and needed to be removed.
Talley has wisely learned over the years that information and education are a patient’s best allies. He knows that patients must advocate for themselves, to seek out the best treatment options. When he came home from the test, he started doing research to learn what he could.
At the next meeting, the doctors at the University said that Talley would need to have his heart repaired to have a chance of surviving the colon surgery.
Talley and his wife made the 10 hour trip back to Cleveland. This time, after all of the tests, when they all met to discuss Talley’s options, the doctors told him that with all the radiation damage, the risk was still too great to have heart surgery. Talley thought that made his decision easy, and that he would ride it out to the end. Then they said there might be another option, but there were no guarantees he would be accepted. The doctors wanted to recommend him to be a participant in the Partners Study. THE PARTNER TRIAL: Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER Valve Trial
Talley had read about this clinical trial when doing research. He told them if they wanted him in their study, the one thing he is good at is surviving.
The Talleys were told to go back to their hotel for a few days, while doctors presented his case to the Board of Directors for the Studies, which included doctors from around the country and the valve manufacturer. Several days later, Talley received the call. The Board had approved the procedure and a date had been set. Talley would be the youngest participant in the study. To date, they had only done very elderly patients for obvious reasons.
Talley needed to undergo a few more tests to verify that the arteries from his groin were large enough to allow access of the oversized catheter. There was a meeting with the representatives from the valve manufacturer and with some of the team that would be doing the procedure.
Then came the secondary battle patients must fight. Along with the physical challenges, patients must often face financial battles, often with insurance companies, to find a way to pay for incredibly expensive treatments.
The doctors told Talley that he would be responsible for the cost of the standard heart valve surgery, but the manufacturer would pay for all the additional expenses incurred in the study. That sounded fair to Talley and he did not expect any issues.
However, a few days later, the clinic informed him that his health insurance had refused to pay for the procedure, even though it was the same cost, because it was experimental. Talley told them that he was not going to proceed without the insurance. There was no way he would take the chance of leaving those huge bills with his family. Dr Lytle urged the Talleys not to give up, and said they were going to keep working on the insurance from their end.
Talley called his work place and explained the situation to the company’s owner, who said he was going to call their insurance broker, to try to put pressure on them from there. Talley had his laptop with him and internet access at the hotel, so he sent emails to his two Senators and the Iowa Insurance Commission to see if they could help in any way. Due to HIPPA one of the Senators faxed some release forms to the hotel, which Talley signed and faxed back. He made all the calls he thought might help, but felt that the odds were not looking good.
He was scheduled to check in to the clinic on a Tuesday and to have the procedure on Wednesday. Tuesday rolled around and he was still not approved, so he made the decision to check out and head for home Wednesday morning.
As the Talleys were loading the car to leave, the clinic called and said the insurance company had approved the procedure. They asked how fast Talley could get there. He said he could be there within the hour.
It was a little hectic, but Talley got through all the paper work, check in and final preparations. Around 3 pm, Talley was wheeled into the operating room. He had been in operating rooms before, but this was different, as there must have been 20 people there coming and going, and some very nice large flat panel screens. They were all extremely nice and made him very comfortable. It was about an hour before they put him under.
He woke in the recovery area and felt great for just having had a heart valve replaced. He remembers thinking right off, ‘if this valve holds up this will be the wave of the future.’ They took him to intensive care when he awoke. He was released that afternoon and went back to the hotel.
This heart surgery was in October. He went back to work and scheduled his colon surgery for the 13th of December. He figured that would get it done before the holidays and that he would be home recuperating during Christmas and New Years.
Instead, this surgery was very rough on him. He still doesn’t remember the first week after the surgery. He had numerous complications. He retained water from some protein imbalances and gained 100 lbs. He was nauseous and was unable to eat. They removed the staples and the incisions opened back up, as they were not healing. He became diabetic and was put on insulin. His kidneys started shutting down and he came within one day of going on dialysis. He continued to become weaker as time went on.
He stabilized and they decided to find a continued stay facility (nursing home) for him to continue his recovery in. It would have been too much for his wife to handle if he had gone home. He had been in the hospital for 28 days.
He went to a facility near his home. He felt terrible and he knew that he was not ready for it. A few days into this stay, his incision started to bleed and they sent him to a local hospital, where they stitched him up again and sent him back. After 8 days, it was obvious that that he needed more help. His wife took him back to Iowa City and he was admitted through the emergency room with acute renal failure. He ended up having a couple of drainage tubes inserted into his chest cavity to help remove some fluids, to try and help him breathe. He ended up in intensive care for 8 days, on a respirator for 6 of those days. They told his wife that he was in peril and they were not sure of the outcome.
He was in the hospital another 28 days before he was allowed to go home. He had not set foot in his home for over 9 weeks. He was using a walker and needed help getting out of a chair. The home care county nurse came to him three times a week and a physical therapist came twice a week. He had a couple of IV’s from the County Nurse for dehydration, but was getting a little stronger.
By the end of March, he started going back to work part time. The offices he works in are located on the second floor and he could not handle the stairs, so he used the freight elevator to get there.
He now weighs around 145 lbs and is working 50 plus hours a week. He still has one more surgery to do, to reconnect his small intestine to the Jpouch constructed when they did the original colon surgery. ‘There is no way I am doing another medical procedure until the holidays, Jeanne’s birthday (Dec.27) and my birthday are over (Jan. 22). Last year I missed them all as I was in the hospital,’ Talley said.
Patients treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma have an increased risk of developing other diseases or conditions later in life because both chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause permanent damage. Treatments have improved in the last 30 years, and now patients are less likely to experience late effects, but there is still some risk. Some survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma have a higher risk of developing a secondary cancer. Radiation therapy to the chest area can cause lung damage, increase the risk of heart disease, and increase the risk of lung and breast cancer. From the Late Effects of Treatment on Cancer.Net
Another member of the family has also experienced cancer. Talley’s youngest daughter, Jennifer, was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was 2 and 1/2 years old. She had emergency surgery at 2:00 am to safe her life, numerous surgeries and extensive Chemotherapy as well. The Talleys were told a couple of times to ‘enjoy every day with her.’
‘I think you know what those conversations with the doctors were telling us,’ Talley said. ‘I have little problem sharing what has happened to me, but it is very difficult to talk or write about Jenny. Jenny’s problems have ripped my heart and soul out and run them through a meat grinder over and over again.’
‘She is still with us, after 5 surgeries. She has an internal shunt to keep pressures under control,’ said Talley. ‘They wanted her to be at least 5 years old for brain development before the cancer treatments. After she reached age 5, she has gone through tons of Chemo and radiation.’
Talley still considers himself a winner. He loves Jeanne, his wife of 30 years, and his two great daughters, Julie and Jennifer. He is proud of the pleasant home he built for his family.
He has been able to travel some. He has seen the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and rode the elevator in the St Louis arch. He visited Dallas, Texas, and about half the States in our great country. He went to Canada, and went to Aruba with his wife in 1994.
He has worked at Cunningham Inc. for 30 years. He progressed from drafting to Project Manager to Division Manager, and he is now the Vice President. One of his projects won the Associated Builders and Contractors National Award of Excellence. Cunningham Inc. now does around $10 to $14 million in work each year.
Marty Long, Senior Vice President of the company (recently retired), said, ‘John is a unique fellow. I first got to know John when he was doing drafting work. We decided we needed a better way to estimate, and John said he could put that into a program. He sat down and wrote a program that helped the company an awful lot.’
‘John is a tremendous problem solver. You can give him a task to do, walk away and he will take care of it. Very intelligent, he has an analytical mind. He can make a large problem small, and come up with an answer to the problem.’
‘He has had a lot of adversity, but he’s a key person in the organization and has been for a long time. He’s had a tremendous influence on our company.’
‘Many people have not had these opportunities and many have met the end of their health battles far earlier than I,’ Talley said. ‘I have seen many in the hospitals over the years that have it so much worse than me, and I have always known I could be in a lot worse shape.’
‘We are all headed for the same end of this game. No one gets out alive,’ said Talley. ‘So pack as much as you can into the time you have. Try to leave a little bit of a mark on the world to prove you were here.’
Brighter Horizons for Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients
By Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Published December 21, 2011
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