PULASKI, Va. – Regina Clark says laughter is the best medicine. She is a registered nurse with the chemotherapy infusion center at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Lewisgale Hospital Pulaski.
“I honestly enjoy being here as much as I enjoy being at home. I laugh a lot more here than I do at home,” said Clark.
“We give them warm blankets. We feed them. We just give them all the love and support that they could possibly need because they’re going through the roughest time of their lives,” said Clark. “We just make them forget for a while that they have cancer.”
Twice a month, she sits in the chairs at the infusion center. In 2019, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
”That’s when my whole world just stopped,” said Clark.
She underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She even lost her hair. Finally, she got the all-clear.
But months later, Clark got bad news.
“They found a couple of spots on my lungs. So it had metastasized to my lungs,” said Clark. “That was, by far, the worst day of my life. When I thought the first time was the worst time, you know. That was a piece of cake compared to this because the doctor told me that I would have maybe three years to live.”
Clark is back on chemo, but decided she’s not going to let cancer keep her down.
“Why am I going to let something that could kill me in years ruin my life now?” said Clark. “Just live every day like it’s your last. Because you should do that. You should do that anyway.”
Sunday, June 5 marks National Cancer Survivors Day. To Clark, being a cancer survivor means never giving up.
“Being a survivor means living another day. Whether you’re one month cancer-free or 20 years cancer-free,” said Clark. “If you’re living the next day, you’re a survivor. You’re surviving.”
Clark wants to encourage everyone to not ignore any symptoms and seek medical attention as soon as possible if they have any health concerns.
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