She's in a battle for her life

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2003

By BY LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Marilyn Stanley has been made aware in the hardest way possible.
Stanley was going about her daily life not even thinking about the possibility of cancer coming into the picture about three years ago. She was happily moving into a new home on Douglas Avenue when she noticed a pain in the side of her ribcage. She figured that she had pulled a muscle with all the packing and lifting with the moving. But the pain didn't go away. She made an appointment with the doctor and he found a lump but didn't think it was anything to worry about. The pain still would not go away and a biopsy was planned. The doctors in Pensacola did the biopsy and Stanley received the bad news that she did indeed have cancer of the breast. After some testing she underwent surgery the next week and a mastectomy was performed.
She underwent chemotherapy but had no radiation treatment.
It wasn't long before she knew that something else was wrong. She could hardly stand up and after some more testing it was found that she had cancer in her bones.
Doctors were not too optimistic about her prognosis but they sent her to Birmingham to undergo some tests.
The cancer has taken a toll on the life of Stanley. She is unable to hold down a job now and she gets very tired. She is not able to do much heavy duty work and she is still very careful about what she does. She has to go, as an outpatient, once a month to have blood drawn and an IV drip to rebuild and strengthen her bones.
Even after the transplant was over, it was not over for Stanley. She had to stay close to the hospital for a while. She was susceptible to any germs and her blood count had to be watched very closely. She goes to check in with the doctors once a month. The whole process was very draining, time-consuming and expensive. She did have insurance that helped with the expenses.
Stanley was born and raised in Brewton. She graduated from Southern Normal in 1977 and went to Talledega College and studied rehabilitation for the deaf and blind for two years.
She worked at Sheltex for a while and then moved to Anderson, South Carolina to work at the Michelin Tire Company. She met her first husband there, got married and had a daughter, Jasmine, in 1987. The pregnancy was very tough on her and she had to give up her job.
She returned home to Brewton until the birth of the baby and then went back to South Carolina and back to work. She got a divorce in 1991 and two years later met her present husband, Michael Stanley. They became the parents of Kyle in 1997 and finally were moving into a new house when she found out she had cancer.
These days she keeps herself busy cooking and baking. She and her family attend St. James Baptist Church where she is very active and sings in the choir. She likes to collect old things, not necessarily antiques. Her daughter is in the tenth grade at T.R. Miller and plays basketball while her son attends Brewton Elementary School.
Marilyn Stanley has been through a lot for the past few years. She has had some life changing experiences that she would rather have not had.
She does encourage others to avoid the pain and suffering that she has had to endure.

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