By Becky Killian, Editor
In 2008, Brenda Sue Gentry, of Corbin, had suffered about a year of flu-like symptoms and treatments for conditions ranging from strep to bronchitis.
When her symptoms worsened, Gentry had a CT scan that revealed the cause of her ongoing symptoms: lung cancer.
Certain that she was going to die, Gentry began to decide who should get her possessions, then one person made her change her attitude about her illness — her son, Derrick Felts, who was then 14 and needed his mother to take care of him.
At that moment, Gentry said she thought, “I’m not going to die. I’m not ready to leave.”
Now 47, Gentry continues her battle against the slow-moving cancer that required her to have surgeries in 2008 and 2010.
Four weeks after her first surgery, Gentry returned to her job as kitchen manager at Corbin High School, but her breathing worsened. Knowing that going on oxygen full-time would mean she couldn’t work, Gentry said she struggled with her breathing for a year and a half.
“That was one of the hardest things for me to do was to give my job up,” Gentry said.
After working since she was 13, Gentry took early retirement, and it felt like her whole world stopped. However, Gentry said she soon found other activities that kept her active, like sewing, drawing and writing, to keep her mind occupied. Her favorite by far though is the simple act of coloring.
“That is the most relaxing thing for me,” Gentry said, adding that her favorite crayon color is red.
In April 2011, Gentry began chemotherapy and she said she chose to have her treatments at Commonwealth Cancer Center in Corbin. The center had been recommended by her sister, Jean Liford, who had also been treated there during her fight with lung cancer.
“That’s a wonderful place down there,” Gentry said about the center, adding she has been treated lovingly, respectfully and with great care there.
After 24 treatments, Gentry continues her chemotherapy, which is administered three days in a row every three weeks.
The treatments have caused Gentry some side effects, but for the most part she said she does “pretty good.”
One side effect is the treatments have caused Gentry to lose her hair twice throughout her treatment. The first time, Gentry said she was scared but her mother-in-law helped her through it by comforting her and reminding her of how pretty she is.
It’s support like that that leads Gentry to credit her family for the crucial support they have given her throughout her battle with cancer.
“It makes a difference when you’ve got a good support team,” Gentry said.
That team includes her husband, Darrell Gentry, her mom, Edna Simpson, her six sisters and her mother- and father-in-law.
Although her treatments do impact her energy level, Gentry said she still tries to remain as active as she can.
“Just because you’ve got cancer don’t mean you can’t live a normal life,” Gentry said.
By Becky Killian, Editor
Gone, but not forgotten
At 2 p.m. Thursday, the students, teachers and staff of Corbin Elementary School took time out to remember one of their own.
A Corbin man who died in 2008 while serving in the U.S. Army will be honored with a flag presentation today at Wildcat Harley-Davidson in London.
An evening of rewards and awards
Three years after the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce was formed, the people who make up the Chamber celebrated how far they’ve come, and how moving forward will take them farther, during Tuesday’s inaugural Annual Chamber Banquet.
A great day of celebration
There were rays of light over Union College Friday afternoon. From the natural beams of the sun shining on Barbourville, to the glow inside Robsion Arena, the energy was bright and brilliant during the inauguration of the college’s 19th President, Dr. Marcia Hawkins.
‘The Boys From Corbin’ come back
They built this city on high school sports.
And last weekend, the student athletes from the 1930s to 1960s at Corbin High School brought back the memories, the friendships and their legacy to an appreciative town.
On the road to Nashville
Musical talent in Sydney Hurst’s family may have skipped a generation, but that hasn’t stopped Marsha and David Hurst, of Corbin, from supporting their 16-year-old daughter’s aspirations of one day becoming a professional country music performer.
Area attractions place in ‘Best of Kentucky’ contest
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and London’s World Chicken Festival placed in this year’s Kentucky Living “Best of Kentucky” contest.
There was power in the color pink Monday afternoon, as a group of people participated in the “Planet Pink” Cancer Awareness Walk in downtown Corbin.
Ossoli Club presents the 2013 May Day Candidates
Elsewhere in Kentucky, Derby season may open with fireworks, elegant parties, or parades. In Corbin, Derby season kicks off with a completely different race, a fundraising race, and Derby weekend itself this year will open with the 70th Annual May Day Festival, where the Ossoli Club of Corbin applauds and rewards the girls who have raised money for the community.
Hunter Hills holding pet supply drive
Eleven-year-old Savannah Litton believed she had found of an abused and abandoned kitten, but didn’t know what to do about it.
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