My Story

Carol Fenton

MEMORIES In, 1991 I visited a friend’s home in Seattle, and I can still recall walking into her husband’s bedroom to say hello. He was a shadow of his former self laying in bed with florescent liquid dripping into his arm, and less than a month later he was gone. Calmly and patiently, my friend went through the required testing. Before she had the final test results my sister had a baby and came to visit me, and my friend dropped by as well. I can still remember how uncomfortable my sister was about my friend being in the house, and even though she didn’t say it – her body language stated that she didn’t want my friend near her baby. Her test results came back negative. Eleven years ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage-3 Pancreatic Cancer. During her final three months of life, there were small windows of time where she could have made the most of the moment. Her doctors suggested Vitamin B shots and blood transfusions that would help her feel better and increase her energy level, but she refused the transfusion. When I asked why, she simply replied that she feared acquiring the HIV/AIDS virus. My mom passed away 6 weeks later. I do believe that attitudes and beliefs are changing – that families can grow and change, and that ignorance is being thwarted every day. But this can only happen if we speak out.