Heroes inspire us. They show us what it is to not give up, to never lose hope. Heroes show us how to have faith.
Cartersville resident Carol Key is a brave lady. Most of us pray we never have to face the challenges she has taken head-on and overcome.
Carol and her husband, Mike, have been married for 40 years and together have four children and eight grandchildren. A blessing Carol appreciates to the fullest as she considers children her heart’s purpose.
“I’ve always had children in my life. I worked in the Bartow County School System, I was a nanny, the director of a daycare and a Girl Scout leader for years,” said Key. “I’ve always been surrounded by children, up until I got cancer and basically lost my immune system.”
Carol’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001.
“I was told they could give me six rounds of chemo and everything would be fine. Well, I ended up with over 20 rounds of the treatment over four years,” said Key. “And none of it worked.”
After a long battle and unbearable rounds of chemo, doctors told Carol that she had progressed from a Stage 3 cancer to Stage 4 and that she only had three to six months to live. Carol was unsatisfied with her prognosis and the treatment she was receiving.
But she wasn’t even close to giving up.
“I was in the hospital more that I was home and the doctors talked about me like I wasn’t even there,” said Key. “I told the Lord if he’d get me out of the hospital alive I wouldn’t do another chemo treatment. I got sent home the next day. My doctors told me again I only had three to six months to live. I told them that was between me and God.”
When Carol had first been diagnosed with cancer in 2001, she had remembered a doctor she’d seen on television who had treated his patients organically and experienced an outstanding success rate. When she’d been unable to track him down online, she went ahead with traditional medical treatments.
But traditional treatment had failed her. And she was running out of time.
“My first night back at home from the hospital I was lying in bed awake, and something told me to look up that doctor’s name again,” said Key. “I like to think it was my guardian angel speaking to me.”
Carol followed the urge, immediately dragging herself out of bed, and this time when she searched for the doctor online she found him.
“He came up and everything about him and his research came up,” said Key. “I started his organic treatment method without hesitation.”
Three months later not only was Carol alive, but the lumps in her body had disappeared, and she could feel her body recovering. She was getting better.
“It was amazing,” said Key. “I haven’t been back to the doctor since they told me I had three months to live. I guess the doctors think I’m dead. But all I know is that was in 2005, and I’m still here. I’m well again, and I don’t need another CT scan to tell me that.”
Looking back on her experience, Carol has learned a lot.
“The most difficult part of going through that is not knowing what to do with all the different information coming at you and not knowing when to speak or when not to speak about what I was feeling,” said Key. “Even now I have to be careful how much I try to push my treatment opinions on others because what worked for me isn’t going to be for everyone.”
One thing Carol knows for sure is that everything happens for a reason and that life speaks to all of us, we just have to be listening for it.
“I believe that the best thing to come out of this for me personally is that no I can have empathy for those fighting cancer,” said Key. “I know what it’s like to vomit all day and night because of your treatment. I know what it’s like to not be able to lift your head off the pillow. I hope that I can give others hope because I’m still here and they told me I wouldn’t be.”
When asked if she considered herself a hero, Carol just laughed.
“Me? No, not me, not for that. I just consider myself an ordinary person who made it through a hard time,” said Key. “Everybody has a different path to walk, and each path has its challenges.”