Linda Kretz, of Hope, is fighting a battle that began as a simple rash. She was a social worker at Laurel Place Health and Rehab in Hope and graduated from Hope High School in 1975.
“On October 30, I had my fourth chemo treatment,” Kretz said. “I began receiving chemo treatments on August 28 and have a total of six I have to take.
“It all began as a rash on my breast,” she said. “My husband is a registered nurse and he began treating it with a cream, but it didn't get any better.
“I had helped my brother with some hay and I thought it was a heat rash,” Kretz said. “I went to Dr. Garrett and he sent me for a mammogram and an ultrasound.
“After I got my tests done, he talked to me and my husband and we went to UAMS. I found out that I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I have lots of support from family and friends, but the hardest thing I had to do was to tell my children.”
Linda recently went for a check-up with Dr. Hutchins, in Little Rock.
“I was having sensations of something rolling up my arm and down the left side of my body,” she said. “My doctor told me that I was experiencing Jaxson Seizures. I was also having headaches and dizziness, but I attributed that to the cancer drug Tomoxifin. Tomoxifin gives people those side effects.”
Kretz's doctor admitted her to UAMS that day and the next day she had an MRI done.
“The next morning, she came in to the room and told me and my husband that I had over 30 lesions on my brain,” she said. “When we got the news, my husband cried and I was just kind of numb. I didn't say much.
“The next round of treatment is at New Hope Cancer Center in Texarkana,” she said. “I have two more weeks of daily treatments and then I start my treatment on my chest wall.”
“Every three weeks I go to Little Rock and get hormone treatments,” Kretz said. “My brain cancer is hormone related as well as my breast cancer.
“Prayer and faith and family and friends are what is getting me through this,” she said. “I just do everything I've always done, like cooking and cleaning. Your attitude is part of what gets you through. My friends are positive to me and some say that I am the strongest person they know.
“God has a plan for me and I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.
“My advice is to always take care of yourself and always get check ups,” she said. “Follow a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. And have faith—always. You've got to have a positive attitude.”
Page 2 of 2 - Kretz's friends and co-workers at Laurel Place are planning a bake sale and garage sale at Laurel Place on Saturday beginning at 7 a.m., and a benefit with food, music, and fellowship is planned to kick off at 10 a.m. The public is invited to attend.