Friends plan benefit for cancer survivor

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Taking one day at a time is about all Bonnie Edwards can do.

The Cape Girardeau resident, diagnosed with lung cancer last summer, has battled over the past year with the disease. Her cancer went into remission in February, and she was even able to return full-time to her job in the ad services department at the Southeast Missourian newspaper.

She began gaining strength, and her hair was growing back. However, the cancer returned shortly after she began working again, this time in her brain. For six weeks, she received radiation treatments to kill the lesions in her brain. She was fatigued from the treatment and the recovery, but now said she feels good.

"It's frustrating, but I'm learning to persevere and take every day as it comes," she said.

Edwards isn't deterred by perceptions of cancer sufferers having three to six months to live. "Other doctors say a year or more," she said. "It might get better." She added that she has met people in similar situations who have lived for more than 12 years.

Now, she said, her medication has been changed and she can sleep easier at night. The cooperation and kindness of family and friends, she said, keeps her motivated to make the best of a bad situation.

"The kids have been taking on their own responsibilities," she said. "My husband has been really good about helping, and everybody's been really good and kind."

The kindness of Edwards' friends will continue May 21 at a benefit event from 6:30 to midnight at the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau. Mid-Life Crisis, a 10-member band that her husband, Jim, plays in, will perform. The Southeast Missourian is paying to rent the building for the night, and there will also be an auction and a 50-50 raffle.

Event organizer Linda Coleman, whose husband plays in the band with Jim Edwards, has been a friend of Bonnie Edwards for a long time. "We just want to let her know how many people care about her," she said.

Tickets for the benefit may be purchased at the door and in advance at the Southeast Missourian, CP McGinty Jewelers, Arena Golf and Shivelbine's. Ticket prices are $8 each or $15 for two.

335-6611, extension 133

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