Cancer Survivor's Spirit Still Shines - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Piggott, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Cancer Survivor's Spirit Still Shines

September 26, 2005 -- Posted at 12:45 P.M. CST

Piggott, AR -- Clay County native Judy Parker is a wife, mother of 4, and a proud grandma.

Judy is also a survivor.

"You can't give up--you just never ever give up," said Parker.

In May of 2004, after her regular doctor's visit, Judy was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

"When they told me, they had tears in their eyes, and I thought.....I'm going to die.  Then, it didn't take long for me to realize I didn't have to die from this, and I don't plan to yet," said Parker.

This was not the first time Judy faced this disease.

In 1999, her daughter, Jennifer, was also diagnosed with cancer.

"They fought it hard--she fought it hard. They just said finally that they kept chasing it and it kept outrunning them," said Parker.

Jennifer died at age 25.

A flood of emotions came rushing back after Judy heard she would now fight the same battle as her daughter.

"I remember how sick she was with the treatment, and you just dread it. You just think 'I don't know if I can do this'...but you can," said Parker.

The road to recovery was not a smooth one.

"I know there are some horror stories about chemo, and I will honestly say I dreaded it.  My feet went numb, you throw up, and you lose your hair. There's medications for the pain.  I didn't realize how much pain is associated with chemo," said Parker.

Through Judy's personal tragedy, there has been triumph.

Ironically, the day we visited Judy she had just returned from getting a haircut.

With her family and friends by her side, and her daughter's memory in her heart, Judy Parker beat cancer.

Even through this whole ordeal, she says she never lost sight of what matters most in life.

"It's not things. It's just knowing that you're alive, and that everyday is a gift and we need to live it to the fullest.

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