David Wallace endured 25 radiation treatments for basal cell carcinoma in the last few months and on May 29 celebrated an end to his treatment by ringing a bell. "Thursday (was) graduation day," he said. "I'm happy to know I'm at the end of treatment."
Besides his wife, Dovie, his new friends, Joseph and Wanda McClung were there to celebrate. Joseph was also having radiation treatments at the Taylor Le Norman/McCasland Cancer Center for squamous cell carcinoma. “Dovie and I would work on the jigsaw puzzle in the waiting area while our husbands talked,” said Wanda. “We realized we both were going through the same thing which helped us bond.”
This is not the only commonality they share – both couples have been married over 50 years!
David and Dovie first met when she was just nine years old and he was 15. “David was a friend of my brothers,” said Dovie. “We began dating and were married when I turned 15.” Dovie is originally from Oklahoma and David is from Arizona but lived many years in Fresno, California. In 2000, they moved to Rush Springs, next door to David’s sister. This September the couple will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Joseph and Wanda met in grade school. “We would pass notes to each other through our friends,” said Joseph. Joseph’s father passed away when he was 14 and he went to work in order to help his mom take care of the family. “His family moved and we lost touch. His mom had two jobs of her own so between the two of them they took care of themselves and six kids,” said Wanda. It was a few years later they found each other again and were married. On June 7 they celebrated 67 years of marriage.
Neither of these couples resides in Duncan. The Wallace’s live in Rush Springs and the McClung’s close to Waurika. A challenge faced by both couples was the cost to travel to Duncan for treatment. “We are on a fixed income; we don’t have excess funds,” said Dovie. “When we were told we could get a gas card through the DRH Health Foundation we were so happy.”
“We were talking with Anita (Moss, the Cancer Center Nurse Navigator) about the hardship of traveling back and forth and she said, `don’t worry, we can help you,’” said Joseph. “I can’t say how much we appreciate the help.”
All four could not say enough nice things about the Cancer Center staff. “Mary Beth (Mullica, Radiation Therapist) and Anita explained everything to us in terms we could understand,” said Wanda. “They helped make a difficult situation so much easier.”
After David rang the bell, the two couples headed to Braum’s to celebrate over ice cream. Joseph’s last treatment was scheduled for Tuesday, June 7. It wouldn’t be a surprise, if the Wallace’s were there to take them out for a celebratory ice cream.
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