By Oscar B. Goodman
When you’ve been in love with someone for almost 60 years, and married for 57 of them, most of the time you can finish a sentence they started. I knew when Carolyn called me that something was terribly wrong. She didn’t have to finish her sentence, because it wouldn’t have made any difference, I was already suffocating when she said she had been to the doctor and… I was driving home when she called me, and the tears cascaded down my cheeks and I couldn’t think, other than to say I’ll be home, I’m on my way, I’m coming home.
When I came to the door, I went for her and hugged her tightly. She was seemingly cool, while I was scared to death, not for only her, but selfishly for me since I knew I couldn’t live without her.
The doctor told her after performing a mammogram the week before, and taking a biopsy, that she had stage 2 breast cancer that it was contained, and would be treatable. I can’t imagine how she kept it to herself, and with that knowledge, had the gumption to give her “State of the City” speech as though she didn’t have a care in the world. Our 4 children were at City Hall Chambers with their spouses and their children and discerned nothing which would have suggested the turmoil that had to be coursing through her very being.
It was the day after that she told me. She said she had to tell our children. She called them to come over the house. 1st time she ever summoned them like that. She told them. They sat together trying to control their emotions, so Carolyn would not be upset with their distress. After explaining the diagnosis, she said she had a serious decision she had to make and wanted their input and opinion. She had to decide whether she would run for re-election to a third term as Mayor of the City of Las Vegas.
(These 2 Photos provided by Phillip Cox of Photography with Attitude)
Basically, they opined that, “Of course, you just can’t sit around the house. You have work you want to finish.” With that she said that she would file for the office the next day. It was a non-issue as to whether she should tell the public of her condition. There was the briefest of discussions, but it wasn’t even close, the public was entitled to know what she said, and potentially other candidates were entitled to make it part of their discussion with the voters, if they deemed fit to do so.
The media was advised Carolyn would be filing at 9am the next day, nothing more, nothing less. The TV channels and print media were present, City Hall employees were there to show their support. A little before 9, Carolyn asked the communications office to advise everyone, before she would go into the clerk’s office, she had wanted to say a few words. This piqued interest. The hallway filled up. She went up to the many microphones, looked out, acknowledged the attendees and began to speak. She wasted no time. Right off the bat she stated that in the past few days she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I don’t think anyone heard much of what came after. The tears and gasps with those in attendance flowed. The love and concern were palpable.
She spoke optimistically about the future, the treatment and assured everyone that she had the energy of a pack of wolves. The euphoria was contagious with smiles, cheers, congrats and thanks. She went in to declare that she was seeking re-election. The clerk who assisted in the process was overcome with elation.
I was so in love, so proud, so happy with the way Carolyn was Carolyn and knew that I would be by her side forever.