|A view of Dorothy's apartment building|
I have friends that help me when I need to go shopping. Ros took me, but she left [moved to another city]. Another friend of mine has, but she hasn’t been back since the tenth of December. I really like to go out and do my shopping with somebody. One of my friends at church takes me sometimes. I like to go way out to that big Walmart to do my shopping sometime.
I had a friend from church that used to take me out shopping, but she moved down to Pine Hill. One time she came by and asked me did I want to go with her to Florida. So I went with her down there for about a week, and then when I got back I never was so glad to get back in all my life. I used to love to go out and spend the night until after I had colon cancer, and I had to have that old bag, and everything. I like to not ever learned how to fix that colostomy bag. The nurse would help me with it, but now I can do it. You have to wear the thing a week before you change it. I keep it washed out with hot water. I had that colon surgery June 14 of 2007.
I’ve really had a good life in Birmingham. I outwitted cancer – I got over that and I didn’t even let that hold me down. I knew something was wrong, I didn’t know what. I thought I had to go to the bathroom, but before I knew it blood was running all in the floor. I got it all cleaned up and thought maybe it wouldn’t happen no more. Then the next day I went for my doctor’s appointment that had already been set up. They did a colonoscopy and told me I had colon cancer.
They put me in the hospital about two weeks later and did surgery. I was in the hospital about two weeks. [When I was recovering from surgery] I remember they gave me this ol’ tall walker. Sandra Faye Jones gave it to me and I took off walking ‘til I got lost and she had to show me back to my room [at UAB Hospital]. Then they took me over to the rehab center on June 15. I was there until August 24 when I came back to my apartment. I was so happy to be back where I could have my own coffee, take a shower and wash my hair. [I was so glad to] sit on the porch and sleep in my own bed.
When I got down here to Birmingham after being at Partlow all those years, I felt like I was free of everything. I know that we had rules we had to go by and everything.
I’ve been here over 30 years now. I remember going down the street the other day with my friend Nioka and her father and I was just thinking to myself, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” And I almost busted out cryin’. I stayed with them over a week when my heat was out during the cold weather, but I was so glad to get back to my own home!
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