The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY —
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]

Caregiver keeps a thankful outlook
In Nov. 26 Issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter

Tamara Stephens has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Despite her father, Darell Whittle, being diagnosed with lung cancer back in June, it was what happened to him in September that has impacted both their lives even more.

On September 8, Whittle, a former construction worker, was saved after professing his belief in Christ to her during a telephone call.

"When he called and told me he made profession, he said he felt like the weight of the world was off of  him," she said.

It was a huge burden lifted off her shoulders as well as she worried about where her father might end up otherwise.

"I have to say, I can't think of (his cancer) as a negative thing because the most positive thing in the world has come out of it," she said. "He just looked at life differently ... we don't know what it is like until we're faced with it."

Stephens, who is her father's caregiver, said she sees him at least three times a week, doing various household chores for him at his Eli home and taking him to doctor appointments and chemotherapy visits.

"I just went into a robotic mode," Stephens, a teacher at Salem Elementary, said when she found out about her father's cancer. "That became my top priority. I went from ballgames and shuffling around my kids to wondering what my next steps with dad were going to be."

"At the beginning he got a little depressed, but he's through that now," she said.

Whittle gets many of his treatments at the Commonwealth Cancer Center in Russell Springs under Dr. Emmanuel Nidhiry.

"It is so handy having them so close to home," Stephens said of the center. "They couldn't be better there. Everyone in that office is wonderful ... and he doesn't mind going."

On June 23rd  he also had a nearly six hour surgery at the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital to remove the top left lobe of his lung, where the mass was located.

She said her father's treatments have continued to work and he is now cancer-free, the doctors say.

"He's already planning on horse riding in the spring," she said. "The chemo really hasn't been what we expected at all."

Stephens said her father continued to be active, despite the treatments lagging him down at times, and that his outlook on life changed when he learned of his sickness.

"One thing that has come out of this is we sure are getting to spend a lot of time together," she said.

Whittle also has a sister, Vern Rose, who brings him several meals each day, Stephens said.

"Without her, I don't know what I would do," Stephens, who is an only child, said. "I don't know how I could work and take him food every day, so she's a big help."

Personally, Stephens said she took the news hard when she first found out about her father's cancer.

"I didn't know the severity of it at the beginning," he said. She said he had been ill with pneumonia earlier this year and when the doctors x-rayed his chest for that, they found the mass.

Then the doctor visits and treatments began and weeks turned into months.

Since all this has gone down with Stephens and her father, they have both become acquainted with the local American Cancer Society group who oversee the annual Relay For Life event each summer.

"I can't say enough good about them," she said. "They are so hospitable."

She also said she could tell the past few months had been hard on her children, Garret and Chandra, and her husband, Sheldon.

"For two or three months I was with my dad a lot," she said. "They handled it well because they are older but they knew they had to since I was an only child."

She said Sheldon had been wonderful to help out as well.

"If there is something I can't miss at school, he has to fill in," she said. "He's been great."

So when they all get together this holiday weekend, Stephens said there will be plenty of blessings to count, and her father's health and salvation will definitely be one of them.

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE


You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
David Davenport
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
Adair Progress (Columbia)
Casey County News (Liberty)
Clinton County News (Albany)
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
Lexington Herald-Leader
Louisville Courier-Journal
WKYT-TV, Lexington
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.


Choose your service and provider