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Boy Writes About Grandmother’s Battle

By Staff | Jun 17, 2015

Photo Provided Shown is Isaac Neff with “G’Mom,” Marla Neff.

Editor’s Note:?In honor of the Wetzel County Relay for Life being held this Friday, June 19, we have decided to include this writing by Paden City Elementary School student Isaac Neff, titled “My Gmom’s Cancer.”

Marla Neff, known as G-Mom by her seven grand-kids, has been a local residence of Paden City for 61 years. In October of 2014, Marla was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, Intra Heptic Cholangio Carcinoma, a tumor in her liver.

Marla was referred to a world renown Oncologist, Dr. Tanios Bikanni-Sabb, at the James Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. She began chemotherapy in October and continues every two weeks. The prospects for new procedures and cures are being found in research every day. Many cancers that were incurable five years ago are now being treated with promising results. The future for cancer research is tremendous, and the need for continuing support is great.

Isaac, grandson of Marla, wanted to see and understand what she was going through during her chemotherapy treatments. He was able to spend the day with her in chemo one day this past winter. He had brought books to share with her during her six-hour treatment. His observations were keen and he asked many questions. The nurses were very impressed with his inquisitiveness. Abruptly, this all changed as it became very apparent his G-Mom was having a serious reaction to the chemo treatment. The nurses were alerted and six came running into her room. Many orders were shouted, medicine injected, and thankfully all ended well. Isaac, voluntarily through his school, joined the Young Writers Contest. He was to write on a topic of his choice and he chose to write about his experiences with G-Mom and her day of chemotherapy.

Neff received first place for this submission to the Wetzel County Schools’ Young Writers contest, which allowed him to move on to the state level.

Isaac was very proud of himself, and his G-Mom was even prouder. The family has very high hopes for a cure for G’Mom’s cancer, and like Isaac said, “For her to live happily ever after!”

My Gmom’s Cancer

By Isaac Neff – 6th grade PCES

It was October 1, 2014 and I was watching the Weather Channel. As I saw that the weather was going to be rainy and muggy tomorrow, I hear my mom say “Kids, come here.” As my sisters and I walked into our living room nervously, she tells us to sit down. I could tell something was wrong because I saw where my mom and dad had been crying. “Kids,” my mom said, “Gmom has cancer.” “What??” I said softly. “How could this be possible?” Mom said, “They did a CT-scan and blood-work and found a tumor in her liver.” I knew a few years back that she had to have surgery because of her other health problems. Around 5:35, my mom called our preacher and told him that we wouldn’t be at church tonight. The preacher (which is my cousin) was devastated to hear the news. After a lot of tissues, we decided to go to the hospital after my sister got ready because she had volleyball practice that same day.


We drove to the hospital and quickly walked to the elevators. We went to my grandma’s room and found my aunt and my grandpa accompanied by a nurse. As soon as I saw my grandma, I sprinted and hugged her like I haven’t seen her in ten years! My grandma told us everything and gave us a paper to see what was going on. After talking, crying, and reading the paper about it, we had to leave because it was a school night.

January 26, 2015

“Okay ma’am, please step on the scale.” My grandma obeyed and stepped on it. We arrived at St. James Cancer Research Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for her chemotherapy treatment.

We went to floor 11, which is the infusion services.

The nurse told us to be seated and they would do blood-work in a moment. “Wow,” I said, “Every time I come here, the nurses are so nice!” After a half an hour of looking at the city of Columbus through our window, the nurse came and took blood-work. The next thirty minutes, we got her results from blood-work back, and everything looked pretty good. We then saw the nurse carry two bags of chemo in, one looked like fluids that they give you, and the other one looked like it was from a movie of detectives, with a brown bag over it. Within an hour and thirty minutes, the first round was done. The nurse started the second round and my aunt had a very suspicious face. “Um, are you feeling alright,” my aunt said to my grandma. “Yea,” she said, but my aunt saw that she had red eyes and was scratching herself continuously. My aunt rushed out to get a nurse, while I was asking if she was “ok.” They soon gave her strong medicine to stop the reactions and to get everything straightened up. They got her settled down, and then she started getting rashes on her hands. After about ten minutes, the rashes went away and the medication made her very sleep and drowsy. We found out from the doctor that we had to stop the chemo and resume it another time. Eventually, we left the hospital and she was alright. I will never forget these experiences even though they frightened me on the inside, I didn’t show it on the outside.

February 9, 2015

“Hey mom, how did Gmom’s scan go?” They found out that the tumor has shrunk slightly and the doctor is very pleased.” “Wow!”, I said with excitement, which I knew was very promising news.

These events happened very recently, and I’m going to keep remembering my grandma, and she’s going to keep fighting this rare disease. Did I mention that she is going to live happily ever after?