When life is at its bleakest point, people often turn to faith to lift them up.
Cancer survivor Betty Kosterlistzkey credits the Lord for her remission from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that affects the bone marrow.
In 2007, Kosterlistzkey was working at the Stilwell hospital. She was losing weight, and her co-workers began to notice.
“They were wondering why, and it kind of irritated me at first,” said Kosterlistzkey. “I was eating, and I had always been quick to say if something was wrong with me.”
Shortly thereafter, Kosterlistzkey took a trip to California with her daughter. When they returned, Kosterlistzkey noticed her back was aching.
“It was like a pinched nerve; the pain ran all the way down my leg,” she said. “I went to [W.W.] Hastings [Hospital] to find out what was wrong. This would have been in July 2007. It took a long time to get a diagnosis. They kept sending me to the emergency room and I couldn’t understand why.”
Finally, that November, Kosterlistzkey returned to the emergency room one more time.
“Dr. [Randall] Turner was the physician on that trip,” said Kosterlistzkey. “I had had X-rays before, but they couldn’t seem to explain what was wrong with me. He’s the one who found [the cancer].”
Turner sat down with Kosterlistzkey, and she felt a sense of foreboding.
“He patted me on the knee, and I thought, ‘Oh, no,’” said Kosterlistzkey. “That’s when he told me I had cancer. He tried to get me into the Tulsa hospitals, but we couldn’t because of the ice storms. He finally got me into Tahlequah City Hospital, where they did a bone marrow test and found out what I had: multiple myeloma, exactly.”
Kosterlistzkey didn’t have to undergo surgery, but she did spend the next year in treatment.
“At first, my kidneys were in bad shape, so they sent me to Fort Smith for dialysis,” she said. “Once that was over with, they turned my name in to the hospital in Little Rock, Ark., and within 30 days my name was drawn and I was admitted.”
Her daughter, who was working at the time, quit her job to help her while she stayed in Little Rock.
“I underwent chemotherapy, along with treatment to split my blood up,” said Kosterlistzkey. “They were giving me my own platelets. They say there’s no such thing as chemo vein, but there is.”
Kosterlistzkey chokes back tears when relating the story. “I tell you, if it weren’t for the Lord...,” she said, as her voice trails off. “He’s the one who cured me.”
She also credits prayer for medical success.
“My sister, my family, all of them prayed for me,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I’d not have made it.”
During Kosterlistzkey’s treatment, her daughter tried to keep her mind off the negative side of the situation.
“My daughter kept my spirits up; she wouldn’t let me dwell on it,” she said. “We’d go to Walmart and shop. It’s funny; there were times when she’d air out the room, because she said I smelled like burnt corn. My children and my family kept me going. I praise God.”
As with most cancer patients, once the disease is in remission, doctor visits occur every three months for a year, then every six months, and finally are reduced to once a year.
“I go once a year now,” said Kosterlistzkey. “It’s kind of funny, because when they told me I didn’t have to come back for a year, I didn’t know what to do. It was like losing a security blanket. As long as I was going to the doctor regularly, I knew I was OK. They kept telling me I am just like everyone else now, but sometimes I have trouble understanding I’m cancer-free. It’s hard to make your brain understand that, that I’m cancer-free.”
When life is at its bleakest point, people often turn to faith to lift them up.
Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation awards $30K
Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation recently awarded more than $30,000 to TPS teachers for education projects.
Tibbets: Art an important cultural element
The incomparable beauty of nature inspires Dennis Tibbits to paint.
“I believe my love of the Illinois River, especially the Barren Fork, has greatly influenced the type of material I prefer doing,” said Tibbits.
His love of landscapes – “riverscapes,” as he calls them – began about the same time he started floating the river in the 1970s as a student at Northeastern State University.
Tibbits, an instructor and clinical supervisor of Speech and Language Pathology at NSU, graduated from Stilwell High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree from NSU in 1975 and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1976, both in speech-language pathology. He came full-circle when he took a teaching job at NSU in 2007, after doing clinical speech pathology for more than 30 years.
In the early ‘70s, he did his first oil paintings and three of them hang in his house today.
Senior Citizens dance makes mark in history
It was nearly 14 years ago when Charles Scott and Dorothy Crawford were sitting across the table from each other having lunch at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center, when Charles spoke up and said, “I think I’ll go see the mayor and city council and get a senior citizens dance started.”
Bright colors in for spring fashion
The occasional snowflake may still be floating down from the sky, but bright colors and textures are making local boutiques and stores look like spring has already arrived.
Bright colors, loose-weave accessories in scarves, jackets and vests and dresses are beginning to replace winter items in display windows and on the racks.
Neon and leopard prints are always on hand at Obsession Boutique, said owner Amanda Harris.
Floral and tribal prints, corals, melon and mint green and sequins for bling are beginning to brighten the store on cute sundresses, skinny jeans, leggings, and jeggings, said Harris.
- Polar Plunge raises thousands for Special Olympics More than 110 participants from local schools and organizations took part in Saturday’s Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics at Arrowhead Resort on the Illinois River. They raised a total of $15,400 for the athletes to buy uniforms and help with travel and lodging for the Oklahoma Special Olympics in May. Participating were groups from Cherokee Nation, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah Police Department, Tahlequah Public Schools, and others.
Ross shares gospel in variety of settings
Pastor Sean Ross uses a variety of classes to teach the word of God to his congregation, whether at church, a nursing home or elsewhere.
“Our church is small and precious. We enjoy singing the old hymns, as well as new praise. We are looking to grow in the Lord and in his favor,” Ross said.
Light Workers heal human energy
Light Workers are healers, but not in the traditional medical sense. They heal human energy.
Tinsley’s family an inspiration for teaching
Lessons from life on the farm are teaching tools for Greenwood’s newest Teacher of the Year.
Second-grade teacher Kym Tinsley’s family is important. In the summer, she works on Canyon Ridge Farm, owned by her parents.
“I use the experiences from the farm life in my classroom on a daily basis, through writing, reading, and math,” she said.
She has a happy, colorful and friendly classroom. She recently greeted two children at the classroom door with a smile. As she interacted with them, asking questions about a story, they searched for clues and find answers.
Tinsley rewarded each girl with a compliment, based on their answers and asked more questions. The girls searched for answers once more.
For Tinsley, children are definitely the best part of teaching,
Grass fire erupts near Welling
Members of the Tahlequah and Welling fire departments knocked down a grass fire on Saturday, Feb. 15 on Bright Star Drive. The blaze threatened buildings and blackened several acres before firefighters were able to contain it.
Works o' art
Elizabeth Price views a display of clay pots at the Spider Gallery during the Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation ”Uncorked” Wine & Cheese Tasting Fundraiser Thursday, Feb. 13.
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