Guest Story: No Bad Days

On her last day at Caring House after a 7-week stay, Lois is finally ringing the bell at Duke Cancer Institute, symbolizing the end of a long treatment journey for her brain cancer. The Virginia native is a gentle soul, and as I sat with her for a conversation on a bright December afternoon, I continued to hear nothing but gratitude as she shared her experience at Caring House.

Lois, a mother of five children and grandmother to eight, lives three hours away from Caring House, and when she sought care at Duke, she said our home offered her a saving grace as an affordable, convenient place to stay. But Caring House ended up being more than that to her. She expressed the constant generosity from our local community – churches, businesses, neighbors – that come to our home to bring dinners for guests, and sit with them to share a meal. “It’s just overwhelming with so much generosity every day,” she said.

Caring House has given her a community of people also going through cancer, a comfort when the cruelty of cancer can bring feelings of isolation and fear. 

At different times throughout her stay, Lois brought all five of her children to visit, giving them a tour of her temporary home. They all walked in instantly feeling the peace that radiates from our home. When they passed by our admin offices, they always had a smile and bright greeting to offer our staff. 

When meeting Lois, you can tell she’s someone who has a strong, gracious spirit. Her kindness did not waver during her stay at Caring House, bringing light to our halls up until her last day here in January. Wearing a gold sparkly t-shirt imprinted with the phrase “no bad days” on the day she gets to ring the bell and finally go home, she tells us this place has been a blessing. We have found her to be a blessing too, inspiring us to continue to serve guests in the best way we can during a difficult time in their lives.

“How would you describe Caring House in one word?” I asked her. 

“Tranquility. But if I had more words, I was going to say heaven on earth.”

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Written by Kristen Luft, Communications Associate