Children’s book author and cancer research advocate ‘at peace’ with entering hospice

Courtney Roberts and Carol Brickell

This Lake Highlands woman left a lasting mark on the world, a legacy that will save lives, even as she loses hers.

Carol Brickell, author of children’s books and a vocal advocate for lung cancer research, has announced that she will be entering a hospice.

It has been understood for some time now that doctors tend to take men’s health issues more seriously than those of women. Women need to push harder and advocate more for proper health care.

I have met at least a few influential women in my work at the lawyer magazine who fought in this way for themselves and, later, others whose voices were softer.

Carol is one of those women, and now she says she’s given up battling cancer in her body.

She wrote a children’s book, Cinco the clinic cat, whose 10th anniversary edition is available now (here or at Target, Amazon) and has donated proceeds to charity.

She got the idea for the book while volunteering to help poor and sick children in Honduras. And this is only the first time I hear of her, just one of her many contributions.

In 2018, suffering from a chronic cough, Carol went to see a few medical professionals who didn’t seem to take her concerns seriously, but she knew something was seriously wrong, as she explains in this article from the Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

She was right.

A few months ago, I caught up with Carol about her book milestone and her new calling as a career coach.

She said she had lung cancer and was writing wig reviews after losing her hair from cancer therapy.

And while the importance of prosthetic hair when you lose your own cannot be underestimated, it did so much more than that.

Through her own perseverance – whether it was demanding further tests that would reveal cancer or insisting on being seen by a specialist within a reasonable time frame, Carol secured herself more time. It’s time to visit his daughters and grandchildren and become an advocate for lung cancer research. It’s time to write letters to his members of Congress, give speeches, and share his story with other lung cancer patients.

His struggle has helped professionals and patients understand the importance of biomarker testing, according to the LCFA. Last week, Carol told her connections on Linkden that she was entering hospice care.

“Thanks to recent targeted gene therapy treatments, I have been able to live a full life since then,” she writes. “However, very recently my cancer has spread to my liver and bile ducts and there is nothing more that can be done.” She adds that she is “at peace with it”. “I’ve had a wonderful life from start to finish – and that’s something beautiful.”

When I contacted Carol to get her permission to post this, she added that she is in a nice facility, has entered a sleep phase, and feels she is fading fast.

Thanks to Carol’s persistence, doctors learned more about the less common biomarker of lung cancer, ROS1, which occurs in about 1-2% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. It tends to be aggressive and can spread to the brain and bones. It tends to affect people with cancer younger than average and is more common in women who may have smoked at some point. Research related to this information helps prolong and improve mortality rates, according to the LCFA. Learn more about the foundation and donations here.

Grover Z. Barnes