Couple survives year full of cancer

February 7, 2014

(Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)
Larry and Carly Zabinski

The year 2002 was difficult for both Carly and Larry Zabinski.

The year before the couple started dating, Carly learned her mother had brain cancer. And months later, Larry found out he had a form of cancer himself.

Carly said while she was attending college, she and her parents noticed her Mom was growing forgetful. They didn’t make much of it at first – they just joked that her Mom was getting older.

Then one day, her Mom woke up screaming: She’d lost her sight in one eye. Carly was really sick herself, so her Dad came home from work and took her Mom to the emergency room.

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.

CARLY: About two hours later, I got a phone call that woke me up out of my sleep, and there was no sound on the other line ….And then I heard my Dad crying …. I remember telling myself, ‘This is the start of something big, and it’s not good.’

To hear how Carly and Larry Zabinski dealt with double cases of cancer in a year, and how humor helped them get through, check out the audio above.

WBEZ’s Lynette Kalsnes produced this edited excerpt. Follow her @LynetteKalsnes.