The thing about adversity is that it sometimes allows the path — and the purpose — of individual destiny to become more clear.
And so it is with Randi Pelton. Let's catch up with her.
Randi is the lady who had to wait nearly four months to have breast-cancer surgery because she had no insurance and couldn't find a surgeon who would take payments from her. Randi had a small licensed day-care in her Leesburg home, and that was how she paid her bills.
The money wasn't good enough for her to buy insurance, and now she can't earn a living at all.
WeCare of Lake County, which helps people who don't have insurance and can't afford surgery, arranged for her to have breast-cancer surgery in February 2010. That's one amazing group of dedicated folks.
Randi, who is 61 now, had surgery that spring, and she struggled through chemotherapy over the year. Along the way, she lost the house where she, her daughter and granddaughter were living in Leesburg, and the trio moved to Tavares.
She desperately wanted to get back to work — who wants to live off their grown children? — but she couldn't. One of her hips was so badly deteriorated that she needed a walker to get around..
WeCare to the rescue again.
Readers have been asking what happened to Randi after her hip-replacement surgery last spring, so here is the report. Randi has worked her way from the walker to a cane, but that probably will be as far as her improvement will go, at least for a while.
At her most recent doctor visit, the surgeon speculated that chemotherapy damaged her muscles enough that she isn't making a complete recovery as expected.
"Time is the answer, I guess," she wrote in a recent email.
Social Security has recognized that her condition leaves Randi unable to hold a full-time job, and she finally is getting assistance from that source..
Life is not all pink peppermint. She and her daughter, who works for the county's ambulance service, still struggle financially. Her daughter works a lot of overtime. That's why it's so critical that Randi be at home.
Her granddaughter, a lively fourth-grader who adores her grandma, had undiagnosed breathing troubles before school started. It was clear that she wouldn't be able to attend classes. So Randi became her "study coach."
Lake's virtual school for students who can't come to class is "wonderful," Randi said.
"They provide all the materials. She has an actual teacher that interacts with her on the computer occasionally," Randi wrote. "We spend about five hours each day working online and in workbooks. She has classes online twice a week in math and reading where she can interact with other students and the teacher."
Since school started, doctors have diagnosed Randi's granddaughter with childhood anxiety. She has a "terrible fear" of death.
"No wonder," Randi remarked, "with all she's been through with me."
That is one lucky little girl — even though she may not be feeling it right now. She has seen the daily struggle at a young age, and it scared her. That proves only that she is smart.
With Grandma to show her how to live, she'll be OK.
And so, life goes on at Randi's house.
She's working hard at building her muscles so that she can discard her cane.
The overwhelming panic of being certain she's about to die of cancer eating her from the inside out is gone. But her worries are still there. She frets about paying the bills, whether she'll face another medical crisis without insurance, and whether her daughter is working too many shifts.
Ah … nice, normal worries. Finally, life is getting closer to right.
Lritchie@tribune.com Her blog is online at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/laurenonlakeCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times