Kyle community activist Adell Hurst died Wednesday of Stage 4 breast cancer.
Hurst, 79, said in a January interview with the Hays Free Press that she decided not seek aggressive treatment after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, so that her family would remember her as happy and peaceful, not sick.
When asked what made her decide not to go for any other treatment, Hurst explained how her doctor described the chemo treatment.
“He said, ‘You will lose your hair, you will have sores in your mouth, you will be sick,’ and I didn’t want my family to see and remember me that way.”
Hurst said in early November, she decided, “why not?”
“Why hang around and be sick?” Hurst asked. “I have six children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they all love me dearly. But I did not want them to lose their grandmother when she was very, very sick. I wouldn’t want that at all.”
She continued, “I wanted to go as peacefully as possible. My son knelt beside my bed and said, ‘Are you scared?’ And I said, no. I’m scared of being sick. I’m scared of pain, but I’m not scared of dying. And I think that really helped him.”
Hurst said she wasn’t just putting on a brave face for her family.
“I just am not afraid,” she said with steely determination. “I feel really fortunate to feel that way. Dying is a part of living – it all goes together.”
Hurst was under the care of Central Texas Medical Center Hospice of San Marcos, which she said helped her feel better by managing pain and other symptoms, so she could do the things she needed to do.
“Adell’s leadership made the Kyle Senior Zone a reality. Her presence has made life so much more meaningful for so many of her neighbors,” said U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett. “Her continuing determination was evident when she left hospice care at her home to attend the recent community services honoring Bob Barton. She has been a great friend and a great advocate from so many good causes.”
The Kyle City Council proclaimed Dec. 18, 2012 as Adell Hurst Day. Council members acknowledged the contributions of Hurst, particularly her work for the senior citizens of Kyle and the preservation of the city’s history and heritage.
Harrell Funeral Home will be providing services to the family, though details were not immediately available.