I am past 5 years remission and live life to the absolute fullest!
Sitting alone in the quaint, small church nursing room, holding my newborn baby, I heard the sermon. It sliced right to the middle of my ears. This sermon was for my family indefinitely. I had just completed my fourth week of single chemo only to learn that I’d become resistant. We were left with the news that Monday I’d be starting an aggressive 5 agent chemo regimen called ema/co which required outpatient chemo but also inpatient chemo; I was to be in the hospital 3 to 4 days every other week. This terrified me even more. Up to this point, we had kept this news very private, only telling a few selected family members. We were hoping this would quickly pass quietly with no idea what’d be in store for us the next few years.
Four weeks earlier, after over 12 hours of misdiagnosis’, attempts to send me home and a massive hemorrhage, I’d been diagnosed with a rare, aggressive placenta cancer called choriocarcinoma from my pregnancy and it metastasized into my lung. On top of this cancer news, we were told that our newborn baby had an undeveloped twin. I immediately began weekly chemotherapy.
Back in the church nursing room, tears poured down my face uncontrollably. I held my baby tight and appreciated I was not seen. Did I really HAVE TO ask for prayer? Can’t I just keep praying quietly amongst myself and my immediate family? Isn’t it good enough? My ears were burning with sting and the word “No.” I knew what I had to do but was hesitant. It would be embarrassing; make-up smudge, red faced, I couldn’t. Is there a way out of this, somehow?
Service was over. I wiped my face as dry as I could, waiting for most of the people to leave before exiting the door. I walked into the foyer and slowly proceeded towards the main doors. My mind and ears still stung in burn as I tried to ‘forget’ as I felt myself slip further and further away. My feet were like magnets to the floor as my legs moved very slowly. I continued to clutch tightly to my newborn, shoulders slightly rounded, almost wanting to drown myself in holding her. I approached the exit doors. It was then that I ‘felt’ a strong hand on my shoulder. I heard a voice deep within me. “Turn around.” I could feel the thumb of that hand and the force to pull back my shoulder to turn me around. I knew unknown dire consequences were in store if I didn’t abide, and I didn’t want to find out the extent of these. I rushed to our parked vehicle where my family was waiting, mouths were ajar. “Mom! Did you hear that sermon?! This was for us! Did you go?!” I rushed to hand over the baby and ran back into the church, finding the main pastor. “I am here! I AM HERE!” I yelled to myself. I was led down to the stage. The elders asked what prayer I needed. I told them as they all laid hands on me, prayed, and dabbed greasy oil on my forehead. They were anointing me with oil! What an experience in modern day time!
As hard as it was, as scary as it was, I had to learn to accept that God is in control and to fall at His mercy completely 100 fold with complete trust. I had to also learn to count joy through trials. His grace is definitely enough! I am past 5 years remission and live life to the absolute fullest!
Experience inspiring stories from our patients, family caregivers, physicians and others.
Tell others about yourself and your journey; inspire them to be MORE THAN CANCER.
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