Today we begin the Novena for the Intercession of St. Peregrine. As I dedicate my prayers to two ladies who were diagnosed within the past year (Holly and Jennifer), I also pray for continued remission for both my daughter, Erika, and myself. I am also prompted to recall a special, personal miracle to which I have been privy.
20 weeks pregnant. After rejecting the idea of abortion (of course) and finding doctors who treat pregnant cancer patients, she underwent chemotherapy. After the birth of her healthy daughter, she suffered through more chemo, countless surgeries, and permanent nerve damage. All in all, the result was a blessing, though - a healthy baby and a cancer free mother.
Not long after the baby was born, there was a huge scare. There was a lump in Erika's breast! Not ones to take these things lightly, we went straight to the oncologist's office for advice. Since her doctor was out, Erika was seen by my oncologist, who confirmed that there was cause for concern. The lump, when manipulated, featured ominous characteristics. As luck often has it, this occured on a Friday, so we were told to go home and come back to been seen and scanned on Monday.
What a dread-filled weekend! No matter how strong your faith or your resolve, our human frailty brings much trepidation - especially considering the fear of the unknown. And so the cyber drums were set to beating. Prayer groups were contacted, friends were discretely informed, and most of all, the Passionist Sisters were contacted. The prayer board, checked by all of the sisters, would relay this urgent need for prayer. A young mother, with two small children and a husband of just a few years, is a valued treasure to the world and to her family. I have no doubt that multitudes of fervent prayers went up that weekend.
Fast forward to Monday and Erika and I once again traveled to the oncology office - this time to seek the advice of her own doctor. Sitting in the exam room, Erika robed in her flimsy paper gown, we prayed and worried. When Dr. M entered, he stoically got right down to the business of a thorough palpitation of the offending area. Again and again he searched. Nothing! There was no large lump. There was no small lump. There was a blessed nothing!
As we traveled back home, in a stupor of joy and disbelief, we pondered what this meant. We had all felt the large lump - Erika, her husband, me and most of all my experienced oncologist. It had been there - but now it wasn't. Needless to say, many thanks went out that day - to God for His infinite mercy on a young family, to the countless friends and strangers who had prayed, and to the Passionist Sisters who I have no doubt had their share of petitioning for a miracle.
Erika is not without pain - the permanent nerve damage and neuropathy have caused her to lose her job. Yet she is cancer free and her little chemo baby is a very healthy, precocious 4 year old who, along with her almost 6 year old brother, has a mommy to call her own.
Won't you join us as we pray the St. Peregrine Novena? You will have the optional opportunity to publicly share your petition, to post to social media, and to ask your friends to join. Cancer is a frightening diagnosis and prayer is a powerful weapon. Let's join together to pray for victims, families, cures, accepting graces and even a happy death - if that be His Will.
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We are humbled by our physical limitations and ailments. We are so weak and so powerless. We are completely dependent upon God. And so, we ask that you pray for us…
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