Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cancer: Heartfelt Gratitude Among Tears

Has it really been 21 years (May 4) since our dear, faithful mother died of BRAC1 breast cancer at age 58? It seems so long ago, yet so recent too. When someone has such an impact on the lives of those around her, the hole left by her loss is enormous and forever present.

The world goes on, however, and so did we. The years passed and our children grew into adults. Then their marriages were celebrated and soon gifted with children - 9 of them so far (with 5 little saints in Heaven). We've been immeasurably blessed!

Yet cancer struck again! First I was diagnosed at age 48 - the same demon BRAC1. Though there were trials, times of fear, a temporary sense of hopelessness, and a resurgence of trust in Almighty God - I've survived for almost 10 years now.

Six years ago, against the normally accepted odds, our daughter was also diagnosed - at age 28! That she was also 20 weeks pregnant was an unfathomable horror. When local doctors told her that she had only two choices - 1. Wait to give birth and then undergo treatment or 2. Terminate the pregnancy (abort) and undergo treatment - she balked at either choice. Instead, our scientifically trained daughter began her own research.

What she found was both amazingly encouraging and appallingly horrible.

The encouraging aspect was finding that doctors had been treating cancers in pregnant women for over 20 years - with great success and zero harm to their babies.

The appalling part was that so few doctors across the country seem to share this information or even appear to know about it. How many woman have killed their unborn children through abortion in order to survive? How many other women have forgone treatment for themselves because they sincerely thought it was their only option for saving their child?

As our daughter, and her daughter, celebrate their 6 year cancer-versary today, I'd like to share this information with the public. Consider it my public service announcement for the day. If this information reaches even one woman who is tragically faced with what she thinks is a choice between her own life or the life of her baby, these few words will have been blessed! In your charity, you might even consider sharing this information with others. The Holy Spirit has lead our daughter to share her story publicly and it has touched those who needed it.

In the mean time, I praise and thank Almighty God, the Great Physician, for allowing us the priviledge of these past 6 years. The vast numbers of people across the country and even the world, who prayed for both mother and child, cannot be ignored. If ever we have seen the power of prayer, it was during those months of cancer treatment. We even witnessed a miracle at one point.

Erika and Rachel, you are truly loved and are our miracle in this world. That you are such faithful souls and give so selflessly to others is a blessing to all who know you and even to some of those who don't!

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Links to past posts about Erika and her Miracle Journey (please consider sharing):

Bald Pregnant and Living

Evangelizing for Life - Chemo While Pregnant

Erika's Miracle Journey - Erika's blog

Erika's Miracle Journey Continues - Facebook fan page

Cancer While Pregnant - Facebook fan page

Cancer is no excuse for abortion.

Then and now! Praise the Lord!