Monday, October 24, 2016

Pregnant, Cancer, & the Power of Prayer

Today's good news is that it's my sister's birthday. For most, that isn't a huge deal but for our family it’s cause for big celebration. The fact that she's here to celebrate at all is nothing short of miraculous. 

Ten years ago at age 37 my sister Stacy was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 breast cancer with bone mets. It was just before Thanksgiving, a festive time of year, and we were busy preparing for the family feast and annual gingerbread decorating contest. Suddenly we all found ourselves in shock, and in full-on panic mode: the big C had invaded our family.

Just when we thought the news couldn’t get any worse, it did. They discovered my sister was pregnant, and the cancer was fueled by her womb’s hormones. Her prognosis was past grim—she needed to abort the baby immediately. It was her only hope to buy time. But she refused.

I won't give you the spoiler here; you'll have to read the national article I wrote nearly two years ago to find out the rest of the story. But one of the miracles for me personally is that my sister is my poster child for courage and faith. When we lost our daughter three years later, despite a body full of cancer, my sister knelt on hard concrete to put warm socks on my feet as I sat in shock. Two years later when my dear sweet hubby suffered a terrible stroke, my sister was directing nursing staff to put my hubby in a private hospital bed (she succeeded). 
Stacy with newborn Jazzy in 2007

She's not there just for me—she's a prayer warrior and is there for every one of us in our time of need. And she does it all without a single complaint about her own fate.

So October 24 is a time when my family reflects on the miracle that my sister is here to see another birthday. It's also a day for us to silently thank the thousands around the world who took time to pray for a stranger whose very life, and that of her 3 girls, was at stake.

Praying for a friend or stranger is the ultimate gift of love. If my sister's story doesn't convince you in the power of prayer—well, it doesn't matter. Because she'll pray for you anyway.

Happy birthday, sis! I love you!! XOXO
Jazzy with her mom in 2011

P.S. At the end of the article is a short video you don't want to miss!

#FindingHope #GoodNews #NewsAntidote

Stacy with her girls in 2015

Stacy's girls 2015

My sisters and I at my niece's wedding June 2016