A Living Miracle

In my 27th year as an educator in Centerburg in January 2005, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Unfortunately, it was stage 3C, and was a particularly aggressive type of colon cancer called signet ring cell. After surgery, I had a vascular access port inserted and began my full year of chemotherapy. After shots, treatments, blood clots, nausea, neuropathy, many ER trips, and all the fun stuff that goes along with cancer, I was finally finished with chemo. I should have begun feeling better, but instead, kept growing weaker and feeling worse. I eventually ended up back in the hospital, this time with a diagnosis of liver failure.

My gastroenterologist said that the damage to my liver, apparently caused by the chemotherapy, was permanent and "this is as good as it gets." The only thing that would help would be a liver transplant, but I could not be considered for a transplant because of my previous cancer diagnosis. At that point, I could barely walk, I could not dress myself without help, and my weakness and fatigue were very pronounced. In addition, my abdomen had begun to fill up with fluid, I had an engorged spleen, and a blood clot had caused an infarction in my spleen. Ascites, the condition of having fluid on ones' abdomen, causes nausea, bloating, shortness of breath, and all kinds of unpleasant things. I had to have my abdomen drained and go on medication to try to contain the fluid buildup. I was told that I would have to remain on medication to try to contain the fluid for the rest of my life, or until I could get a liver transplant, which wouldn't be an option for at least 5 more years cancer-free.

I went on disability retirement, thinking to enjoy whatever days remained. My friends, family, and people all over the country were praying for me, however, and apparently, God wasn't finished with me here in this life yet. I began to feel better....and better...and better. Finally, after a year and a half, I felt so well, I started considering going back to work. I told the Lord that I would start looking for a job that would really interest me and if one popped up, I'd apply. If I got the job, fine, praise the Lord, but if not, then I would know that the Lord would have me remain on disability. Within one week, a consultant job was posted at Knox County Educational Service Center, a place I had always thought would be a good place to work. Not only was a job posted, but it was one of only 2 positions at the ESC for which I was qualified. I applied. The rest, as they say, is history, and I have been a consultant for Knox County ESC since August 2007. I LOVE my job and can't tell you how much I appreciate being able to get up every day and drive to work again. In many ways, I feel like I was made for this position.

Today, I continue to be cancer-free. On my last CT scan, there was NO MORE fluid in my abdomen and I am totally off of medication. The liver enzymes in my blood work are within the normal range. Not only that, but the damage to my spleen caused by the blood clot is GONE. I absolutely believe in miracles, because I AM one!