On a crisp March morning, my two-year-old son, Austin, cuddled next to me by the crackling fireplace. He placed his tiny hand on my slightly pregnant stomach, and asked, “Mommy, when is our baby coming out to play?”
I smiled at him and replied, “In six months you will be a big brother.” Just then the phone rang. It was my obstetrician, Dr. Kato, and I wondered why he was calling me.
“Rebecca, I’m sorry to say this, but my colleagues and I found cancer when we reviewed your recent pelvic exam.”
My body tensed, and I tried to comprehend what my doctor had just told me.
“I would like you and your husband to come in right away.”
I fumbled to put the receiver back on the hook. I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity, took a hold of my heart, and squeezed as hard as they could. My knees began to buckle, and I slumped onto the kitchen floor as warm tears fell onto my maternity blouse.
What just happened? I couldn’t wrap my mind around it and the tears kept coming. With my head against the wall, I looked up to the ceiling, and cried out to the Lord, “God, please don’t take my baby. You know I just miscarried five short months ago, and it would mean the end my lifelong dream of having two children.”
Randy and I entered the physician’s office and waited in deafening silence for the doctor’s arrival. I focused my attention on the walls decorated with diplomas and credentials. My fingers began to tingle, and I looked down to find my hands gripping the chair as if I were white-knuckling a rollercoaster ride. The only sound I could hear was the rhythm of my heartbeat that found its way into my throat. That’s when the door opened and Dr. Kato walked in.
The last things I remember hearing were “radiation,” “chemotherapy,” and “immediately.”
This had to be some kind of mistake. The test results couldn’t have been mine. I gasped for air as reality sank in. The radiation would cause my body to reject my 12-week old fetus.
The ride home was a blur. After stepping into our house, Randy and I reached for our Bible. We drew comfort and strength from our faith in God and from each other’s love. We came upon the following verse:
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick” (James 5:14,15)
All week long, Randy lost sleep, tossing and turning throughout the night. He agonized over the possibility of losing me and the baby. He grabbed his pillow each night, hit the couch and cried out to God “Please don’t take my wife and baby from me.”
Towards the end of the week, it dawned on us that the Lord may have been speaking to us through the scripture verse. We had to act now. We hurried to meet with our church elders.
One pastor placed anointing oil on my forehead. I counted five other pastors kneeling at my feet and praying to Jesus to heal me of this cancer and protect our baby.
Two weeks later, I received another phone call from Dr. Kato for a follow-up appointment.
What in the world is he going to tell me this time? I could barely stay composed.
“Well,” he said, “we’ve had a change of plans.”
A change of plans? Are these good plans or bad? My brain cells braced themselves for the next blow.
He went on, “I consulted with my peers and we decided to surgically remove your cancer.”
What does that mean?
“This will allow you to deliver your baby on your due date,” he said. “Then we will begin your regime.”
Tears welled up in my eyes as I choked out the words, “Does this mean I will be fine, and I get to keep my baby?”
“Yes, it does, Rebecca.” Uncontainable joy filled me. If I were a bubble, I would have burst. My tears fell, but this time they were tears of joy.
Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months as my belly took on the shape of a small bowling ball.
On the day of my surgery, I lay on a cold and sterile operating table and stared at the ceiling through laser-safety glasses. The brightest white lights I had ever seen illuminated the room. The clinking and clanging of stainless steel medical equipment rattled in the background while the doctors discussed the procedure. My knees quivered uncontrollably for nearly three hours as my thoughts raced laps around my head.
Is my baby going to be okay? This, by far, was the most difficult thing I had ever gone through. My tense muscles felt such a relief when it was over.
Two months later, I found myself lying on another operating table for a procedure called “Clear Area,” a simple surgery to check whether my cancer was gone.
After the procedure, my heart did back flips when my doctor said, “I’m happy to tell your cancer is gone.” He added, “There is no need for you to undergo any radiation or chemotherapy after your child is born.”
Randy and I fell into each other’s arms and held each other close. We knew God had just given us our very own modern day miracle.
In September, I gave birth to a healthy, blonde, blue-eyed girl–Alicia Lee Krusee. This beautiful bundle weighed 6 pounds/12 ounces and was 19 inches long. It just so happened that thirty nine years earlier, her mother was born with the exact same weight and length!
What an amazing gift from God.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
~ Rebecca Krusee