Miracle Monday, it was 10 years ago today, January 28, 2014, I made one of the most memorable calls of my life. It was to our church family through our One-Call phone program. It was with a shaken and broken voice I said, “we have received the results from Mary’s cancer surgery, there is no cancer. We’ve experienced a miracle.” You can listen to the call here.
To be honest it was a call we weren’t totally confident we would make. On December 2, 2013 I had taken Mary to her yearly mammogram test. I remember waiting for an extended time and beginning to feel uneasy that her test was taking so long. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she came back to the lobby. Her face was pail, there was fear in her voice as she said, “they think they have found cancer in my breast. “
By the time we got to our car and started home we had received a call from Mary’s gynecologist, Dr. James Jarrett. His voice was serious and we could tell he was alarmed by the report he had received. Within days he had arranged an appointment for us with one of his best friends, Dr. Tim Goedde, one of the best cancer doctors in Indiana and was a part of the renowned M.D. Anderson cancer team out of Houston Texas.
Our meeting with Dr. Goedde would prove to be a tough day. He did his exam of Mary’s breast, seemed troubled, and asked us to wait in the consultation room next door. We were scared and the fifteen-minute wait before he stepped back into the room seemed like an eternity. When we saw him, it appeared he had been crying, his face was red and eyes swollen. It was definitely something we had never experienced when working with a doctor. He began to explain that Mary’s breast cancer was bad, stage four bad, and described the cancer in her breast “as the stars in heaven.” We would later learn from Dr. Jarrett that Dr. Goedde had called him immediately after we had left our appointment and told him that Mary’s case was the worst case he had seen in his 25 years of practice.
At the time Gentry and Risa were 18 and 16. We discussed how to handle the moment with them and felt that we could have a transparent conversation about their mom’s cancer. We were honest about the challenges ahead and prepared them the best we could for the uncertain future. The conversation was honest but filled with faith. Mary and I also had private discussion about what if the worst-case scenario happened, but in every moment, there was faith. Faith that overwhelmed fear.
We have always been people of prayer, so we attacked this moment as we had every other crisis we had faced. Over the next few weeks, we went into fervent prayer. We prayed with hope, expectancy, and believed for a miracle. We had a team of prayer warriors and friends who joined with us. Our church rallied around us in a way I’ve never seen. Our faith was so strong that we asked for a second evaluation, but while Dr. Goedde noted that there was some change, it was nothing significant.
Mary’s surgery had been schedule at our first appointment, and on January 21st of 2024, she had a double mastectomy. After an overnight stay, Mary came home, and would spend the next three months in recovery. She was amazing, strong, and brave.
It was on the morning of January 28, 2014 that we got the call. We froze when the phone rang. We recognized the number and knew this was “the call.” We answered and a nurse said “we’re calling with the results of Mary’s breast cancer surgery, it was negative.” Those words overwhelmed us, and to be honest, the rest of her conversation is kind of blurry. All we heard was, “it was negative.” We were weeping, overjoyed, and after hanging up, we were trying to grasp what had just happened. We had questions. Like what does this mean? Is negative, positive or is negative, negative? Where do we go from here? As we were trying to get our heads around what had just happened, the phone rang again. This time it was Dr. Goedde.
His call brought absolute clarity. He said, “Mary, I want you to know that there was absolutely no cancer in your breast. You are cancer free.” While he would not use the word “miracle,” he did say, “this is something that I can’t explain.” He would go on to convey that there would be no need for any chemotherapy, radiation, or the five-year pill that is normally given to breast cancer patients.
We would visit Dr. Goedde two more times over the next few months, each time he would say, “this is just remarkable.” Our final visit with him was a year later, after that evaluation he said, “Mary, as far as I’m concerned, we never have to see you again, go and enjoy life.”
Today is 10 years since that amazing phone call. We pray that it inspires and gives hope to anyone and everyone going through a difficult season. Whether it is sickness, a family issue, a job situation, or financial struggle, miracles do happen and it can happen for you. God can and God can for you!