April 23, 2011

April 23rd, 2011 at 1:47 pm by under Deanna's Journey
I went to Marsh Grocery Store this week with my mother.  In the doorway are bundles of beautiful tulips in almost every color of the rainbow.  I immediately grabbed a yellow bundle. Every spring I fill our house with tulips – each vase holding exactly nine – the number of weeks baby Avery was with us.

Christmas, 2001, we conceived little Avery despite what every fertility specialist had told us.  We’d been told the chance of my getting pregnant was less than 1 percent.  We’d begun researching adoption agencies, and then - surprise – the discovery of a little heart beating strong in my uterus.  We knew this was our miracle baby, the little life we’d been struggling to conceive for almost four years.   

Then in late February I began having unbearable abdominal pain.  The specialist told me no worries – the fetus was fine.  But I felt the life slipping away.  I knew it instinctively, as does every mother connected by more than blood and DNA; it’s a soul connection with that little life growing inside your body that the male of our species could never quite understand.  And I felt that soul leave in February.  But I so wanted to believe baby Avery was fine, just as I’d been told.  

Then, at my 12 week visit, the confirmation of what my soul had felt – that painful sight on sonogram - our little one lying lifeless in my uterus, her soul already nestled on the wings of angels.  March 12th I had what so many mothers who have miscarried before me have endured, an operation to remove the dead child from my body.  And as I left the hospital I noticed the tulips filling the grounds with a rainbow vibrant color – a reminder of God’s rainbow after the rain.

Every spring I’ve acknowledged the presence of that beautiful life lost with tulips.  And so I stood there in Marsh, tulips in hand, remembering that day 9 years ago.  And God spoke to me at that moment.  He reminded me of the birth He brought to a hospital in Houston three days before I said goodbye to Avery.  It was a baby named Ethan – a little boy we’d adopt a year and a half later.  As we grieved our little one lost, He’d already breathed life into our son, the child He meant for us to raise.  He told me it was time to stop grieving life lost, and celebrate a life given.  I put the tulips back, and bought  bubblegum for Ethan’s Easter basket instead.

I’m reminded of that as I grapple with the news from my oncologist.  The pathologist found Fred’s cancerous core embedded in a mass of dead tissue.  It was 9 mm, a tiny pea-sized shadow of the tumor it had been, but it was there nonetheless.  The good news is that Fred’s no good kids had not traveled to my lymph nodes.  So the liklihood of metastasis is very small.  But because Fred survived the chemo onslaught,  there’s still a chance that cells we can’t see are lying in wait.  So now decisions must be made – more chemo?  a post-surgical clinical trial?   do nothing?  And I ask God why didn’t He give me what I asked for – the complete annihilation of Fred.  But I believe He has another plan -  a better plan – just as He did when He took Avery to live with Him.

I’ll meet with my oncologist on Tuesday.  And we’ll have some decisions to make.  Pray for us.  And we need prayer about another matter.  My adoption counselor called this week.  A baby girl is due in weeks.  But is this the right time?  Is this God’s time?  Is this our child?  Can I do night feedings and chemo simultaneously? 

And so it is.  Our God does indeed work in mysterious ways.  This is not the way I would have chosen for events to unfold.  But this I do know – His way is the right way, and all He asks of us is faith.

9 Responses to “April 23, 2011”

  1. Sally says:

    I have been following you and praying all the way! You are the most amazing person. I thought your breasts were removed and that was to be the end of it. I not sure I understand what is happening now….but you can be sure I will still be praying..you have such faith, how could I do anything but pray for you and your family.

  2. Donna Winsted says:

    Bless you, Deanna, for all you’ve been through – and handled so beautifully!

    About your decisions: go to a place all alone, where you feel safe and peaceful. Be very quiet until you feel relaxed and loved, then listen for that small, still voice. The one that will never give you wrong answers!

    Love & Hugs,

  3. Doris says:

    I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. The Lord does work his mysterious ways. Keep being positive and pray to God for his direction. He will lead you where you and your family are meant to be. My family and I will continue to pray for you and hope you can get rid of Fred completely. May God bless you and your family! :)

    Many Blessings to you,


  4. Kim Wise says:

    We have been checking a couple of times daily to hear your news. So many are lifting you and your family up in prayer right now. You are so wise, Deanna…God does things in ways that we do not always understand, but He continues to move mountains on our behalves. We are praying for a miracle.

  5. Ellen says:


    God Bless you on your recovery. I wish I could be just a portion of the strength and faith. Other than my Mom, you are one of the most incredible women I have seen.

  6. Amy says:

    I read your story for the first time today.
    It reminded me of when my Mom fought breast cancer (10 years free!) and when we lost our daughter. I can’t imagine what this journey has been like for you but, your faith in God is very inspiring. Iknow we couldn’t have managed without the Lord. Bless you and your family and hope to hear good news soon!

  7. Susie Rea says:

    Deanna, I have been following your story while here in Florida in the wintertime…Looking forward to returning to our home there next Month and see you on the news again…God Bless you and your little family..

  8. cynthia smoker says:

    Damn that Fred anyways!!! Deanna you are strong and have a loving family-do what your soul tells you to do. I personally believe that God has given you another chance to mother a beautiful baby, a girl. Take it and run with it. None of us are given any guarantees on the length of our days on earth-you maybe given a hundred or tens of thousands of days. Teach that baby girl and Ethan everything you know to be true in your heart. God bless the Doctors and Nurses that guide your treatment, and may you find peace of mind.

  9. Rosie Clevenger says:


    Your beautiful spirit and strong faith is an inspiration to us all. Even through dark times, your words are a light of hope and faith for every person that reads them. You and your family are in my prayers. Take care of yourself and may God Bless you!!