About the Author

Heather is a brain cancer survivor who lives life on the edge. She loves her family, her bald head and, most of all, her Savior’s grace. She lives in the sunny yet very humid state of Florida with her husband, three children and 2 dogs, a miniature schnauzer named Bailey...

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  1. I despaired when I was overcome with feeling alone in this world. I went through a desert experience of not being able to see God in my trials. And the loneliness was very painful. I cried and I didn’t hear God answer. I realized later, that I didn’t hear Him because I was too wounded and overcome with sadness. I was numb from pain. So God gave me hope by giving me courage to confide in a friend. Then, I found out He wanted to answer me through the hug, tears, and love of a friend.

  2. About 20 months ago, I was at my ‘bottom’ or so I thought. I keep everything inside- I do not share- people, especially people from church could not know how broken I really was inside! I simply wrote on our prayer request slip at church “I have issues, please pray”. These are kept confidential with the staff only praying, but I thought it really just went to our paster- wrong- small start for me but still too many people to know what is wrong!
    God sent a very special person to me-our woman’s ministry director-a woman I sang with weekly in choir-a woman who I picked out of the masses of people 3 years earlier when I started at this church because of her infectious smile and love for Jesus and I would just watch from a distance, never getting to know her!
    She has been walking with me ever since her phone call to me to say she was praying- it was her request to pray for- could we talk sometime–1000 emails later, many many counseling sessions, a million hugs and encouraging words she is a true friend and has helped me so much. She single handedly with God guiding her, I am learning to Trust!
    Most importantly besides any of the stuff above- she introduced me to God again- I had given up on Him I think- he couldnt know me, I dont matter in the big picture- She rebaptized me this summer because I needed to know I understood what it meant-which I now do, has held my hands as I stepped out into new adventures in church, meeting people and seeing that I am not alone in my ‘issues’.
    I am loved- by her, by other ladies in my church now, new friendships forming and by GOD!
    This is my hope!

  3. I to have had a ICU Baby many years ago. Which is so many ways was one of the hardest period of my life.
    Cancer to Heather,I to prayed similar prayers asking God to see my children grow up and graduate. I to remember pleading with God to take this fro me.
    Years later now I’m praying about my vision to stay stable, for new problems not to be another round of cancer.
    My Children are now grown. I have one granddaughter. I pray her mom my daughter and dad can work though the hurdles that are facing them. Health and Financial
    I pray to for my two boys..One is working to finish school. But the other is having problems due to court and traffic issues. I pray we are strong enough to get him to and from work for another year. I pray he is strong enough mentally to pull though his problems and right himself.
    The list goes on and one it seems.
    But God is always there no matter what picking up the pieces.. I was strong in my faith before all of this. All the challenges just have brought me closer. I still have hope and the power of prayer.
    Although I haven’t commented on your blog Heather , your a great inspiration. Thank You.

  4. THANK you for sharing! It is amazing how we really CAN find hope in the midst of our suffering. You have an amazing character in Christ that shines through in what you shared! So often that character can ONLY come through suffering. Praying for you…

  5. When I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer four years ago. I too pleaded to see my kids grow up. I did’t want to leave my husband. I was scared.
    smooches,
    Larie

  6. This is so powerful, Heather. Thanks for sharing and encouraging so many. In Sunday School yesterday, we talked about suffering in life and how it is SUPPOSED to be there. We forget that and all suffer in a different way, but I think your journey is bringing you closer to Christ and THAT is the point. Very well put, sweet friend.

  7. i SO needed this today. i am struggling with a big issue in my marriage – i don’t know what to do, how to handle, cannot find the strength to confront, and lay awake many nights feeling hopeless and alone. i’ve prayed to God, asking for help and direction and strength, but have not heard from Him yet – or so i think -, and it’s getting harder to have hope. so, reading your post, Heather, how you held hope, gives me the boost today i need to continue hoping and praying. thank you.

  8. I’m struggling with grief over the death of my firstborn 11 months ago after her 8 1/2 year battle against her congenital heart defects and resulting brain injury which left her unable to speak or do anything for herself. We worked and fought to keep her alive only to find her gone one Sunday morning last October. No warning. Just gone.
    Shortly thereafter, things at our church fell apart. It had been deteriorating from within for years, and it finally collapsed. My husband and I were badly hurt in the process — he was one of the leaders who stuck it out and was misjudged and maligned and falsely accused of many things. He could not defend himself without speaking badly of others, so we said nothing.
    The hurt from the church collapse is almost worse than the grief for our dead daughter. I have pulled back and closed off from people. I question Christianity and church because I haven’t seen it transform people the way it promises to. Yet I believe what the Bible says. So I am fighting just to regain hope, so I can keep going.

  9. This past year I have hit lower than ever before, even years ago when I tried to end my life. And as I think about my story (the despair and the disappointments and failures and bad things that got me to this point – and the list is long), it struck me that those things aren’t my story. Those things are my past. And although some days they hold me down, struggling to even breath or hold my tears, my real story is this…
    God has kept me safe each step of the way, the days I wanted Him to and actively sought Him, and the times I didn’t want Him to and rejected Him. Regardless of the day’s battles, ultimately I always know that God is in control, and He is the only one who can make sense of all of this mess.

  10. Heather, I remember the days leading up to your cancer diagnosis and I always admired your strength and determination to lean into God, in every way.
    I remember the constant peace God gave me in the midst of discovering I had atrial tachycardia. For an entire year, no doctor could figure out what was going on or the reason for my rapid heartbeat and the symptoms that went along with it. I couldn’t understand why these doctors, with their incredible intelligence, couldn’t discover the reason for the complex circumstance. Only our great God could have given them the ability to perform a 13 hour surgery to heal my electrically malfunctioned heart. Only our great God can give any of us the ability to understand and love Him through these vessels He has created!

  11. Thank you for the hope you shared today. I needed… need it so much. Incurable disease, moved, lost home, broken finances, no support system, depression and suicide issues have all piled up on me until I am numb. It is very hard to hear God’s voice. I feel so alone. I know He is there “somewhere”, but I’m not sure that “somewhere” is close enough. This morning I responded to an email from a friend whose adult daughter is deeply troubled. God reminded me of passages He gave me to pray through when my daughter was suicidal. Encouraging her lifted me. Then I read your blog. My heart is still so heavy and I cannot lift my head, but I see a small splinter of light. Thank you for sharing God.

  12. My life was perfect. Or so I thought. Everything had gone according to my plan. I had a great husband, a sweet son, a beautiful house, and I had just given birth to our second son.
    Things were going so well.
    For about an hour.
    Then the doctor came in the room and changed my life forever.
    Even now, 17 months later, it is as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday. I can still see the corner of the ceiling where I stared intently. I can still smell the recovery room. I can still feel my trusted doctor’s left hand on my right arm, and I can still hear his words:
    “I’m 99% sure that Benjamin has Down syndrome.”
    For months all I had was hope. Hope that he would make it through his open-heart surgery at 5 1/2 months and his intestinal surgery at 8 1/2 months. Hope that he would sit and crawl. Hope that all of it would one day make sense to me, and that my heart would be okay with it.
    Thankfully all of that has happened because I hope in the One Who gave me my sweet, precious Benjamin for a reason. To change me. To fulfill me. To bring me closer to Him.

  13. Again Heather I come to your blog and am again reminded that life is tuff for most of us and that there are many times we just don’t understand the whys. I hear your cry and then I see your faith which then strengthens mine,
    God bless,
    marie

  14. Heather:
    Eighteen years ago my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer and a year later, the cancer returned (this time in the lymph nodes). He underwent months of grueling chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. His prayer was to see our three youngest nieces (we don’t have children of our own) graduate from high school. Today all three of them are grown with children of their own. John just went for his annual check-up with the oncologist and she told him he was doing so well he didn’t have to return to her. There is hope! Blessings to you.

  15. Heather,
    Thank you so much. You’ve encouraged me greatly. For some crazy reason, I’ve been sitting in the slimy pit of self-pity.
    Dumb, eh?
    I have so much. Yet this economy has knifed me and my checkbook. I feel like such a baby complaining that we don’t have money to go out to eat, or bowl, or see a movie.
    Why do I trouble over thankfulness for food, decent health, and a roof over my head?
    You’ve helped put things in perspective for me. Thanks.
    Lucy

  16. Girls,
    You are such hope warriors! I am so sorry that I didnt comment to each and every one of you, but holy cow the emotions you all poured out in your comments… took my breath away.
    Keep holding onto hope, and to the hem of His garment… He will never disapoint 🙂
    -H

  17. My husband and I both carry the recessive gene for COX deficiency. Our oldest son died four and a half years ago from the complications of this version of mitochondrial myopathy. At the time, we had one healthy son, age two. We were told that the disorder is randomly inherited and that we probably would not have more children who were affected by COX deficiency. We hoped they were right, and we trusted God for more healthy children, and it was prophesied that there would be a double blessing. So, we had three more sons. The first two were healthy for a total of three healthy sons. And the fifth son was presumed healthy until he was six weeks old, when a heart defect was diagnosed. He had emergency open-heart surgery after a routine procedure went bad. And God walked with us every step of the way. But Isaac’s heart was just too weak. He couldn’t come off the vent, so he got a trach and a g-tube. We couldn’t keep lines in for long, so he got a broviac. He fought hard, but in the middle of the night two weeks ago, he slipped away from us on the morning of his 58th day in the PICU. And it’s awful because I want my baby back… and my son back…. but what hope for heaven. I know those boys are safe in the arms of my Jesus. And I know that when my time here is done, I will see them again. And we fervently pray that all of our sons choose Christ so that we can finally all be together in heaven because we can never be together on earth.

  18. I hope for a miracle each and every day that God will heal the intractable seizures my daughter has suffered from since she was five weeks old. I walk in His grace each and every day as He provides the wisdom and strength to be the best mother I can be to this beautiful child of God.
    I am humbled by my daughters acceptance of her path in life and the peace and joy etched across her face everyday. I am blessed to be witness to constant unconditional love from my daughter. The world sees her as broken…God sees her as perfect.
    My HOPE is in Christ alone! Thank you Heather for reminding me of that.

  19. Hi Heather,
    I am so excited you aren’t wearing a wig.
    A very dear friend of ours had cancer and lost all her hair. Many people questions her about why she didn’t wear a wig. Some were sincere others sarcastic.
    She worked with youth and she said she wanted them to see the real her, no mask.
    We have since moved from the area, And you have reminded me of our dear precious friend.
    Blessings,
    Joyful

  20. Oh, yes, I have been through such similar things. A daughter born with meingeomyelocele 33 years ago — given 50% chance of living and 33% chance of normal intelligence. Alive today with a 2-year college education (could have gone 4 or 6 but chose another route). A son born with 18 birth defects. Given no chance of living. Today, he is age 30, lives in a group home (and has lived independently with some supervision, as well as has spent time living in the Middle East). Extremely retarded, but able to partially communicate in English, Russian, Spanish, English, and sign language. Grandson born with hydronephrosis. That was any easy one: only external collection of urine until age one and then five surgeries and he is now normal. Granddaughter born in pieces and organs external to the body — sort of like Humpty Dumpty, she had to be put back together again. We are still working on this one. (And then there was the surprise ruptured appendix and subsequent gangrene & peritonitis that my son, father to my grandkids, experienced at exactly the same time his daughter was going through surgery.) Through it all, though, my reaction was somewhat different: I had hope and I EXPECTED things to turn out well. I have no idea why I had/have that expectation. I just do. Invincible optimist, I guess. Or perhaps it is just that I trust God beyond measure (and I have never been angry at these kinds of things happening; that is something called life; how can one get made at life?)el.