The Steers are in Memphis this week doing some testing with Abby – please pray for peace and wisdom for all involved!
Abigail turned three years old May first. It feels like the last two years have flown by; whereas the first year, well really the first two months… still seem like they lasted forever.
Abby was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in the newborn nursery a few hours after her birth. It shattered my understanding, my faith, my reality, everything…to go from the peaks of joy at her birth to the valleys of despair that followed. The first hospital that we went to sent Abby home on Hospice care. They didn’t think she could ever beat the cancer. It was a grade four Glioblastoma. And they worried that if by some chance she did make it into remission, her quality of life would be devastating.
So when Abby was three weeks old, we were sitting at home waiting for her to die. I wish that I could say I didn’t accept their opinions. I wish I could say that I always knew she would see her healing, but I can’t. I was wallowing in my own pity at that time. My life felt so miserable, so exhausting, that just to get out of bed every day was the most I could mange. Thank God I married Michael. He wouldn’t give up, when we were signing the DNR (do not resuscitate) orders, when the Hospice nurse came to visit, he kept believing.
He believed in the promise of God that he received the night before my ultrasound. That night he said “I think it’s going to be a girl, and I think we’re supposed to name her Abigail. (We later found that Abigail means “Her Father’s Joy” in Hebrew.) That was his promise, and he would not give up.
He emailed her information to various medical centers during Abby’s time on end of life care. He prayed that if it be God’s will to attempt the surgery, that the gates of Heaven would open and we would have surgeons knocking down our door. They didn’t come knocking, but they came calling. Within two days, three surgeons had called eager to perform the surgery.
We decided on Dr. Boop in Memphis. Abby underwent the surgery when she was five weeks. She started chemotherapy at six weeks. She was given less than a ten percent chance initially. She soared through twelve rounds, finishing just before her first birthday. She has been in remission almost two years now, and as for her quality of life- it’s a miracle. She is walking, running, jumping, singing, dancing, fighting with her big brother, and wrapping her Daddy and I around her little fingers. She is the happiest child ever! We are so very, very blessed. There are many times that I have seen God work in Abby’s life. There are so many specific prayers that have been answered that I don’t think I could ever list them all. But the first answer, the first miracle came before Abby had ever been conceived. God had already written the journey out while Michael and I were still dating. Even before that He had planted the seeds of stubborness and determination in Michael, the very traits that he would need to fight for his daughter’s life. He had given Michael a promise before either of us could ever know what it would mean. It’s in the looking back that I am always amazed. It was always part of God’s plan for Abby to get sick, for Michael to fight for her, for me to trust in God and my husband even when I was getting no answers in prayer. His plan is still unfolding, and it is magnificent to behold. I don’t know for sure if Abby is cured forever, I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that her life, our lives are all part of his perfect plan.