Tuesday, April 26, 2005

To Her Health

As is my weekday routine, this morning I tuned in for Laura Ingraham’s show on my way to work. There was a guest host sitting in for her. An unannounced absence from Laura is unusual, but I didn’t overthink it.

Within a few minutes, the host replayed Laura’s message for her audience, which she had phoned in earlier this morning. Laura was at the hospital, preparing to have breast cancer surgery.

The news of her illness hit me in a very personal way. My husband is a cancer survivor. He, like Laura, was in the prime of his adulthood when he was stricken. Cancer is a family disease. It not only torments the victim, it afflicts loved ones as well. Laura Ingraham is a rising star in talk radio, engaged to be married very soon. I understand the frustration and sense of helplessness her fiancé must be feeling.

As I listened to Laura’s message, she was perhaps a bit nervous, as should well be expected. But I heard courage and strength in her voice, as well as a hopeful optimism, that I know will sustain her well. She mentioned “the power of prayer,” a gift my family knows well. She asked for prayers, in fact a prayer request is posted on her website. I’m glad she did that. In my experience, prayers work.

My husband survived against all scientific odds and medical prognostications. Doctors who participated in his care a dozen years ago still inquire about him, with amazement in their voices. They are dumbfounded that a patient who was so gravely ill, with a cancer so advanced, who had suffered so many complications, could possibly survive to this day. Not only did Pete survive, he has gone on to improve his life in several ways.

I fully attribute his triumph over disease to the many prayers our family and friends devoted to his recovery. There are some things that can only be explained by faith.

Cancer is a life-altering event. It changes everyone it touches, patients and loved ones alike, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Those who have come through cancer’s dark tunnel to emerge into the sunshine of recovered health often view their illness as a blessing. Once you vanquish cancer, you never overlook the treasure in each new day. Cancer teaches us how to live.

Laura, you’ve got so much living yet to do. The prayers of your friends, your family, and your radio audience will help to sustain and strengthen you on the road to recovery. With the fire of so much faith protecting you, this dragon is likely to turn and flee.

The power of prayer works miracles. Believe it.