While I'm thinking about it I will share two other times she did this for me. Sorry if this blog is so long. I just want to talk about Andrea and share with you what I mean when I say she made me who I am today.
It was the day we learned the cancer had returned. We got back for Dr. Atkins office and I drove straight to Duvall's house, not wanting to be alone. Lori Jo, mustered up the strength to calming talk to us offering encouragement. I know this had to be as had on her as us but she never showed it. She was so strong that day. I'll never forget sitting in our car outside her house and her calming words. Anyway we left and went home and I walked into our room and collapsed on the bed and began to cry out to God, "No! God do not take Andrea from me!" Our last oncologist told us if the cancer ever returned Andrea was going to die, and that is all I remembered. In a moment I felt Andrea lay on my back, her put her body over mine, her arms wrapped around me, trying to cover me with her self. Then she just whispered in my ear, Jim it is going to be okay, God is in control I will be fine. She just kept telling me that over and over until I calmed down. She began to hear her cry, just a faint cry. I was not sure if she was srying about the cancer or seeing me in pain. I think the later, she was just that way. She was comforting me. It should have been the other way around.
The other time was when we were waiting for Andrea's second bone scan results. It must have been around Dec 06, six months since the original diagnoses of incurable bone cancer. This was the killer. Bone cancer was the one I feared. Not just death but a slow and painful death. Anyway we were called back to Dr. Atkins check in area where Andrea's height, weight and blood pressure were recorded and we took our seats waiting for a exam room to open up. Those are tense moments waiting for test results. So much hope. Knowing the answer is already written. Were our prayers answered or not? You don't know you only know the answer is already written in the radiologist report. Well I could not stand it I had tried to read the nurses eyes hoping to she if she would revel the contents of the report and could not discern anything. I look up on the counter and there laid the report, just sitting in the open. Andrea had her back to me so I picked it up, and read the Doctors summary; the bone caner had spread to the point her bones throughout her spin hips were completely covered by tumors. What was once three small spots had spread everywhere. The diagnoses was terminal. I set the paper down and could not breath. I walk back to Andrea and sat down. She said “What is it, what did that say?” I said “Nothing” trying to hide what I knew but my face gave me away. She said, “Jim what did it say?” I said, “The doctor said the bone cancer has spread everywhere and there was nothing they could do.” She turned and looked me in the eyes and said, "Jim do not worry, it will be okay. I trust God. It is okay, God holds my life in His hands." I looked at her, the pain welling up in me, and thought what faith you have. She was a rock. She did not waiver. And I had just told her it was over, next comes the pain, then morphine, then Hospice, and then it is over. She did not blink an eye. I felt her strength filling me. I smiled and we hugged. In a minute we were called back to see Dr Atkins. He put the scan on the light board. Oh my God! Six months ago Andrea bone scan showed three black spots about the size of a pencil tip. At the time Andrea could hardly walk or get up from the pain. In this scan her whole spine and almost 100% of her hips were solid black. I thought it was worse then report said. Dr. Atkins in his usual calming confidence pulled the scan down and said, "Well the radiologist feels this is showing a significant spread of bone cancer. I disagree, I think this is just showing changes in your bone density most likely caused by the bone strengthen drugs you are on. I would not worry about it. If this was cancer you would not be able to stand up much less walk." I thought yeah, she hurt so bad before and now she is not hurting, that can't be cancer. I looked at Andrea and she was smiling at me. She withstood the attack and again she taught me the meaning of faith and trust, not as a concept but practically when life challenges what you profess to believe. She was giving me strength. It should have been the other way around.
I thank you Lord Jesus. I love you - You are my healer.