Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

About Me

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Something cheery for the New Year...

Found at via The Anchoress;

A year ago, Marcella Dubuque was preparing for what she believed would be her last Christmas.

A month earlier, she had been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, the tumour that had been growing in her right breast had already invaded her lymph nodes. It was too advanced for surgery; chemotherapy would be the only treatment.

She was 76 years old.

So Lella, who pursued life with girlish enthusiasm, quietly accepted imminent death.

She got her financial affairs in order. She cleaned out her closet and cupboards and gave all the old clothes and unused dishes to charity. She picked out the Sunday dress she wanted to be buried in; a wash-and-wear paisley print with a pleated skirt. She told her husband and four children she did not want a wake, just a traditional Catholic funeral without eulogy or flowery obituary. Burial would be in her local cemetery in Walpole, Mass.

"The acceptance was so total that there were no regrets, just gratitude for the life, for the family. Realizing how lucky I was," she says.

Luck, however, can't explain to her what happened next. Nor can medicine.

She went for 15 rounds of chemotherapy, but quit before the final two treatments last May. She was losing too much weight, her red blood cell count was slipping and the hair she kept a burnished red and tied back with a black ribbon was all gone. A PET scan in June showed lesions near her heart, in one of her lungs and in her lower back. The cancer had advanced to stage 4.

Her son, Michael, urged her to get a second opinion and to make her annual trip to her childhood home on Cape Breton Island.

Every summer but for three since 1953, Lella has returned to the three-storey towering white clapboard house by a brook in Judique, a rural community hugging the western coast of the island. She was born in the house with windows of wavy glass, walls of Douglas fir and a wood stove burning in June out of necessity. For three months of the year, they would open the kitchen door and serve their friends tea in the afternoon and something stronger in the evening and host ice cream picnics.

Michael, along with daughter Melissa, made the 13-hour drive for his parents. Lella's husband, Bob Dubuque, a retired Walpole police officer, had a serious stroke 10 years ago.

They arrived in July. Lella's brother had opened the house. A cousin had scattered vases of wildflowers, Lella's favourite, about the rooms. Her twin brothers flew in from Windsor, Ont. Her son, Mark, came from Kentucky.

Over the course of a week, more than 100 people came to see her in what has been described as a living wake. They exchanged old stories and brought her rosary beads, prayer cards, holy oil, even blessed salt. Lella assured anyone who asked about her illness that she was "looking forward to the journey" and to being with her relatives in Heaven.

Judique's parish priest, Father Allan MacMillan, performed what was once known as the Last Rites, but is now more optimistically called the Sacrament of the Sick. Afterward, the family gathered on the veranda with a bottle of wine and Lella asked Fr. Allan, a Gaelic singer, for a song.

When they returned to Walpole, she had an appointment with a specialist at the Dana Farber, a renowned cancer hospital. The doctor examined Lella and recommended another PET scan.

Two days later, when Lella went back to her oncologist for the results, the nurses smiled at her. The doctor, who had copies of both scans - the June one showing the ugly lesions and the August one inexplicably clear - delivered some stunning news.

According to Lella's recollection, "The words he used were: ‘Nothing short of a miracle, no scientific explanation.'"

Lella has a spiritual one: "Prayer - how else could it change that drastically in two months?"

The oncologist, Dr. Charles Chen, is still somewhat guarded, as he awaits the results of another scan, but he allows, "She's had a remarkable recovery. We don't have an explanation for it."

Lella is on the drug Herceptin to keep the cancer in remission. She goes for physiotherapy weekly to try to reduce the fluid trapped in her right arm where the lymph nodes were destroyed.

In December she celebrated her 77th birthday and spent a quiet Christmas with her family. She says she now has a greater appreciation for people and more empathy for the sick.

"I often thought - pre-cancer - that here I am about 75, 76, and I'd think, ‘Why is God keeping me around so long? I never accomplished anything worthwhile in my life, what am I hanging around for anyway?' And then after cancer, I'm thinking, ‘Ah, well, maybe there's something here I can pass on.'"

She says it's hope.


Mary Ellen said...

That is a wonderful story! I absolutely believe in miracle cures, as I wrote in my post about my brother who miraculously was cured from stage 4 colon cancer. He lost one kidney and most of his colon and the cancer was spreading, after only one dose of chemo, he went to a "healing Mass" and the cancer was discovered gone the following week. His doctor said the same had to be a miracle because there is no way that he could have been cancer free after one dose of chemo, it was too widespread.

I have the feeling that God has a special purpose for her...and how great is that? To know that God needs you to bring others to Him? Now that's a job worth doing!

sig94 said...

There is so much that science is incapable of explaining. It is a poor, pallid, undeveloped life that refuses to account for God and His Grace.

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