Friday, November 19, 2010

Earnest Expectation and Expecting Miracles

It is with a broken heart, puffy eyes, and reluctant hands that I sit down to write this morning.  My main motive is to alleviate a nearly impossible task from my mother, that of contacting those wonderful people in our life who have been praying for daddy in order to update them on daddy's condition.  Nearly impossible, because as I mentioned previously it involves that horrible "C" word... cancer, and because this time the news hit even harder.

Forgive me for writing so mechanically, but at this moment I feel a bit as if air has been sucked out of life as I know it.

My daddy has been re-diagnosed with Myeloma cancer, the most serious and aggressive strain of Lymphoma.
Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white cell found in many tissues of the body, but primarily in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are part of the body's immune system.
Normal plasma cells make antibodies, which help fight infection. Myeloma cells cannot help the body fight infection. As the myeloma cells grow in the marrow they crowd out the normal plasma cells. They also crowd out normal white cells, red cells and platelets. (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

It has come as such a shock after hearing and coming to accept the first diagnosis.  This cancer will have to be treated in a more aggressive manner and will involve more unwelcome things, such as increased nausea and my daddy losing his baby soft, salt n pepper hair.

We were told "facts" or "statistics" about this cancer, but we have decided that we are not going to focus on them, rather that we have HOPE and EXPECT MIRACLES.  Hope as my father chooses to define it is, an "earnest expectation".  I love that!  My parents will be seeking a second and possibly a third opinion soon, to consult on the diagnosis and treatment that St. Joseph's Hospital has recommended.

The doctor came into the room last night and sat while giving us the news.  I heard myself saying aloud in a desperate, weak voice, "You have to be wrong".  It still does not feel real to me.  What does feel 100% real to me, and more tangible than ever, is the love that we share as a family.  The eternal bonds that exist between my parents, between my parents and their children, between my siblings, and between my siblings who are married and their spouses and their children, can be felt so strongly, more than ever.  The phrase you begin singing as a Primary child, "Families can be Together Forever", continues to reveal itself more and more as one of the greatest gifts of a loving Father in Heaven.

I have always known that my father is one of the most exemplary men, but the way in which he handled such news last night was another testimony of it.  The first thing he said after the doctor left was his concern for the doctor in having to deliver such news.  Nurses who were unaware of what just happened cheerfully came in to handle routine things such as dad's IV.  He was polite and helpful as he held the tubes for them as they changed it.  When such news needed to be told to my siblings, He wanted to call them himself.  When it proved very difficult, we offered to make the calls for him.  He said that that this is how he is used to leading his life, he does hard things all the time.  He can do hard things.

Yes he can.  He has dealt with many things others may think impossible, but because of his perspective, because of his work ethic, because of his dedication to doing things right, his faith, his love, he has brought success and hope to the tasks.

I watched my mother and father gaze at each other, no words expressed.  To witness how much they are still in love... I speak about it with the greatest reverence.

I thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts in behalf of myself, my daddy, and our family.  I ask for your continued faith as we expect miracles and fight to beat the odds.  Miracles happen everyday, and I know we can have great faith on behalf of my father, my great father.  A man I can not imagine my life without.  As I look at this photo, Daddy reading an Italian toddler book to little Owen at one of our family beach vacations while Liz and I look on so intently, I pray for many many more of these moments.

I know my Savior has carried our burdens and has suffered the heartache, pain, anger, and hopelessness that we have felt.  For what purpose?  That we may come unto Him.  Whatever form these miracles may come in, I pray that I may rely more heavily upon my Savior and seek his comfort and a greater understanding.  I must step from believing in Him to believing Him.


  1. I do, I do, I do believe in Mircales! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers daily. And thank you Brianna for being such a sweet person. It meant a lot to me the day you stopped by to check up on me :)

  2. My heart is breaking for you, as a daughter of an amazing father, I feel your pain. I'm sorry, but grateful for your beautiful testimony and strength. Your father and family will be in my prayers. I believe that miracles happen everyday. Trust in the Lord and all will work out for good. Love you!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear you and your family are having such a hard time. I hope everything works out for the best. I'll be thinking of you.

  4. Praying for you and your family Briana. I too believe in miracles.

  5. Thank you ladies for your prayers and sweet messages. They will be helping me to get through the days ahead!

  6. Sweet Briana,
    I am so sorry for your pain and that I can't give you a hug! I thought if this poem because even though we are so far away, 'I carry your heart with me.'

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

  7. Janae I love you and miss you! This poem speaks the truth so beautifully, for I know you do!

  8. Briana, I am sorry. I ache for your family and will continue to pray for your strength, comfort, and yes, even a miracle. :)

  9. We know exactly how you was a year and half ago that Wade's mom got the news she would only have 6 months. She had stage 4 gall bladder cancer, but now after 3 chemo rounds...and now following a strict diet and a huge lifestyle change from a book called Cancer Free...she is doing wonderful. The drs have called it a miracle many times, and Wade's mom had such strong faith. We will pray for you and your family. And make sure they do get several opinions...Carolyn ended up chosing City of Hope in Pasadena. You have the most amazing family, I know you will make it through. Please call or email if you need too. I Love U

  10. Briana, thank you so much for keeping everyone updated. Thank you more for your testimony. God is a God of miracles and we are praying for you and your family and your dear sweet dad everyday. Your dad is a great man. A great, strong, loveable, faithful, fun, funny man. And he can't lose that gorgeous hair! That is Russ! We love you guys.

  11. As for believing in miracles, I certainly do! In 1985, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He was given a 5% chance of surviving the surgery. When he came out of the surgery,Dr's were shocked, but said they only gave him a maximum 3-5 survival chance even after bombarding him with terrible radiation & chemo therapies.25 years later, he still defies all logic and continues to survive! I wont say his health has been great the whole time,BUT he is alive to this day. Dr's are only human. With God, ALL things are possible. Will keep you guys in our prayers. Lover, Erin Pierce

  12. We'll continue to pray for your beautiful family Briana.

  13. We're praying for your sweet family. We miss having you so close! You are an inspiration to me.

  14. Still praying for your family. Your mom had such a profound effect on my life.

  15. Give our love to your mother and father. You are in our prayers. Phil and Peggy Taylor

  16. What a horrible moment when you hear the word cancer. It is a beast. I would not wish it upon anyone. My sweet uncle there are very few like him in this world. He is a special spirit I know the Lord loves. Your whole family has a place in my heart. I know one thing the Lord knew what he was doing when he gave us families and temples. The reassurance that a temple brings is beyond this worlds comprehension. Families being together forever. It is rare these days that families even want to be together. You all have something very special about your family, a bond most don't get to enjoy in a lifetime. You are all very blessed to have one another. I love you.



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