I took a deep breath in and exhaled as strong as I could and for as long as my lungs would allow. I watched the virtual candle flicker on the screen as she released her breath into the machine attached to the computer. I desperately wanted the air in my lungs to make up for what her’s had somehow come to lack.
Running track had become difficult for her and gymnastics wore her out so here we were trying to find a reason for the pounding in her chest. As the doctor spoke to me I found myself making long and labored efforts to fill my body with oxygen. It’s strange how our bodies react to what is mentally weighing on us.
At that moment I would have traded my lungs for hers. Give her mine, they work perfectly. I’ll take hers. She’s was only 13 and deserved the good set.
Jordan’s mom and dad weren’t able to take her to the doctor that day so I gladly volunteered. That day would be the first time I would meet her mom. She and I met and talked about the diagnosis of chronic asthma then went over every pill and every inhaler that had been prescribed in her child’s name. We respectfully looked each other in the eyes and carefully went over every detail. I talked while she took notes.
That’s how I met Channel, sitting in the kitchen discussing her daughter’s diagnosis.
Now, over 11 years later, that sweet girl and her mother are facing another diagnosis and finding themselves taking deep breaths in an effort to understand how they got here and what comes next.
I want to share Channel’s story with you and ask you to take a minute to pray for her, her family and all the medical staff that will care for her. On Monday she will learn the results fo her latest scans and what she is up against. The prayer is always for miraculous healing but they’d settle for no new spots or growth in the current ones. She is a wife to Tommy and a mommy to Jordan, Weston, Korbyn and Tatum. She’s a daughter and a sister. She is the child of the One True King. Please join us in prayer today and continue to pray for this family.
On October 18th, 2013 Channel was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma and has since faced things in her life that she never expected.
Her story is one of amazing faith and a true testament of someone who is bravely facing God’s plan for her life. I have no idea how I would face what she has had to face medically and mentally but I hope that I would somehow find as much faith as she has and be an example to everyone who knows her and many that have never met her. Through this Channel has touch lives of people that she has never met and shown a courage that people strive for. She hasn’t hidden her fears but has taken great efforts to put her faith first. No one wants to go through what she has and will physically go through but she knows these things are ultimately temporary and that God gave her this test so that she would have a testimony. Channel is facing her test and telling her testimony so that others can find strength in their trials. She is letting God use her the way He planned and instead of rejecting Him and being angry, she is giving thanks and courageously following His plan.
Here’s Channel’s story told through the eyes of that 13-year-old little girl who is now a 24-year-old amazing woman, daughter and sister.
Jordan takes deep breath in and exhales as strong as she can and for as long as her lungs will allow. She faces the doctors and diagnosis while embracing her mother’s hand in her own. She desperately wants the air in her lungs to make up for what her mom’s have somehow come to lack. At this moment Jordan would trade her lungs for her moms. She’ll take hers. Give her mine, she thinks, they work perfectly. She’s the mom and needs the good set.
Channel’s story through her daughter: My mom was sick off and on the beginning of 2013, she would feel bad then get a little better. She had gone on a trip to Costa Rica with Tommy mid July and had a blast! Shortly after this trip she started feeling bad again. Things just started going way down hill and doctors could not figure it out.
All of her Doctors were doing what they could to figure out what was wrong and one of the things that was done was a spinal tap – my mom got the headache from the procedure and went into the ER to have a blood patch done. While she was waiting for her blood patch one of the nurses came in and did a chest x-ray, we thought that was procedure and didn’t think of it. The results came back and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics and we went on our way. During the next two weeks she was extremely sick – she saw another doctor that convinced us this was a fungus in her lungs (this included being in the hospital 7 days) so again she was on meds but this time it was worse.
During that time she lost 20 lbs, fainted at one point that put bruises all down her body and felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest.
That is when she ended up back in the ER – that night a few things happened. One of her nurses recognized her and told us after she had left the ER last time they realized an error on their part – the chest x-ray that was done was not ordered for her but for another patient in the ER. This was no error – God knew exactly what he was doing! Thank you nurse for making an “error”! Major GOD WINK! Of course the nurses and ER doctor wanted to admit her into the hospital but she argued that she wasn’t staying unless someone would figure out what was wrong with her. She was so tired of being in the hospital with no real results, so that is exactly what they did.
She was introduced to Dr. Ulmer, her oncologist, and his team who have been such a blessing – we all are so sure that Dr. Ulmer is exactly who God picked for my mom. And by the next day, October 18th, 2013 she was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma. The diagnoses was the most terrifying thing I had ever heard in my life. My mom has never smoked a day in her life – HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??????? We were so happy to hear her PET scan came back and that the cancer was only in her lungs! She went on to have half her lung removed on November 1, 2013, and then chemo started. All went as well as I think it could have being this Is the first time ive ever seen someone go through this.
Fast forward to March 2014 and she was officially IN REMISSION!! She went to her 3 month check up and HALLELUJIA she was still in remission. It was when Dr Ulmer called on September 18th after her 6 month check up that our world came crashing down once again – but worse. This time not only was the cancer back in her lungs but it had spread to her brain. WHY? WHY? WHY? Luckily, surgery was an option. We met her surgeon Dr. Bogaev who is absolutely amazing and two days later she had surgery to remove the two largest tumors located at the front of her brain. There are two more spots, one on the back of her brain and one at the top. She had one week of cyberknife radiation for the spot on her lung and one week for the two spots on her brain as well as the “bed” where the tumors had been that were removed. She is getting chemo once every three weeks for 4-6 months and then will be put on a ‘maintenance chemo’ regimen. Mama C completely secluded herself from everyone when she found out it had spread to her brain. She just knew she was going to die and she didn’t want to be around anyone. Thankfully, she has come out of that funk and has been more social and inviting to all of her friends and family. So far she has had two treatments of chemo – this makes her sick for about a week but then she has two weeks of feeling a little better! (so thankful for this) The radiation made her bald in certain spots which meant she ended up shaving her head.
Jordan’s heart: This is extremely hard, overwhelming, sad, confusing, hurtful to me. I feel so sad and mad and I do not understand any of it. The hardest part is watching her fight through this. I see how much she is struggling and it completely breaks my heart. I hate seeing my mom like this and I hate wondering every day how much more time I have with her. The selfish side of me wants her here forever. I want her to be here when I get engaged and when I get married and I want my kids to have a Cici. I want that for me but I also want that for her so bad!!! I think this is so unfair and I want someone to give me an explanation!!!!!! I have had my moments of being mad at God but I’ve truly put my trust in Him. I believe that He has a purpose around this and I believe that He will not only get her through this but me and everyone else too. My biggest prayer is that my mom be present. I want her to be able to spend time with us kids without thinking about everything else that’s going on. It is so hard to be in this situation without thinking about the word CANCER in every single thing you do. ITS DISGUSTING. I also pray that this helps people get through their struggles. When you write about things I may not be going through or have gone through that exact thing but it helps me!!!
Channel has chosen to live her life with purpose. She does her best to teach the rest of us to love while we can, forgive while we can, hug our family while we can and to carry out God’s will for our lives with courage and faith. Even in her weakest moments she continues to remind us how worthy and brave we all are and encourages people to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy at her gym aMAZEn Boot Camp. Today we can honor her by facing each day with grace and mercy for others, love everyone and forgive everything.
In Channels words,