Monday, October 4, 2010

The Whirlwind

On May15,our sweet Madelyn was born. Two days prior to that, I noticed it beginning to “rain” in my life. This “rain” was the onset of a “whirlwind” that was soon to make itself very apparent in our lives. This is when I started to feel shortness of breath. I mentioned this to the nurse after Maddie was born. She said, “Hmm, well, you’ve been pregnant, and you’ve just had a baby, that would make anyone short of breath!” Well, this condition never got better. I figured I was tired, anemic, still had too much fluid—anything with a simple explanation. Finally, after 2 ½ weeks, I called the doc and told him I just wasn’t getting any better. He said to come in the office, he would check me into the hospital and we would find the problem.
On June 2, I checked into the hospital and after a few tests, the doctor determined that I had a disease called choriocarcinoma or GTN (gestational trophoblastic neoplasia). That is, multiple cancerous tumors in my lungs and liver. These tumors came from abnormal cells produced by the placenta during pregnancy that travelled to those organs. I was told that the condition was very serious, but the cure rate was very high. My doctor had already selected an oncologist for me. This oncologist is rated the top in the field of gynecologic oncology in the nation, and he agreed to take my case.
This is an aggressive cancer, so they expected it to respond to aggressive treatment. Surgery was not an option, so we started chemotherapy the very next evening. The tumor load in my lungs was very heavy, and my condition began to deteriorate rapidly. A little more than 24 hours after the first treatment, I went into respiratory arrest. I had to be intubated, and I coded 2 times. A pulmonologist was called on my account, and he stood by my bed for nearly 3 hours keeping me alive (with God’s guidance, and your prayers!).
Thus began entrance into the whirlwind. There were many miracles that took place over the next 3 weeks that I will probably muse about in later posts. The hand of God on my life has been an incredible new awareness for our family. One of the most obvious miracles, though, is Madelyn Grace. This disease, though rare, is likely to occur in the onset of a molar pregnancy. If the baby is able to develop, there will probably be many deformities. Madelyn, though, is perfectly developed with no crossover of the disease. I have always marveled at my babies and their beauty—especially after little Robyn was stillborn, but the miracle of Maddie is absolutely amazing!


  1. So thankful that God had His hand on you! And Madelyn, too ;)

  2. Dear Sis. Snodgrass,
    I just wanted to let you know that we were praying for you every day through that hard and scarey time...and my church was as well, Graham Bible Methodist. It is so good to hear that everyone is doing so well! I really appreciate you and your family. One of my stops in PR for Penn View was when we came to your church in Muncie, and you taught the SS Class, and you told us about your story with Robyn and how God had helped your family through that time... I have never got away from that. May God richly bless you and your family. :) ....Kimberley (Sigouin) Evans

  3. I ment to say, one of my favorite stops. ;)

  4. So thankful God has everything in control, even when we don't understand what HE has planned for us!
    It was an honor and a priviledge to pray for you and your family!!