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Miracles Along the Way #1

by ‎04-29-2016 02:01 PM - edited ‎05-19-2016 05:40 PM

Elvis sang a song years ago called, “I Believe” which was written by James Fortune.  I always loved that song especially the lyrics: “every time I hear a new born baby cry or touch a leaf or see the sky then I know why I believe.” I think all of those things are miracles and I believe miracles happen every day.  Some miracles are very personal. God does them just for us to let us know He is with us even in our darkest hour. During the past year of my life, as Beth battled cancer, I saw many miracles that I know were just for me. Today I begin a new series called, “Miracles Along the Way.”

 

When Beth was first diagnosed with endometrial cancer we interviewed a doctor at a hospital close to where we live in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Beth and I, along with our daughter, Kirstyn (who is a registered nurse) went to meet with him. Neither one of us had a good feeling about the man and his approach to Beth’s diagnosis. He wanted to do the surgery robotically. After that first interview we decided we weren’t going to mess around. Our friends in the medical field always told us that if we ever had a serious health problem we should go to the University of Penn Hospital in Philadelphia. We did just that and went after the top person in the field. 

 

We were able to get through to Dr. R. who was the Director of the Gynecological Oncology Department of U of P.  Within a week we were meeting with him in person. That was miracle number one. We understood he was in high demand, of course, and to get an appointment with him that fast was certainly a blessing. He is a gifted surgeon who the nurses and doctors refer to as “the man with golden hands.” Beth’s original appointment with her OB/GYN was on October 19, 2012. That was the day they did an ultra sound and said it looked like Beth might have cancer. During our first meeting with Dr.R, just ten days later, he scheduled surgery for November 14, 2012 – miracle number two. He planned a total hysterectomy to find out exactly what was going on. Less than one month after Beth’s OB/GYN appointment, we had a world renowned cancer surgeon operating on Beth - miracle number two and those were just two of the many miracles that were about to come.

 

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While the last three years were filled with difficult challenges, Beth really hit a rough patch in late spring of last year. I knew things were turning worse on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10th.  I planned on taking Beth to a really nice brunch at one of our favorite restaurants after church. However, she woke up feeling bad and ended up staying in bed all day. I worked in the yard and came in to check on her throughout the day. She came outside around 6pm and apologized she had been in bed all day. She said she was feeling better and wanted to know if I wanted to to dinner at one of our favorite diners.  I said, “yes, if you’re sure you feel good enough.” We went down and ordered breakfast for dinner. It was nothing fancy, but we were together and that was all that mattered and what made it special. I don’t think she really felt much better; I think she did it for me. 

 

Beth mustered the strength the following week to attend Kelsey’s graduation ceremony from Messiah College. It was an incredibly special day and I am so glad Beth was able to be there along with me, Kirstyn and Cole. Kelsey always struggled in school due to a pretty serious learning disability. With the help of many tutors throughout elementary, middle and high school, she ended up graduating with honors with a degree in Social Work Needless to say, we were incredibly proud.

 

The following weekend Beth was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain, so we rushed her to the emergency room of our local hospital. She was admitted and at 2am she was transported by ambulance to UPenn Hospital in Philadelphia. An MRI revealed that one of Beth’s larger tumors was pressing on her ureter. They didn’t know how to treat it because surgery and radiation were too risky. They kept Beth in the hospital on pain medication for three days to make her comfortable, while her team of doctors tried to figure out what to do. 

 

As usual, Beth kept her spirits up. She was kind to all of the nurses and doctors and everyone fell in love with her. Everywhere we went Beth Wheeler was everyone’s favorite patient. By Wednesday we were praying hard and wondering if she would ever be able to come home. The pastor of our church drove all the way down to Philadelphia to see us and to pray for Beth. The hospital is over an hour away from our home in non-rush hour traffic but well over an hour and a half during rush hour. Pastor Lee arrived downtown around 1p.m. I met him in the hospital lobby and took him up to Beth’s room. We had a really nice visit and before he left he prayed a powerful prayer asking God to touch Beth and to give the doctors wisdom.

 

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I was supposed to fly to Milwaukee the next day to visit my then, 93-year-old mom. After our pastor left I told Beth I would call my mom and tell her I wasn’t coming.  She said to wait until we saw her doctor that afternoon. About an hour later her doctor walked in the room and said, “I have good news! We have been studying the MRI and I think we can remove at least half of the tumor by draining liquid“. The doctor looked at me and asked, “how would you like to take your wife home tonight?” I said, “I would love nothing better!” Beth firmly asked, “will you tell this man to go to Milwaukee tomorrow and visit his mother?” The doctor obliged.  I drove Beth home and the next morning I was on a flight to Milwaukee. 

 

I had a wonderful visit with my mom and sister and her family. But I have to say I really missed Beth. That was the only time in the last three years we were apart.  I also had a feeling in my heart that we would face many challenges in the coming days and weeks. However, on this day in the course of an hour we had gone from wondering if the end was near to jubilation because we got to go home – miracle number three. Some people would say that it was just a coincidence that our pastor came down and prayed earlier that afternoon. I don’t. I think God was saying, “I am still in control and I’m not done with Beth yet.”

 

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My niece, Terra, once said, “Aunt Beth’s love was like a hurricane, it hit everyone in its path.” Maybe, I’ll write a book one day and let the world know about my Beth and what a good woman she was.

 

Thank you for reading my blog and thanks for all of your love and support! 

 

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To see any of my past blogs,click here.

 

God bless,

Dan

 

Comments
by
on ‎04-29-2016 02:16 PM

Dan, God Bless you. I believe that you are going to be okay. 

by sueokie
on ‎04-29-2016 02:25 PM

Wonderful story of miracles. I truly believe in miracles  and I think they are more common than many people would like to admit. Dan thank you for sharing this with us and I hope someday that you will put this into book form. Look forward to your words about Beth  and your family. God bless.

 

by pixiesmom
on ‎04-29-2016 02:31 PM

Wonderful blog, certainly to agree with you in the way that our Heavenly Father works at times. May God bless you and your family Dan!!

 

by littlesmokie
on ‎04-29-2016 02:36 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your latest blog with us.  "Miracles Along the Way" is a wonderful testament to your faith in God all through the entire difficult journey of Beth's illness and untimely death.  God bless you and your family and know my thoughts and prayers are still with you.

by YMBMom
on ‎04-29-2016 03:09 PM

I think no, in fact I know , we should be the ones to thank you.

What a love story

 

by KyRain88
on ‎04-29-2016 03:13 PM

Hi Dan, nice blog. I enjoy reading your blogs about Beth. I feel like I know her even though we never met. God bless you Dan, have a blessed day. "May happiness come on secret winds and surround you forever in the ways of beauty" author unknown.

by billym
on ‎04-29-2016 03:18 PM

thank you Dan for your heartfelt words

by adnils
on ‎04-29-2016 03:33 PM

 Love you thoughts for the day and your blogs about your beloved Beth. You are a wonderful inspiration to all of us. You have helped me through my loss, my husband passed away Sept.,2015, thank you Dan, keep it coming.

by thesoundman
on ‎04-29-2016 04:00 PM
Awesome blog, Dan! Both of your lives will continue to be a testimony for the Lord. God will continue to comfort you and bless you more than you ever imagined. Keep it up, Brother! I am honored, humbled, and inspired to know you!
by granney she
on ‎04-29-2016 04:54 PM

God Bless you ,Dan.  Your message is inspirational and motivational to me.  I have lost my mother and my brother in the past three years.  Your blog's are a blessing of comfort and confirmation to me.  It lets me know that even in our darkest hour, God is holding us.

by
‎04-29-2016 06:13 PM - edited ‎04-29-2016 06:20 PM

I'm glad that miracles gave you and your beloved Beth more time together.  May many more miracles find their way into the lives of you and your family, Dan!

 

P.S.:  Many years ago, I was in the cafeteria of a world-renowned Boston hospital when I caught sight of what seemed to be a surgeon.  He was roughly 50 years old and had one of those surgical caps on his head.  A pretty ordinary sight, given I was there all the time, no?  Not exactly.  He literally seemed to be vibrating.  He had such an aura about him that he seemed other-worldly.  I wondered where he'd just been and what he'd done.  Perhaps he was another gifted healer with "golden hands."  Considering that I've been in every Boston hospital many times, this doctor was a sight to behold.  They truly are a breed apart, as are you, Dan!

by Sagitarian
on ‎04-29-2016 09:49 PM

Dear Dan, I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my husband the love of my life for 41 years in September. He died of bladder cancer. Everyday I wake up I miss him. My mantra is that my life will never be the same but I can have a good life. I have a wonderful step daughter who is there for me. My husband and were avid gardeners. In the last few years the garden has become overgrown. She is helping me bring it back to what it used to look like. Working in the garden makes us feel so close to my husband and her dad. 

 

by Cathy
on ‎04-29-2016 10:31 PM

Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story!  It makes my heart 

Full of hope and promise!

God Bless!

Cathy

by poshlove
on ‎04-30-2016 11:15 AM

I am so blessed every time I read one of your blogs or listen to your thought for the day on facebook.  You are truly an example of God's light shining in this world.  I believe in miracles beyond a shadow of a doubt, we have experienced one in our family recently and I believe that everything happens for a reason and that God's hand is in those events turning a crisis into a miracle.  I believe that God is good-all the time- and that His timing is perfect.  God bless you, Dan, as you continue on your journey of faith.

 

by polish polly
on ‎04-30-2016 01:28 PM

thank you so much for sharing this with us, I always love reading your Blogs . Your Beth sounds like a very sweet person and a very understanding.  God Bless  Dan and his family

by mausel
on ‎04-30-2016 10:56 PM

Thank you for sharing your beautyful story!!!  My thoughts and prayers are always with you, Dan and your family.  God Bless!!!

 

by bailyboo
on ‎05-02-2016 08:27 AM

Thank you Dan for sharing your Beth with us and the miracles in your life's . I lost the love of my life my husband Larry to cancer  3 years ago on the 14th of this month . I also have had many miracles in my life and the most special one was the night my husband died .I was in the living room on the sofa and he was in the bed next to me, we had a hospice nurse sitting at the bottom of his bed I was going to rest me eyes  after being up a lot of hours.I fell asleep I work up crying saying my husband is dyeing my husband dyeing I sat straight up the room was dark the nurse must have fell asleep My crying  awoke her she  asked me if I was dreaming I said no, she put the lights on I went over to the bed and my husband was sweating and very pale.I knew he was dying . I leaned over him very closely and told him I be ok I told him how much I love him and what a wonderful husband he was to me I saw him take his last breath just so so  heart wrenching to loss him but I was blessed to say goodbye to him God is so good .I was blessed to share my life with him for 25 years  and be so close to him in his last monents in this world. He had no children, no family but me. I was so grateful to awake to say my goodbye to him to hold him.  Yes  Dan I do believe in miracles because I was blessed to have one.

 

Sending you a hug hope you feel it .

by Wicki
on ‎05-06-2016 04:22 AM

Dear Dan......my heart aches for you as you journey on without Beth.  I too loss the love of my life 6 years ago after a very long health battle.  We had been married 28 years and have 3 amazing young men that keep me smiling every day since.  They are so much like their dad that I truly feel he is right with me each time I look into their eyes.  God richly bless us even though the time was much shorter than I had wished.  I pray for you as you find yourself without Beth by your side.  God is good and has such an amazing life ahead for you....with Beth always by your side!  And yes....I believe miracles abound every day.....if we only have the eyes and heart to recognize them.  Blessing my friend!