A cancer diagnosis came for mother of two, Sarah Roberts, at one of the most joyous times of the year: Christmas. The typical time of merriment yielded the opposite and thrusted the then 29-year-old into an unimaginable life battle against cancer.
It started in December of 2015 when the now 30-year-old mother was sick.
Originally she thought it was a sinus congestion, but it wouldn’t go away.
“I just really felt awful. I couldn’t function. It had been going on for so long, my husband and I went to the ER on Christmas eve.”
“On Christmas day around 2 am or 2:30 am, I was told that I had Leukemia.”
The Michigan based wife was exhibiting symptoms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal myeloblasts (a type of white blood cell), red blood cells, or platelets, the American government supported National Cancer Institute (NCI) stated.
AML indicators include fever, shortness of breath, easy bruising or bleeding, feeling tired and loss of appetite, NCI added.
The survival rate for all stages based on a five year scale is about twenty-five percent, The University of Rochester Medical Center has estimated.
The emotional roller coaster ride of digesting and hearing the words Leukemia were shocking.
“But I was also fairly determined that it wasn’t going to take me down right after the ER doctor told me that I had Leukemia and they left the room.”
“I told my husband, I said, ‘I will see my children grow up, I will fight and see my children grow up and I told him that I loved him.'”
In Roberts case, her advanced diagnosis gave her an estimated three days to live, if she wasn’t immediately helped.
“I was really sick. There was no time to stop and decide, I was just so ill if we didn’t do something, I wouldn’t be here.”
Roberts spent seventy-five days in the hospital – almost three months without her children.
For most kids, Christmas is one of the absolute best days of the year. The smells, the sounds, the hope, the excitement. But for Sarah’s kids, there was mostly confusion.
“They didn’t really understand everything honestly” when it came to parents not being around because “(they) woke up Christmas morning and their parents were not there.”
It was gut-wrenching listening to Roberts describe how she lay in the hospital, imagining what her children’s reactions were as they saw the pile of presents under the tree. The thought of not knowing, maybe not being there ever again – it’s enough to tear most people apart.
A completely understandable reaction, it’s just not the one Sarah had. Instead, she was at peace.
“I had hope in the Lord. That he would make this okay,” she told Faithwire.
“We believe in His word. He will make things work together for those that love him and I just I had the peace of the Holy Spirit and the hope in the Lord that he did not give us the spirit of fear and that we need to trust in him.”
“And I knew I needed to fight it, and so I decided I would fight as hard as I could and that was it.”
After nearly a year journey, she is in remission.
“There were many days in my struggle that I couldn’t do things. I just couldn’t do it. And I had to recognize its the enemy attacking in those moments of doubt.”
“I have a friend who posted on Facebook during my journey: ‘not today. Today is not the day. He loves me so much and he is working things together for good.”
Her parting words for anyone facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle:
“I would say not to let their fear and doubt consume you, because that’s easy to do. Keep fighting to live, press into the word and read about of the joys of the Lord, and trust in the hope in the Lord.”