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Brain Cancer Pushes Woman's Faith to the Limits

“I just didn’t feel well,” remembers Jennifer. “I couldn’t put my finger on one area, like my head hurt or my ankle. It wasn’t anything like that. I just generally didn’t feel well.”

Jennifer had experienced flu-like symptoms for two weeks when her husband Irven insisted she see a doctor. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure and given medication. But the next day, nausea and a headache sent her to the emergency room.

“The emergency room doctor comes in and he goes, “Well, I’m going to do a chest x-ray and a head CT scan just to see what we’re looking at.’”

The scan showed swelling on the right side of Jennifer’s brain, so her doctor ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed a tumor the size of a small orange.

“It went from I’m here for high blood pressure to it looks like you have some swelling, to the neurosurgeon saying you have a brain mass and we’re going to basically do emergency brain surgery this afternoon at 4:30. It was that fast, in 45 minutes.”

“I threw a little mental fit, I guess,” says Irven, Jennifer’s husband. “And I had to get it together. I had to pray to God and ask Him for some clarity. I still had to be there for my wife. Mentally, I had to get there and to do that I had to have God.”

“I don’t freak out about a lot of things,” says Jennifer. “And I absolutely, positively knew it was going to be fine. I was like, ‘God’s got this.’ I just knew deep down that He had it - my defiant faith that He had it.

Jennifer underwent surgery for 4½ hours and a biopsy revealed that she had stage 3 brain cancer. Because there was a 70% chance a tumor would regrow, her doctors gave her 4 to 6 months to live. They recommended chemo and radiation, in an attempt to extend her life.

Tonya Talley was Jennifer’s oncology nurse. “A glioblastoma multiform is a primary brain tumor that is malignant, it is cancerous,” says Tonya. “It is considered not curable, even at early stage diagnosis.”

“I said, ‘If you think my God who created this universe can’t whoop some puny old cancer cells,’ I said, ‘You’ve got another thing coming,’ says Jennifer. ‘He raised Lazarus from the dead. You think He can’t take care of this? Are you serious?’ I will do chemo and radiation as a precaution. That’s the only reason I’m going to do it. And I said, “If those are the tools that God has given me to beat this thing, then that’s what we’re going to do.’”

“I was frustrated. I was really mad,” says Irven. “And that’s when, you know, that feeling come on me that I had to get close to God real fast or everything was going to get out of control. He was in control and He had it taken care of.”

Jennifer stood firm in her belief that God would heal her. She endured chemo and radiation for the next few months, with Irven by her side.

“And about halfway through the chemo, I had about three months left. And I looked at him and I said I’m done, I’m not doing it anymore,” says Jennifer. “I was just tired of being sick. And he was like, ‘Babe, you’ve got to finish.’ And I would. But it was awful. It was horrible.”

“There were many days where we laughed and there were many days where we got angry,” says Tonya. “But we got through those days together and with the Lord’s help.”

Jennifer’s faith was bolstered by the many people praying for her.  

“My mom and my stepdad at their church, everybody they knew was praying,” says Jennier. “My whole entire family is praying, their churches were praying. My Mary Kay family that I had been in for years at that point was praying. I mean, I had consultants and directors all across the United States, all across the world, praying for me.”

“The prayer chain was just overwhelming,” says Irven. “Because we’d get notifications that they, ‘Hey, you’re on our prayer chain.’ It was all over the place.”

One day, while resting at home, Jennifer was overcome by an assuring presence.

“And all of a sudden, it just felt like somebody had laid a big, thick, fluffy, warm blanket on the top of me, and just completely covered me with it. It was like the warmest, most comfortable feeling. And all of a sudden I was so thankful. I can’t describe it. And I just knew, at that point, that it was God saying, ‘I’ve got you.’”

Jennifer completed the chemo and radiation, and has been cancer free for seven years.

I“The Lord brought her back 100%,” says Irven. “And she was down, let me tell you. And God has gave me the joy of seeing her beautiful face every day. And I love her more and more every time I see it.”

“God was 100% part of Jennifer’s healing,” says Tonya. “Glioblastoma is a primary brain cancer that can take people’s lives. For her to be here seven years later is a true miracle.”

“And I’m sure that everywhere I go people get tired of hearing my story but I go to the nail salon, and I tell people that God healed me from a brain tumor,” says Jennifer. “It doesn’t matter where I go. I go to the bakery, I tell people. And everywhere I go, I feel like I’m still here for a reason, and I think that reason is to tell people that He is still on the throne and He is still working miracles. And I’m sitting here today because He does.”

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