Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus AKA Miracle in Boston


On Friday, my family gathered in Boston from around the country to rally around my brother, David, as his wife underwent surgery for what we all assumed would be removal of roughly half of her right lung. In late October, the doctors told them that the PET scan indicated there was 90% probability that she had lung cancer. Lung cancer is not a gentle or slow growing cancer. It felt like a death sentence. The doctors assumed the worst and so did we. How else could we be prepared to deal with the cancer once it was confirmed?

Lynn has had Lupus for 15 years, or probably more, as that was simply when it was finally diagnosed. Since then, she has dealt with umpteen flare ups and complications, and suffered more than any one person should have to endure in a lifetime. Just prior to finding out about the tumor in her lung, the doctors found blood clots in both legs. And even after the lung biopsy / lobectomy was scheduled, she was rushed to the ER and admitted for pneumonia, delaying her surgery.

This woman really hasn’t caught a break medically in decades. So, of course we all (including her) braced ourselves for the worst, and hoped for the best, never imagining that the best could possibly be anything less than hearing they got the whole tumor out and it hadn’t spread. Some of us had heard horrifying stories and tried desperately not to think of them, failing miserably.

So at shortly after noon on Friday, you have never seen a group of more shocked and grateful individuals than was present in the Hemingway cubby of the waiting room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and at our hotel. Lynn managed to beat the odds and be one of the 10% whose PET scan reading was wrong. Her tumor was benign. They tested it twice.

We laughed, we cried, and we very nearly collapsed with relief. It was hard to comprehend that Lynn did not have a long uphill battle ahead of her, at least not against cancer. We were all prepared to help push her up that hill with whatever resources we had.

And now? As my brother Steven said, it felt like we had been carrying a massive weight all morning, and now, we were floating. It did not seem real. Lynn, and all of us who love her (and it’s a mighty big number) had been granted a huge reprieve. There we sat among dozens of other people who were not getting such good news. Some were getting awful news to be sure. And there – THERE, but for the grace of God, go I. Or you, and you, and you. and my sister-in-law Lynn.

Lynn’s medical trials are not over by any means. She has had a fever up to 104° and surgery is always susceptible to complications. And her Lupus will always be an issue. But with that one word banned from her chart, we are all so optimistic. Indeed, now we speculate that perhaps this all happened in order for her arterial screen to be put in to prevent the blood clots from creating havoc. Who knows?

I do know that so many people prayed for Lynn, including people who had never met her, that even if there was cancer in her lung a few short weeks ago, it could not have possibly withstood the onslaught of all that love. And I thank all of you who prayed for her, for that. From the bottom of my heart…. and her lung!!!

We have been witnesses to a miracle. Thank you God.


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