Day 7: Stomach Cancer

“Melissa has been diagnosed with an unusual form of stomach cancer: a rare type of gastric adenocarcinoma with Litinus Plastica….We have been informed that there is no conventional cure currently known for this condition….Please pray for Melissa, my beloved wife and mother of and along with our six children, Christina (19), Hannah (17), [Lydia] Grace (15), Tabitha (12), Priscilla (9), and Sara (6), as well as her husband, their father…”

[Read the full article from my dad, Rex Espiritu using the link above.]

During the week of December 8th, 2009, Momma was officially diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer. Shortly thereafter, following a concert in which all six of the Espiritu sisters were in attendance, she and my dad broke the news to their young daughters.

I don’t remember the exact moment I found out that my Momma was sick and dying. I doubt I fully understood what it meant at the time. In another life, the term, “gastric adenocarcinoma with Litinus Plastica” might mean little more to me than another thing to memorize for a spelling contest, and it might soon make its way to the recesses of my memory. But this deadly disease, this terminal form of cancer, is responsible for taking my mother away. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting it any time soon.

What I do know is that this news was the start of a long yet short three-month journey for my whole family. A jam-packed Christmas season would be ahead even as Momma’s health would decline before our eyes. An inflow of relatives and friends, many of whom were strangers to me, would begin to make their way to pray with and for their dear friend. Hospice helpers would make frequent visits. Anonymous care packages and gifts would be delivered to our door every other day. The body of Christ would be seen every step of the way, and even now, as I open up about what a certain little girl remembers about the whole ordeal, I can still feel the love of Christ’s people surrounding me. May it be a healing process for all of us.

God Bless,

Sara Joy

~ by Sara Espiritu on December 9, 2019.

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