the inspiration

Janet Sprout Danner was 5 feet of love. What she lacked in stature she made up for in personality. She always saw the good in people. She was a glass half full type. She was the leader in a group of followers. She was so supportive of people and was an amazing woman. I kept telling her I hoped that I would become half the woman and mother that she was. She always sacrificed herself to help those she loved.

In the fall of 2002, my mother who never complained and worked even if she felt under the weather, started to complain of abdominal pain and swelling. She went to her family practitioner and had a routine pap. He informed her that her bladder was distended and was referred to a urologist. The urologist exam determined it is was not her bladder, it was a mass. Blood work and a CT scan were completed, and several days before her 52nd birthday a mass was found in her ovaries. My mother was shocked because she had a full hysterectomy 15 years previously. The surgery apparently left a small amount of one ovaries in her body and it had developed a mass the size of a grapefruit. They found the cancer in a late stage and decided to do immediate surgery. A surgery that should have taken hour and a half, was more involved than the doctors anticipated and was completed in more than four hours. She was taken to ICU after surgery and kept for several days. The evil that had been eating her body had spread. Not only was cancer found in her ovaries but also in her colon, small and large intestines, gall bladder, and diaphragm. The doctors had to take out her colon, small and large intestines and reconstruct. They found over 200 gall stones in her gall bladder and removed it. The cysts in her abdomen were leaking toxic fluids into her body, which was why her abdomen was swelling. They could not operate on the diaphragm so the doctors recommended chemo. She was very weak and had to have help sitting up.

Doctors came and went; some with smiles, others with their “realistic” medical outlooks. My mother finally told her oncologist to post on her chart that anyone with a negative attitude about her disease could stay out of the room. She was determined not to be beat by cancer because she had too much to do in life. She wanted to see her only child get married and have children. She started her chemo, lost her hair, gets a little sickly, but continued to work full time. She was all smiles at at anyone who stared at her bald head, and because the wig was itchy and hot she disposed of it.

She told her story to anyone that would listen. She told them God saved her and gave her a new life. Sometimes she would cry because she was so tired and frustrated, but the tears never compromised her strength. She was stronger than before because she has beaten the “whisperer”. God made her an example that through Him we can do anything. She was cancer free for 4 years. Then it came back and was more aggressive. She didn't want to do chemo again and opted for some research medicines. She stayed all smiles even though her body was fighting a losing battle. She lost her hair again and started to get blood clots. She went into the hospital on my father's 60th birthday, March 17th, 2007. The doctors kept telling my father that her body was too weak for chemo and that they would have to wait. She was strong. I received a call on a Saturday to come home to visit her in the hospital because the doctors were concerned about her blood quality. She was so upbeat and happy even though she was confined to a bed due to the blood clots and swelling. She held my daughter and laughed at our family outbursts. The Sunday before we were to leave I asked everyone to leave the room for a moment while I spent some quality time with my mother. I crawled into the bed with her and wept. She held me, just like a mother would, so unselfish, caring for me when she needed the caring. She asked me why I was sad. I told her I was scared. And she said, "Why? I'm not!" Just like that. Two days later she slipped into a coma and was placed into ICU. She was hooked up to so many monitors that you couldn't keep track of what there were. While visiting her, I went to pick up some food after being there for several hours, and in that time my father went into her room, and held her hand. He told her how much he loved her and that we would be ok. That she needed to let go and be with Jesus and that we would be fine. And at that moment she let go. She went to be with Jesus. I look back now and realize that she knew she was dying. She was ready and she had peace. God had allowed her to do everything she said she wanted to do. She knew that her life here was finished and that God had a bigger plan for her in His Heavenly home. My daughter looks just like her and I am filled with joy every day to be able to have a part of her. Even though I miss her daily, I know that someday I will be with her again. 

written by Kyra Lewis, loving daughter of Janet Danner