My heart broke for this young man as I read the emotional, physical, and spititual horrors Brett endured during his 16 month walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But then I found myself thankful for his youth and tenacity because at 68, I knew I could not have endured the agonies. I’d have given up. I applaud this young man, now physician. God tells me ALL THINGS work to the good for those who are called according to his purpose. I could see, in Brett’s thanking the doctor who saved his life, his understanding of the support and truth he received during this health crisis. And his outreach to a childhood friend, as she discovers her stage IV ovarian cancer, is as touching as it is hopeful.
I sadly was not shocked at how poorly Amy’s initial health problems were handled, having experienced similar issues with a recent personal health crisis. As the reader, you can physically feel the frustration embodied in her words. Amy addresses the hardships coming off prescription medications, and her description in doing so is visceral.
Without Kyle’s faith and family I believe he would not have lived through his cancer crisis. He learns to lean heavily on both for his survival. His faith is apparent throughout his story. He touches upon the struggle of his sons as they grapple with his failing health and absence from his family. He thanks his wife repeatedly for her strength in caring for himself and his boys. He reminds us that faith and family are paramount. Kyle shares the heartbreak of his forced military retirement, but beautifully balances this negative with his supreme gratitude of the medical care he was afforded by the Army.
Upon finishing this book, I’ve come to a few conclusions. While cancer is for “older” people, anyone can be inspired by these three “younger” minds. I finally understood my mother’s refusal to enter a research trial at MD Anderson when she was dying of ovarian cancer. She knew she could not endure it and chose to die in peace at home in the arms of my brother. After reading the accounts in Brett’s book I felt like that small, ever-present, voice from Heaven was giving me the insight I may well need one day. And so finally to Brett, Amy and Kyle, I thank you for your marathon battle, the pain and suffering you endured, and your passion as you all continue to do what He has asked of you. He calls you faithful.