Monday, October 27, 2014

What I heard from another mother


On Monday's here at Ashley's Art Closet, I usually post titles containing a "w" word… what, when and where. 

Example:


Last Monday, I shared "what I heard from a mother" as a starting point sharing stories of other families touched by liver cancer for October Liver Cancer Awareness month.

This Monday, I am hearing from another mother:

"What I heard from another mother"

In this last week of October, I'd like us to finish out honoring a few more families touched by liver cancer. Knowing October is not just about a pink wash out, but a certain amount of green too. Emerald green marks liver cancer awareness. There is actually different types of liver cancer. The stories I am honoring are all families of those touched by a certain type, FHC, Fibrolemellar Hepatcellular Carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer found in teens and young adults. This is the same type of cancer I battled almost 15 years ago. 

Today, Rachel Moore from Arkansas is with us. Her daughter Moriah was diagnosed with liver cancer October of 2011. I welcome you Mrs. Moore to carry us on this journey you and your family have been on the pass few years. 

Mrs. Moore let's start with how you found out Moriah had liver cancer. How was she treated?

Moriah attended a Back to School function at a church youth group. She was feeding her sister ice cream by hand as she participated in a race. She came home with frost bite on her hand. I took her to the doctor. Which gave her a full exam because I gave the symptoms of her abdominal pain attacks she had already been having. When the exam on her abdomen was done the doctor felt what was thought to be blockage. I know it was the Lord that led her to send Moriah for CT scan instead of just prescribing laxatives. That is when they found the tumor. In the meantime, we went to Arkansas Children's Hospital burn center for the frost bite in August for treatment. The results of the scan was a mass on Moriah's liver. We went back to Children's Hospital again for a biopsy with video assisted MRI footage which showed a 7cm mass in her liver and gall bladder. The radiologist actually came to the room just to look at her. I will never forget Moriah was asleep in the bed. He asked if he could look at her. I will never forget the look on his face. He said nothing because the emotion of his facial expression said it all. The Surgeon called me the following Monday and told me that she had Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma. 

The wind was knocked out of me and just as quickly the Lord whispered to me "My name is greater than the name of that cancer". 

We were sent back to Children's Hospital for an MRA and more ct scans, blood work, and MRIS of all kinds. Surgery was scheduled for the gall bladder removal and a liver resection. (View further down to read how the day of surgery went. It's located in the section of Moriah's one year post surgery story)

Recovery was 9 days in hospital due to allergic reactions to pain meds. We found out that the epidural that was giving her meds right after surgery was only working half of her body. We didn't find this out until the next day. Then she had a reaction to HydroMorphine. I have never seen such courage in anyone other than my daughter. Three months after her surgery she got really sick and actually missed more school from having strep, mono, and pnuemonia all at the same time than she did with her liver surgery. She was hospitalized for 9 days and had to be schooled at home after that for 2 weeks. Doctors believe her immune system was just trashed after her liver surgery. So when she went back to school she caught all those winter bugs going round. Her system couldn't fight it. She is now 3 years cancer free and back to her old silly dancing self. 

Before the cancer she was in cheer in the middle school and waiting to be able to try out for the school squad which she was not able to do since she was in the hospital with strep etc when tryouts were given. Her stomach muscles needed two years of stretching and core building before trying our for the school dance team and making it. One more thing I remember, I believe is most relevantly amazing is when her father and I shared her scans revealed she had cancer she said, "No, I don't have cancer my liver does." From that moment on that became our Motto. On the day she had her surgery the first thing I said to her in recovery is, "your liver doesn't have cancer anymore".

This is a note Mrs. Moore wrote summing up her reaction to hearing FHC, Fibrolemellar Hepatcellular Carcinoma. As well, how she is managing now.

Today while sitting in church listening to my Pastor talk about who our Source is, BTW His name is (JESUS), I believe the Lord revealed something to me that might benefit you too.
Two years ago when we were given Moriah's diagnosis and the Dr. said, "Fibrolemellar Hepatcellular Carcinoma" the wind was knocked out of me on the other side of the phone line. For a brief minute I really thought I might vomit. Then the Holy Spirit whispered these words to me, "My name is greater than the name of that cancer". And immediately the strength came back to my heart and lungs and stomach. During the weeks that followed that phone call I remember searching every inch of the internet and its information on this unknown disease. Vary rare is not an over statement. At the time, research had just begun on this horrible disease, however it was not published. The only info was on doctors journal websites or over seas research groups. What I did find while trying to fill my brain with the knowledge of what this illness was and what it was going to put my daughter through, was that it did not bring me any comfort, only fear!!! It is hard to stand in Faith against something when FEAR is rattling your sure foundation. I told Earl, my husband, one night after hours of research that I just couldn't do it anymore that all this knowing was crippling me. 

And the Lord reminded me that He is as close as His name, and that He inhabits the praises of His people. So from that moment on I only used my computer to worship or listen to worship songs or to download worship songs and when I did that the atmosphere of my mind and heart was transformed from fear to FAITH! 

Was I still scared? 

Yes. 

But, you can be scared and not afraid. You can be concerned but not worry. Just like you can be angry and not sin.

Just as Pastor Carl said today, you need to be tapped into the right source or the wrong fruit is what you will bear.

I remember standing in front of the church the day they prayed over Moriah before her surgery and telling everyone that there may come a day that I would cry about this cancer , but it would not be today. I remember saying there will be other battles that will shake my foundation, other days of stress and other trails of life. But that this trial was going to be a memorial moment in our lives that the Lord was going to show us How strong He is and He would receive the glory from it. 

Let me tell you, as hard as this cancer journey has been there have been days since that have seemed harder in my family life to deal with than the cancer. 

I believe it is because of desperation I was totally tapped into my Source of Strength, My Source of Hope, My Source of Peace and many times since, I haven't been totally tapped into that Source.

I said all this today to say every day is a day to take a drink of water from the fountain of life, and everyday is a day to put your Faith and Trust in Him who is able to do the impossible. 

Everyday, every moment is the time to be connected to that source so that when the storms of life blow, you will be scared and not afraid, angry and not sin , and concerned but not worried. 

You will be living an Abundant Life. 

This wednesday we go to have Moriah's 2 year check up. Am I concerned, yes! Am I scared, yes. Is my Faith shaken, NO. 

My anchor holds within the veil. 

Christ Alone my Cornerstone.


Moriah's grandmother's reaction to hearing Moriah had cancer.

Every Sunday after church, there is always that little excitement that touches my soul and reminds me that God is who He says He is. I have heard from the preacher and praise reports from others in the crowd about the many promises the Lord has granted. It is easy to believe the words of God when the request has been granted..a job found, a financial windfall or  a healing  that has been long awaited. What is hard is when I am on the waiting end of the promise to be fulfilled.

When I am awaiting the tests and a bad report comes, am I still excited? It is during this time.. that space where my knees are quacking and I am struggling to believe those same promises..  that my armor starts to rattle. Just such an instance is occurring now. My 12 year old granddaughter, Moriah, has just been found to have a tumor on her liver. That is not supposed to happen to anyone in my life. Not anyone close to me. It only happens to those other people around me..right? It is supposed to happen to others that I pray for... Those to whom I can give a good word. Not someone near and dear to me. Yet it has.

This morning, I found myself crying out to God for His promises to come true in this situation. I asked that in addition to His promises for healing, that His promises for strength be added to Moriah's parents,  Rachel and Earl, as they have been forced to lay their daughter on the alter of faith. Knowing them, they would much rather have been laying there themselves. But that is not their part of the journey. Like Abraham was asked to trust in his God and lay down his son Issac, they have to stand on the promises of their God for their child. While Abraham and his son were fighting the fight of faith on the mountain, his friends were waiting down below for their return.

Everyone must walk their own journey...but no one walks it alone. Each of us has a part to play. Perhaps we are the one who encourages the parents to take another step or reminds them that they are not alone. Some maybe anointed to bring a casserole to those left at the house. Another may have the financial means to help with the extra expenses required during hospital visits and lost days of work.

Standing on the promises is an opportunity for the whole of Gods church to come together and support each other.  Each of us will have our turn fighting the fight of faith in the midst of the battle...no one escapes this forever. But it is my prayer, that each part of the body of Christ,  will search their heart and stand collectively on the promises of God to sustain each other.

Be blessed today and remember..He is the same yesterday, today and forever..


Mrs. Moore's story she wrote on the one year anniversary of Moriah's surgery.

So many of you know that Moriah had surgery to remove a cancer mass that was in her gall bladder and liver last Oct. 19th. What you may not know is that a miracle happened that day and it was because the faith of those here in the states was mixed with the faith of a tiny tribe of Massi in Uganda as well as the Faith of a little child named Moriah. 

When the surgeon called us to say that the tumor in Moriah's body was cancer and its name was Fibrolemellar Heptacellular Carcinoma, a chemo resistant cancer that is very rare and very deadly. The wind was almost knocked out of me for about a sec. So sweetly the Lord spoke into my ear and said, "My Name is Greater than the Name of this cancer." Life was breathed back into my lungs at that very moment. 

When Earl and I shared this news with Moriah her first response was, "I don't have cancer my liver does." I believe at that moment the tumor in her body began to decrease. Her faith, the faith of a child, was working in her to heal her.

The surgeon also said that day that her tumor was in a very bad location and wrapped around her vena cava and portal veins as well as many other veins and arteries in her liver and in her gall bladder. Removing the gall bladder is no problem he said. However, removing the tumor from her liver was going to be a different story. 

We began as a family to pray immediately and passed the word to our family, and church family, and this community as well as communities all across the nation literally. Our friends and family passed it on to their churches and friends. 

Our church had a mission trip leaving for Uganda the week of Moriah's surgery. They were going to visit our newly opened orphanage in Uganda and would be visiting other neighboring tribes and places in the area. I asked the leader of our group to carry a picture of Moriah with them and to have the children at the orphanage to pray for her. 

This next part of the story gives me chills every time I think about it. 

The night before the surgery I could not sleep. I stayed up throughout the night worshipping the Lord and Praising Him for the healing I believed He would do for my daughter through this surgery. One of the songs was You are my Hallelujah by Rita Springer. I couldn't stop praising. 

Moriah woke up two times between 1 and 3 to vomit profusely.  

We had to be at the Hospital at 5am. 

She vomited all the way to Children's. 

Earl and I both believed that she was being healed. 

Earl even mentioned I really think the Lord is shrinking that tumor. 

When we got to the Hospital we were greeted by the surgical staff who would be operating and by the anesthesiologist  who would be giving her the pain meds and putting her under for the surgery. This team shared with us minutes before they take our daughter back to the OR that they had been looking at her films all weekend and believed that the tumor was worse than originally thought. 

Moriah would be coming out of the surgery with a port for them to do chemo because they did not believe they would be able to remove it all. They also said she would loose at least two lobes of her liver and all her gall bladder and that their was 4 pints of blood waiting in the OR for the transfusions they would need to do. They also said that the 4 hour procedure may take as long as 6/7 due to the veins and arteries it was wrapped around.

You can imagine how this news hit us not to mention our 12 year old that lay on the bed beside us. 

We just looked at them and said The Great Physician will be in there with you to her and to the staff.

Then they wheeled her away.

I can't describe the peace that I had during the 3 1/2 hours it took. The anesthesiologist herself came out at the 2 1/2 hour mark to tell us the surgery was going WAY better than the films showed and that they had not had to give her one single drop of blood. 

When they buzzed us at 3 1/2 hours to tell us the surgery was over we were amazed.

When the surgeon came to meet with us to tell us that everything had went sooooooo well and that none of the veins or arteries were involved like they thought. She only had a small pizza size wedge of her liver removed because when they saw the tumor it wasn't in the place it was shown to be on the films. It was right on top of her liver and not as big as originally thought to be. 

We Praised the Lord and knew what we had prayed for had taken place. 

What you may not understand is just how many films they had to look at. They had Ultrasound, Ct scans with and without contrast, a total of 4 hours of video assisted MRI's and an MRA. Believe me when I say before the surgery the Doctors knew what they thought they were going to find. The hospital surgeon had even requested a special surgeon from UAMS who was a liver surgeon only who had been doing this for 40 years. 

When we asked the drs a few days later why they thought the tumor was not as originally suspected and the attending surgeon said well you know those films are just shadows and you really don't know what you are going to find until you get inside. We said well we believe the Lord took care of where it was located and made your job easier. 

Here is the amazing part!

Remember the tribe of Massi well unbeknownced to us they had been praying with me in the middle of the night before the surgery. As a matter of fact the next day the Tribe leader woke up our mission leader at 3am and said, "How is sister Moriah, Have you had any news? We have been fasting and praying all night and all day for her healing!!!" WOW  Remember I said that I was unable to sleep for doing nothing but praying and praising well across the other side of the world so were people/ children even that didn't even know her. Just had her picture at the very moments she is vomiting and the Lord I believe was at work in her to move and shrink that tumor.

We have told Moriah that her scar from the surgery is not a scar but Yahweh's tattoo reminding her that it was He who healed her because of her faith. The tattoo is in the shape of a Y.

I give GOD all the Glory and Praise Him that Moriah's liver has been free from cancer for 1 year this Oct 19th.

 Moriah's Picture that went to Uganda.

Yahweh's tattoo.

Moriah has a twin? 

Her and her sister Ashlee were born on 6-2-99 Moriah was the oldest born first weighing 6 lbs 8 oz. Ashlee was born 26 minutes later weighing only 5 lbs 13 oz. 6 days later Ashlee was in the hospital, the same hospital Moriah had her surgery in, she contracted a virus in the womb causing viral meningitis. Ashlee also contracted tularemia a very rare tick born illness which caused her to be hospitalized for 9 days. She went home on IV antibiotics for 1 month giving to her 3 times a day. She then contracted another tick disease Lyme when she was 3 years old being hospitalized again. During all this time Moriah was only sick due to ear infections. Once she got her tonsils removed when she was 3 years old. She was never sick with even a cold until she was diagnosed with Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Rare things have happened and tried to attack my children but nothing prepares you for your 12 year old being diagnosed with cancer. Nothing. However God has been so good and so faithful through it all. 

(Moriah and her twin sister)


(The Moore family Celebrating Moriah's 2nd year cancer free at their first coffee social. They are actually having their second coffee social today 5:00-7:00 at Arrow's Cafe & BBQ)

This year before school started Moriah cut her hair donating it to Locks of Love in honor of her 3rd year cancer free. (see pictures below)




The Moore Family: Earl, Moriah's dad, Nancianne oldest sister with her first child, Olive (first grandchild of the family), Rachel, Moriah's mom,  sister's Natalie 18, Madelynn 16, and Moriah with the hat on 15, and her twin Ashlee 15. Photographed at their family Restaurant in Heber Springs, Arkansas, Arrow's Cafe & BBQ. 

Wow! Amen….

I say Amen to it all, what a marvelous story of His healing. Thank you Mrs. Moore for opening your heart and home to share Moriah's story. She is a true miracle. I can't wait to see how God uses her for the rest of her life. She has already touched countless others lives. Hearing her story has been so encouraging. It reminds me a lot of mine and makes me have that punching power in my heart and soul of reassurance knowing He is mighty! I thank Him for His perfect timing putting your family in my path. Hugs to all of you!

May others be aware, find hope and courage from hearing Moriah's story. 

If you missed last weeks interviews: 
What I heard from a mother
DIY Tuesday Interview
Wednesday Words
Tracy's Thursday

Thank you for joining us all this far making awareness of liver cancer this October!

Please if you'd like to make a donation to the Fibro Foundation do so by clicking. Look for the blue donate now button in the upper right hand count. Any amount is great, I promise! 

2 comments :

  1. Thanks so much for your hard work on our story and everyone else's. They have turned out amazing. Rachel Moore

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your kind words Rachel. I am thankful for the Lord crossing our paths.

    ReplyDelete