Toothpaste Jesus and Other Miracles

Move over Grilled Cheese Virgin Mary, make room for Toothpaste Jesus. That's right. Toothpaste. Jesus.

He miraculously appeared on the back of my medicine cabinet nearly two years ago. Probably as an encouragement of my lax inner-cabinet housekeeping, but I can't say that for sure. I don't know what it means, but I am utterly convinced that it's Jesus. In toothpaste. In my medicine cabinet.

Not miraculous enough for you? How about this . . .

Seven years ago, my husband was diagnosed with stage III melanoma. It began in a tumor on his shoulder and spread to his lymphatic system. He had multiple surgeries and started a year-long course of debilitating interferon injections (while I gestated and gave birth to baby number four). The statistics for a cancer diagnosis like his aren't great, but the surgeries had seemed successful and he had tolerated the interferon.

There was no way to know for sure, but things were looking up. We decided to cover all of our bases by planning a pilgrimage to the the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Then, just weeks before we were set to depart for France, Jim got a call from his oncologist that a routine check of the original tumor site had turned up evidence of cancer. Again.

That meant that either they hadn't removed the entire tumor in the first two surgeries OR that the cancer had returned. Either way was bad news because it meant that the year of misery on interferon had basically been for naught. And he was statistically back in the unlikely to survive camp.

We decided that if at all possible we'd still go on our trip, and he was able to get scheduled quickly for yet another surgery. We were sitting there in the hospital. Me with a nursing baby, him in a terribly flattering hospital gown. We prayed the rosary and asked Our Lady of Lourdes for her intercession.

And then his surgeon walked brusquely in, holding some slides and some paperwork. He announced that HE didn't see any evidence of cancer in the tissue samples. He thought that the slides had just been misread, and that the cancer was not in fact back/still there. He did another excision just to be sure, and that biopsy turned up clear, just like he thought it would. All of a sudden, just like that, Jim was cancer-free again.

A week later, he and I and baby Gus headed to Lourdes, feeling like we had been given our miracle early.

It's been nearly seven years now and he's still cancer-free. He goes in for regular check-ups with his dermatologist and they're always cutting off a mole here and there, but it looks like Our Lady of Lourdes + a whole bunch of drugs and surgeries was just what we needed.

I think Toothpaste Jesus would agree.

Oh, and there was THIS miracle too. That's three. Three miracles. Ah, ah, ah.

Do YOU have a miracle? Share it in the comments. Or if you have a blog, write it up and link it up. The link-up will be live until next Feb. 17th. I can't wait to read them!