We took Phoebe in to the Oncology clinic yesterday to have her labs drawn.  No one stares at her bald little head on the oncology unit, and an ng tube is no big deal, she’s just another cancer kid. Phoebe was sitting quietly in her stroller coloring in her Dora notebook when I saw her; a woman, a few years my senior, walk out the clinic door into the waiting room. A little boy, maybe 5. slunk down on the floor out of her arms, and splayed himself across the white tile. She slung her purse back over her shoulder and hoisted him back up to her hip. I looked at him then, saw the slant to his eyes typical of Down Syndrome and was overcome. My daughter has cancer, her son has cancer and Down Syndrome.

His mother walked over to the check out counter, dug around for her wallet, and he flattened himself on the floor a second time, muscles limp. I looked at her face then, searching for the familiar tired look in her eyes, scanning for the weary shadow that stares back at me in the mirror. I wanted to say “I have no idea what it’s like for you, and I have every idea of what it’s like..” but she turned to leave and I sat in that red kiddie-sized chair and thought about yokes, and how some of them are heavy beyond bearing.

I whispered through tears to my husband about yokes and some people, and when I looked at Phoebe she appeared so healthy.

Paradigm shift.

Someone is always carrying a heavier yoke. Suffering is relative. And I can’t bear up under all this suffering that I’m surrounded by without throwing myself at the feet of Him who suffered. He knows. He chose it. He obeyed, and He was not spared.

I think about her tonight, how her motherhood is so different than what she imagined when she was a girl, how mine has become that. And I pray that He who was “a man of sorrows acquainted with grief” will shower her with grace for each moment, give her purpose within the struggle, flesh Himself out in her life in the midst of her daily grind. I pray that He would make intercession for her when she knows not how to pray, and these things too, I ask for myself.

There is always someone struggling more…bearing a burden more immense. If I focus outward, I become an encouragement to others and am ministered to  in the process. If I wallow, I am self-focused and the cross is not enough.

Tonight I’m feeling thankful…

About Amey Fair

I am Amey Fair, wife to Nathan, and home-educating Mom to Benjamin (9), Averic (7), Deacon (4) and Phoebe (2) . Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare childhood malignant brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor on January 1, 2012. She had complete resection surgery to remove the tumor on January 4th and began chemotherapy using the Dana Farber protocol on January 26th. A few weeks ago I was sleeping in the chair next to Phoebe's bed in the hospital when I heard her little voice drawing me out of sleep. It was 3 am and it took me a minute to shake off the slumber. "Mommy I'm a mean girl" I thought she said. "No Phoebe, you're a nice girl!" I replied. "No Mommy, I'm a MIRACLE!" Phoebe said. "I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE!" she continued on. My tears welled up and spilled over as she made her declaration. Phoebe doesn't know the word "miracle" nor the concept, she's only 2. It was as if the Lord was speaking through her like a prophetic utterance. She fell right back to sleep and I sat there awake, lingering in the magical moment. Less than 40 children are diagnosed with Phoebe's type of cancer in the U.S. each year. This is why it's called "ATYPICAL Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor". So, I have titled this blog in honor of Phoebe, our "Atypical Miracle". We are YWAM'ers, serving in missions through Youth With A Mission since 1998. Before returning to the states 1 year ago, we lived near Guadalajara Mexico for 3 years. It was during our year of agricultural missions training in Waco, TX that Phoebe began exhibiting symptoms from the pressure of the tumor on her brain. Weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst and vomiting were her symptoms. We have been granted sabbatical during this time to focus on Phoebe's intensive chemotherapy treatment and are renting a home in Dallas near the Children's hospital where Phoebe is being treated. Like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe in Luke chapter 8, we cling to Him, knowing that He is Phoebe's healer. If we can just touch Him, be near Him, bring Phoebe to Him each day, we have hope. He is our hope. Thank you for coming along on this journey with our family. It's therapeutic for me to write it all out, and in so doing, I hope God will use it for His glory.

19 responses »

  1. Amey, I am so amazed at how strong and compassionate you are! God Bless you, Phoebe, and your sweet family. Phoebe is a very lucky little angel.

  2. You are seriously one of the most beautiful people I have ever come in contact with. Thank you for sharing your heart and your insights. I love you and your precious family!

  3. Oh Amey that is the key. When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus he shows up he reveals things to us. Just like he did with that sweet woman with the child that is suffering with two illnesses. We still have our times we go thru but when we learn to focus outward miracles happen in us. He sees you he understands and he will see you thru all this. Sometimes we don’t understand but when we can rest in him oh the Peace and Comfort is brings. As we lift up others and pray for them and minister to them our entire outlook changes. I will continue to pray for refreshing for you…and cont healing for sweet Phoebe….That you all cont to show you and give you unbelievable strength.

    oh father. We cont to trust you and know your hand is upon the Fair family. You know what they need oh God. We ask for all they need in Jesus Name. We lift them up and we lift up Phoebe. You are our Healer. Comforter. Provider. Our Lord. Our everything. Thank you oh God. These lives are in your hands.

  4. Love this. And it came at a time when I needed to hear something like this the most. Thank you and may God continue to work his miracles with Phoebe.

  5. So true…..and when He had broken the bread He gave thanks……..a key He modeled for us and thevreason we know we can give thanks. it is in the suffering and embracing the frailty that you find the heart of our Father. The heart and eyes He has for each one of us in this life and all it holds predictably and unpredictably. Thank you for this reminder.

  6. What a beautiful post.

    There is always some in need more than us and He is always there to meet that need but we need to seek Him.

    Praying for this woman and her son and thanking God for Phoebe’s health and always praying for 100% health.


  7. oh Amey, I read this last night & thought about it all night & then all morning at church. Our pastor was talking about grace & peace and how we can have peace that transcends understanding. I could not help but think about you & your family. You have been the most amazing example of the peace of God. Of course it hard and scary and I’m sure you question Him at times, but through it all you have been glorifying God and giving it all back to Him. What a testimony of His goodness. Praying for you daily.

    Philippians 4:4-9
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    Rebekah E from Kalamazoo, MI

  8. I can’t tell you how reading this tonight has ministered to me. A totally different situation, but what you said has really helped. Know that God is using this in a mighty way. Keep up the good work and am so grateful that Phoebe remains at home. Will continue to pray.

  9. Although you do not know me, I am a part of a fabulous group of prayerful, spiritual women who continuously pray for you, your family, and your blessing Phoebe. This blog is moving and inspirational for all mothers. Thank you!

  10. As I think on all you said…all I can say is who you are in Jesus is the epitome of being “salt and light”. Dear God bless and keep this precious family and please heal Phoebe fair completely.

  11. You are an inspiration! You do not pretend not to be suffering yet you have a great attitude in dealing with all that is going on. May God continue to bring his comfort and peace to your heart and answer your prayer for this mother you met and for you and your dear family. God loves you lavishly and it sounds like you are well aware of that fact. Will continue to lift Phoebe up for healing and strength for you and your family for this difficult assignment God has given.

  12. What glory you bring to the Father in your insights and actions. I am humbled and touched deeply by your walk through this, holding/gripping His hand every step of the way.

  13. I can’t help but feel blessed and convicted after reading this. My problems are nothing compared to yours, let alone a mother with a Down/Cancer child. Suffering IS relative, and how selfish to think that what I am going through can’t compare to anyone else. When Job started to feel sorry for himself, God spent CHAPTERS to say one thing ‘Who are YOU, oh man?’ WHo am I to question His will for my life?

  14. Someone is always carrying a heavier yoke. Suffering is relative. And I can’t bear up under all this suffering that I’m surrounded by without throwing myself at the feet of Him who suffered. He knows. He chose it. He obeyed, and He was not spared.

    That says more to me than you can ever know. I was just blog surfing and came across this. Bless your heart and know that you have one more person praying for you and that sweet little Phoebe of yours!!

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