The C Word

They found a lump in my breast.  It may be nothing.  Or it may be cancer.

Panic.  Fear.  What if my mom has cancer?  How is this going to work?  Why am so far away?  What if she dies?  What if other people get cancer?  What if other people die?

I calmed down then spoke to my mom on the phone.  I told her I would be praying fervently that the lump is benign.

She responded with her usual sarcasm…

Let’s see if your prayers really work.

Do it, God.  Do it.  You can.  I know you can.  Prove my mom’s sarcasm wrong.  You do hear my prayers.  You are a healer.  Show her.  Show her who you are.  Build her faith by answering my prayer.

Those were my daily conversations with God.

One week later, I got a text from my mom as I was walking to the BEAM office.

Are you awake?

I immediately started panicking, anxiety flooded my body.

Yes.  Why?  What’s up? Tell me.

I’m perhaps the most impatient person on the planet, or at the very least in Kenya.

Lump malignant but not to worry.  I’ll be fine.

Whaaaaat??  Not to worry???  How does one do that???  I’m worried.

Tears began streaming down my face.

Honestly save it for when we know more.  It isn’t what I wanted but I think I’m on the good side of bad.

I agreed to let her sleep and just wait “patiently” like the faithful Christian I am.  I wanted to teach her more about my faith by God answering my prayers. And here she goes again teaching me about her faith by trusting God knows what He’s doing.

My mom is scheduled for a lumpectomy on March 28th followed by a few weeks of radiation.  If one has to have cancer then apparently this is the type and profile one would want.  It is best-case scenario in the cancer world.

I am planning a trip home so I can go and just sit with her for a few weeks during her treatment.  I want to remember how precious her life is and soak up as much of her wisdom and faith as I can.

You are a rockstar, Mama Colleen.  Love and prayers coming at you from all over the world!

With love and gratitude,


*Please consider a monthly or one time donation to support the BEAM Kenya mission to advocate for the emotional, spiritual, and education needs of impoverished children in Kenya*


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  1. Elphas Bengo says

    This is a very inspiring piece for everyone fighting hope, we support the quick recovery of mama Colleen, so she can continue with her course towards making change in people’s lives, as she has made in yours. All God’s Power and Grace be with her till she overcomes this trying time.

  2. Eliz. Coleman says

    Oh Colleen, I am so glad I found out. Please tell your mom I said hello and prayers. I will send her a postcard or card as soon as I can. I was thinking about her last week. I thought it was because of the weather up there. My thoughts and prayers are with you too, dear Colleen. It is so hard to be apart when someone you love is sick. Thank you again. Please share this with her if you can. I love you!!

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