Mary-Anne Crooks Thin Place: Whisper of Death

“Whisper of Death, My Fight of Faith” is the title of Mary-Anne’s book about her fight with cancer. She also writes novels about her homeland, South Africa. You can find her online at her website, on Twitter (@Mary-AnneCrooks) and on her Facebook Fan Page. (Here’s how you can share your Thin Place story.)

I was diagnosed with cancer on 13th December 2005. I’m in hospital as I have an infection after my first chemotherapy. Today is Wednesday 8th February 2006 and my temperature remains high. The drip has been taken out of my hand as it is infected. After much prodding, no vein has made an appearance.

I looked up as a doctor confidently, let me rephrase that, arrogantly, walked into the room. He proceeded to poke around for that evasive vein but to no avail. He informed “this nameless patient” that he was unsuccessful and would send someone to try my feet. All veins remained elusive.

He returned with two medical students and was gloved and gowned. Truly an Oscar performance. So dramatic!

“I’m going to try and locate the vein in the groin. You will feel the needle going in but keep as still as possible.”

I didn’t reply. I just gritted my teeth and began to pray for courage. He inserted the needle, prodding, until I felt a wet sensation. He leaned forward using his hands to apply pressure to the wound.

“What’s happening?’” I asked, trying to cope with the pain, blinking away my tears.

“I punctured the artery,” he stated. “I’m applying pressure to stop the bleeding.”

He continued this procedure for a further 15 minutes. As the bleeding stopped, he asked for another needle. He then checked above my ankle for a pulse to make sure he hadn’t damaged the blood flow.

The entire event recurred. He missed the vein and hit the artery. Pressure was once again applied. Informing me he was going to have a third go, I erupted.

Now it was my turn to be nominated for an Oscar! I sent him packing and called the nurses. I asked them to phone my oncologist, who just happened to walk into the ward as my call came through. This was absolutely miraculous as she is normally in Oxford. She was with me within five minutes, had a fit and ordered oral antibiotics before leaving.

Dinner arrived. As I swung my legs out of bed the artery erupted! Trying to apply pressure, I exploded into the passageway and shouted for help.

Once again God intervened as a nurse was miraculously standing at the end of the hallway. To explain the miracle, it was feeding time and all the nurses were occupied so His timing was precise. Dropping the tray, he ran, yelling at me to return to my room. I stood beside the bed.

“Get onto the bed.”

“I’ll bloody the sheets,” I replied.

“Get onto the bloody bed!” he yelled. (We had a good chuckle at that remark afterward.)

Within seconds the room was filled with doctors and nurses. A tiny vein was found.

In conclusion, I ended in intensive care having lost 5 pints of blood. During the entire event I had been totally calm. Now I needed to pray for peace as fear struck me.

My final miracle that night came as I felt the gentle weight of His wings enfold me. Wrapped within the security of His arms, I closed my eyes.

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