My friend Colleen and I have been friends since I was 19, and I was fortunate enough to witness her baptism this afternoon: a time where me, the kids, and many other friends celebrated Colleen’s re-birth into Christ’s love and God’s love and support as her body heals from cancer.
In March 2010, at just 33 years old, Colleen was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma. Doctors removed a small gland behind Colleen’s left eye, and she underwent radiation treatment in May 2010, which she called, in typical CoCo-fashion, her “Radiance.” For six months Colleen was cancer-free, recovering quickly from the “Radiance,” and making up for lost time with her daughter and husband.
However, her cancer returned in December 2010. Shocked by the news that two tumors had grown in her head in just 6 short months, Colleen underwent an extensive surgery. Both tumors were successfully removed and Colleen went home to recover. Because her cancer is so rare, doctors are not sure of what path to take, and as of now, the cancerous areas are being watched through regularly scheduled PET scans.
Colleen has found a spiritual home in a local church and made the decision to become baptized in this church, surrounded by a community that helps her stay positive and loving and helps her body heal in this difficult time.
I can’t even pretend to understand what Colleen has gone through in the past year, let alone how she has dealt with this and how she continues to deal with an unknown future, but I find great comfort knowing that she has found strength, wisdom, and guidance in a church and in Jesus’ love, and I am incredibly thankful to have been witness to such a wonderful day, a day of such love.