Welcome to Jessica's Hope. This blog is designed to keep friends and family up to date on Jessica's journey with cancer. In all of this we have to always remember, just as Jessica is doing, that Christ is our ultimate hope. He is the sole reason that we live. To Him belong all glory and honor.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Little Jessica

I believe it would be appropriate to continue Jessica's Hope in order to update about Little Jessica. She is the extension and the result of my late Wife's hope. On February 6, 2011 "Little Jessi" was born via C-section after Jessica became brain dead. She weighed 1 lbs 3 oz. She has remained in fairly stable condition for the past twelve days. She has had some breathing trouble, but that is typical of very premature babies. This past Monday, I was privileged to hold her outside the incubater for about half an hour. It was amazing. Please pray that our gracious God continues to honor my Wife's sacrifice by watching closely over our child and guarding her health. No matter what happens, may He continue to be thanked because his steadfast love never ends. Every day I read part of a psalm for Lil' Jessi in prayer:
"For You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD from my youth. Upon You I have leaned from before my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of You." Psalm 71:5-6.

There are many suffering people with spouses who have died and babies who are premature. My family is not alone, nor have we suffered anything unusual -- though that fact does not dull the pain. So please take Jessica's and Jessi's story and go pray with, encourage, support financially, or find some way to show these hurting people the love of Jesus. My family is only one out of thousands that are struggling. Do not feel sorry for people; that is a natural human response, but it does little good. Rather, have compassion on others; compassion is what moved Jesus to action. Non-christians can feel sorry for anyone, but it takes the Spirit of God to work with compassion. Compassion is a God-given ability to sacrifice yourself or something of personal value in order to show God's love to a person in need; it is choosing to love by action. When Jesus saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion because they were scattered like sheep without a shepherd. But instead of getting much needed rest, eating something himself or going off to pray, Jesus chose to meet the crowd's needs. Similarly, Jesus did not want to die for us, but compassion drove Him to the cross. He even asked His Father to let the cup (of suffering through becoming sin, the physical pain, etc.) pass from Him. But He still submitted to God's will. In the same way, Brothers and Sisters, submit to the Spirit's push to compassion within you, forget yourself and help others. Pray for compassion. May all who read this bear much fruit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hope does not put to shame

A note from Jessica's Husband, Clint:

I would like to take this time to explain exactly what happened when Jessica died. There has been much confusion. Some people think God cruel for taking her the way He did. Others have told me that they are angry at God for me. How can that be? I want to honor God and my Wife by telling you of her choices. Jessica always struggled with making decisions but once she made a choice, she never turned back. It was the same in this case.
In August of 2010, Jessica began to suspect she was pregnant; she also noticed she had a sore throat. She went to the doctor because the pain did not go away. Because specialist referrals take so long, she was unable to get a diagnosis for the next two months. Sometimes it takes two to three weeks just to see an ENT or get lab results back. Around mid November Jessica began having trouble breathing and swallowing. We went to the ER on November 21st. All the doctors said she had goiter (which does not grow inward), so they thought Jessica was just imagining not being able to breathe. On the 22nd, Jessica's trachea closed and they had to force a breathing and feeding tube down. They did a CAT scan that same day and found an unusual cancer wrapped around her throat area.
The OB-GYN's came to see Jessica first and counseled her to have an abortion. Jessica refused immediately. Then the OB-GYNs, Oncologist, and Radiologist all encouraged her to receive treatments, but these treatments would either kill the baby or "not give [the baby] much of a life." I could see the fear in my Wife's eyes as she made the hardest decision of her life. Once again, she rejected the treatments in order to protect her baby. The doctors were at a loss. They told her she had until Thanksgiving to live and she would never make it to the point where the baby would be viable for life outside the womb. Still, Jessica refused the treatments out of concern they would harm the child.
Jessica's parents and I immediately argued with the hospital about food. They wanted to give her a corn-based solution composed of 30-40% corn syrup. As any nutritionist and doctor should know, sugar feeds cancer. After much debate, we began Jessica on a diet of raw, organic vegetable juices, teas, and various supplements. The cancer growth stagnated almost immediately. For about two months, the cancer stayed about the same size. Jessica faced numerous trials and hospital infections during this time. In late January, the doctors tested a leaking bulge on Jessica's neck. The bulge tested positive for strep, but Jessica showed no symptoms of being sick or having an actual infection elsewhere. The strep seemed isolated in the bulge. The doctors began giving her antibiotics to get rid of the strep. Two days later, the cancer mushroomed. For the next week it grew inexplicably fast. On the night of February 5th, Jessica fell asleep with a terrible headache and nausea. She did not wake up. The hospital declared her "brain deaf." I gave them the go ahead to deliver the baby. Jessica had made it to the viability point.
On Monday the 8th, we ran an apnea test to determine whether Jessica was brain dead or not. She was, and we removed her off the ventilator. Jessica did not die in vain. She made choices that she knew were what God wanted. She rejected potentially harmful treatments and literally gave her life for her baby to live. Beyond all hope, she brought the baby to a point that everyone said she would never reach. "Little Jessi" is now a living part of Jessica. Jessica's hope is realized in her and Little Jessi's hope rests in God alone.
God is to be praised, my Friends. He honored Jessica's obedience. What a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. Sin is an incurable disease with only one remedy: the judgment of God. Jesus took that judgment for us on the Cross. He gave His life and became sin for us even though He had never sinned and should never have died. We have been given eternal life through what Jesus has done for us. Do not doubt God; do not be angry with Him for me. I am privileged to have had a Wife who was so full of the love of the Father. Rejoice with me, Brothers and Sisters. God has blessed Jessica in taking her to place of perfect peace and no pain. I must be thankful for the time that I had with her rather than ungrateful for all the things we never got to do together. We must give thanks in all things for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ. Grace and Peace to all. Jessica's Husband, Clint.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Hope Realized

As many of you already know, Jessica went home to be with her Lord this past Tuesday, February 8th. Her eternal hope is in Him.

Jessica Anne Rogers Council, 30 of Travelers Rest went home to be with the Lord on February 8, 2011. Born in Natchez, MS, she was a daughter of Kenneth H. and Kathy Rogers. Mrs. Council was a house parent at the Miracle Hill Children’s Home and was of the Baptist Faith. She is survived by her Father, Mother, Husband,two children, and Brother.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pray. . .

After falling asleep late last night Jessica has yet to wake and has been unresponsive today. The doctors are investigating the cause. The baby is still doing well. Please pray for healing for Jessi, protection for the baby, wisdom for the doctors, and grace for the family.