Sunday, April 17, 2016

Case Away Cancer - a book review

What would you do if your two year old son was diagnosed with cancer? How would you react if you were told it was not only cancer, but brain cancer? I imagine you'd react with a heart filled with terror and a million questions. That's exactly what happened to Bob and Ellie Ewoldt when they found out their youngest child, Chase, was facing the biggest battle of his little life.

When I received a complimentary copy of Chase Away Cancer, from Tyndale House Publishing, I was excited to read the book. After having been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought the book would hold valuable information for me on how to deal with my own fight against the dreaded "Big C". But while this book was about a child's struggle with cancer, it was also the story of his parents' great faith in God.

The story opens as Ellie Ewoldt discovers she's pregnant with her fourth child. As she and her husband ponder over baby names, they come up with the name Chase "because it mirrored our prayer that this son would run hard after God," Ellie says in her book. It was important to the Ewoldts that their children grow up to love the Lord and as they carefully selected their new baby's name, they offered up a prayer for wisdom and strength.

Chase was born a normal little boy. As he grew, he was filled with energy. He was strong and determined from the very beginning. One day, his mother noticed something was wrong when Chase couldn't remember the name of a snack he wanted. His father thought it wasn't a big deal, just a fluke, kids forget things...but his mother had the intuition that something wasn't right, so she called the pediatrician and set up an appointment. At first, the doctor thought it was a stomach virus. Xrays were done and they thought perhaps Chase was just constipated. Then Chase began drooling and vomiting. His speech was suffering. At the advice of their regular pediatrician, the Ewoldts agreed to have Chase monitored for brain seizures. Before the test could be performed, Chase had a seizure at home. His frightened parents called 911 and their son was quickly whisked off to the hospital where a myriad of tests were performed. A CT scan revealed a large mass inside Chase's head and in an instant, their whole world changed.

The Ewoldts began to question why their little one was having to go through this terrible ordeal. For a fleeting moment, Mrs. Ewoldt even wondered if Chase's tumor was somehow a punishment for past mistakes she'd made in her life, but a friend of the family quickly reminded her that Chase's ordeal was "part of a sovereign, gracious plan that far exceeds what we know and understand at this time." I loved a quote Mrs. Ewoldt shared just after having had this thought. She says, speaking about Jesus, "His love takes us down paths we would never dream of entering by our own volition as part of His sovereign plan for our lives." Only a person of deep faith could take that perspective during a family trauma!

I enjoyed reading this book because throughout the drama of an unexpected medical crisis, Ellie Ewoldt never lost hope in Christ. She clung tightly to her faith and allowed God to use the experience to draw her nearer to Himself. The book was a fast read because it was a true life drama and was written so the reader would be immediately engulfed in the story. Ms. Ewoldt's words were descriptive and clear giving great detail into their day to day journey into the world of brain cancer. She shared both the good and the not so good times as she and her family endured months and months of tests, treatments, surgeries, and illness. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about real life events or anyone searching for evidence of how to rely on personal faith in the face of unexpected illness.

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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