48: It Happened One New Year’s Eve

48: It Happened One New Year’s Eve

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

It Happened One New Year’s Eve

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.

~Bernard Berenson

My eighteen-year-old daughter Olivia and I were dining at a local restaurant for the first time all year, courtesy of a gift card I’d received from work for a performance achievement. We were seated in the corner with only one table as a neighbour. A couple in their sixties came in and were seated there when we were about halfway through our meal.

When we rose to leave, the lady, observing that Olivia was likely a cancer patient, said, “Hello, how are you, dear? How are things coming along for you?”

“I’m doing okay,” said Olivia.

“I’ve been where you are,” said the lady.

“Oh?” I asked. Olivia told her that she had osteosarcoma and would have an operation the next week to have a bone in her arm replaced with a metal rod.

The lady tapped her arm. “This one here,” she said. “I have two metal rods. Osteosarcoma for me, too.”

We had not met anyone with osteosarcoma since we began this journey in September, and here we were on New Year’s Eve in a restaurant we hardly ever went to, meeting this beautiful person who was so willing to share.

“Can I ask when you were diagnosed?” I said.

She replied, “Fourteen years ago, and I’m still cancer-free.” Olivia’s face lit up like a Christmas tree.

We exchanged names, and the lady shared more of her story and wished Olivia much success with her surgery the following week.

“God bless you for taking the time to speak to us and for sharing,” I said with a lump in my throat.

“You’re so welcome,” she replied. “Have a wonderful year.”

Olivia and I walked toward the car, both of us in a state of disbelief.

“I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” I said to her.

“Me, too.” She said with a smile. “Me, too.”

My daughter had surgery on January 6th. The tumour was removed in its entirety. When the pathology was done, it was determined that it was 100% necrosis, meaning it was 100% dead cancer cells. The surgeon and my daughter’s oncologist said it was the first time in both their careers that they had ever experienced this in an osteosarcoma patient. Her surgeon proclaimed it a miracle.

~Nancy Barter-Billard

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