Thursday, October 28, 2010

Excerpt: Don't Ever Look Down by Dick and Debbie Church

by Dick and Debbie Church, with Diane Moody
Sheaf House Publishers, LLC
ISBN 978-0-9824832-3-7
Due out in April 2011

Marriages don’t always survive cancer, even when patients do. In this unique book, the authors share their journey through cancer as husband and wife with honesty, humor, and hope. DON'T EVER LOOK DOWN offers encouragement and practical advice to couples who are facing the same steep mountain climb.

As an oncology counselor, Debbie Church worked with hundreds of cancer patients. Through her own experience with this disease, she gained a greater understanding of cancer’s impact on individuals and families. Her husband, Dick, shares a man’s perspective on entering the mysterious worlds of gynecology and oncology. An experienced mountain climber, Dick compares Debbie's battle with cancer to the difficulties, dangers, and triumphs of climbing a mountain.

"As I sat in my chair, I tried to lean forward and watch the images appearing on the
monitor. I prayed so hard . . . harder than I have ever prayed.

Does she see anything? Does it look bad? Is Deb okay? Is this a false alarm?

Dr. Corgan pinpointed the location of the questionable area and did a needle biopsy. I kept praying. Please God, please don’t let anything be wrong . . . especially not cancer! Deb prayed hard too.

A small piece of tissue was removed. I’ll never forget the image of Deb lying on that table. Thin streaks of blood flowed down her left breast from the small puncture, absorbing into her paper blouse. It was so surreal.
This should not be happening, I thought. Deb does not deserve this.

But she was so brave.

I kept praying. Please God. Please!

As an oncology counselor, Deb knew the process and exactly what doctors can surmise
without a full pathology report. “Does it look cancerous?” Deb’s question filled the room with anxiety, fear, and trembling. Hope hung on every word, but barely.


Dr. Corgan placed the tissue sample in a small vial and labeled it Debbie Church.
“Without a full pathology report, I can’t be 100 percent sure—but maybe ninety-nine.”

That was close enough. Deb knew Dr. Corgan had done thousands of biopsies like this and could usually tell.

My heart broke and fell to the floor. Life would never be the same again."

For more information, please see the following links:


Author website

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