“I’m facing a death sentence,” Angela White-Fannin said. “They’re telling me I’m getting ready to leave. I’m not going to be here to raise my kids. I’m not going to be here with my husband. I’m really getting ready to check out.”That was Angela White-Fannin’s reaction when doctors gave her the grim news that she had bone cancer and only six months to live.
“When they said cancer, it was like an echo,” Angela said. “As if you were on a mountain and it was going, ‘cancer, cancer, cancer…’ – Six months to live? Everything you wanted to do; every person you wanted to kiss and tell how much you loved them.”
Stage three multiple myeloma had spread to every bone in her body. Her only hope was a bone marrow transplant.
“You’d have to use a sibling in order to do the transplant,” Angela said. “My older sister died of lung cancer. My middle sister had multiple sclerosis; she died of respiratory failure. And they said, ‘What we’re going to do is take your bone marrow out, and we’re going to clean it and give it back to you. But we’ve got to wait and see if you’re body’s going to reject it or not.’”
Angela led a busy life as a successful real estate agent. But all that ended.
“It got to a point where I couldn’t swallow my own saliva,” she said. “I couldn’t stand for anybody to walk across the room. I was delirious. I was throwing up. I had watery diarrhea. I couldn’t eat. It was the worst sickness I had ever felt in my life.”
Angela knew that her death was quickly approaching, so she did her best to make preparations.
“I picked out the dress I wanted to be buried in and took it to the dry cleaner and had it dry cleaned,” she said. “I picked out my jewelry. I wrote out my obituary and I even wrote out my eulogy. I then went to my husband and I said that I’ve got three single girlfriends and either one of those girls would make you a perfect wife, but you can only have one.”
Fear flooded Angela’s mind. Angela turned to God for answers. That’s when she realized her greatest need was not physical, it was spiritual. Although raised in the church and married to a pastor, Angela admits she had never accepted Jesus as her savior.
“I thought my role for being a pastor’s wife was sitting on that second row, with my hat and my heels and my suit and my gloves and I was a pastor’s wife!” she said. “That was my position, to help with the christening of babies, help the bereaved families, and just to be my husband’s helpmate.”
But she knew that just being a pastor’s wife couldn’t save her life. So, alone in her room, she had a talk with God.
“I said, ‘God, I repent. Right now, I repent for anything I’ve ever done against anyone, anything I’ve ever done against You. God, I ask You for forgiveness. I ask You to forgive all my sins. I accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. And I thank You most of all for Your Son Jesus who hung on Calvary. God I know this devil has attacked my body. But he can only stay temporarily. He’s got to go because You’ve got things for me to do. God, I pray that You will take this from me, and use me to go out and let Your people know that You still answer prayers,’” Angela said.
Now, it didn’t matter what the doctors said. Angela believed that the bone marrow transplant would be successful and she would go into full remission.
“The first results came in and it said, ‘not remission – zero cancer counts,’” Angela recalled. “Then they sent it out to three other laboratories; all three came back, ‘not remission – zero cancer counts. All three!’ The doctor said, ‘What do you think happened Angela?’ I said, ‘Well, let’s talk about it: You said I’d be out here for three months, we did this in three weeks. You got the results back, you weren’t pleased so you sent it out to three laboratories and all three said zero, zero, zero. But you have to understand, the God that I serve, He rose on the third day. And He rose with all power, not some power, all power in His hands. It was God!’ I thank God for allowing me to go through it because that was how He woke me up, got my attention and brought me to Christ.”
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