Life is full of surprises. You will never really know when a plot twist is headed your way. And you can’t prevent it from happening because it’s meant to happen. Ann Malik Oman in South Carolina was diagnosed in October 2004 with Plasmacytoma, a bone cancer. She was only 50 years old then. However, it came as no surprise to Ann. Her sister had died of Leukemia at age three, so cancer was in her family.
“I knew right away when they did the MRI and injected me with a radioactive isotope that something was definitely going on. When I picked up the films to take them to my orthopedist I looked at the last two and knew immediately that I had a serious cancer. I had a fractured R-humerus and that upper ball joint was completely rat eaten, seriously holey and that told me I was in big trouble. We were on our way to the Orthopedist and I turned to my husband and I said to him Jon, I had a bone cancer. So, I said to Jon, “I know this is bad, but we are going to have to accept it and as God to stay close for my battle.”
The story did not end there. December, on the same year, she was told she had smoldering Multiple Myeloma—a blood cancer that depletes the patient of white blood cells. It was one bad thing after another.
Both were terminal. She was given 18 months to live.
She first went through radiation treatments, 25 of them. She had gone through Chemo treatments which lasted for approximately six months and had two bone marrow transplants. She lost over 10 years of her life going from cancer to shingles to cornea scar tissue to strep throat to breaking bones in her feet and allergic reactions to medication.
“I prayed and prayed and asked everyone I knew religion aside to pray for me. I was only 50 years old, with an unmarried daughter, whom I wanted to see married, and grand childless. I wanted to see these things in my future. I personally prayed to God for strength to carry on from day to day and to help me to personally strengthen my prayer life.”
And between God and the Holy Spirit her prayers were answered. Then, miracles happened.
She started going to mass again. Every Sunday morning, their new acquaintance, Porter, who also was sitting in the handicapped pew would pat her hand and say, “Ann you are going to get through this and be just fine.” Others at church also prayed for her. The knowledge that she was being showered by prayers by so many people, over and beyond her family, made her feel uplifted to get out of bed in the morning and do something. Quilting was one. She made an Honorable Mentioned appliqued quilt called flowers in her garden, a labor of love that meant a great deal to Ann in her state of affairs. Her husband, Jon, was her constant encouragement. She begged him not to cry in front of her and he never did.
“I needed him to be my ROCK. And I can say after forty-four years of marriage in January 2018 he has been the best caregiver anyone could ask for,” says Ann.
One night while she was sleeping, God spoke to her in her dream saying, “Ann, I want you to write a book about prayer and the changes in one’s life that can come about with prayer.”
Deciding to start writing her story was not a tough decision. She loved God more than anything else. So, she started journaling her experiences and went from there documenting her medical experiences for ten years. She started meeting people who were going through far worse than herself.
“Being able to share my story has been very gratifying. I still wonder almost daily why am I here and so many others have perished to cancer?”
Today, Ann can now travel though she must be very careful with her feet and wear the appropriate shoes for the day’s events. With Jon, she has gone on a Mediterranean Cruise and a Baltic Cruise in the last four years which has been incredible and beyond all expectations.
She goes to church almost every day to pray for others who are suffering through medical issues or complications and is involved with their churches food pantry where she does not only help cook meals for the hungry in downtown Charleston, S.C., but has also donated pantry foods that include meat. Recently, she made a chiffon I dream of Jeannie costume using also flowers, felt, little imitation flower fairy’s and decorating grape vine wreaths for housewarming gifts. Using spray paint, she refurbished her outdoor decorations. She is also involved in hand sewing appliqued pillows with felted wool, and other useful household objects. On top of all these, she has written a book, The Miracles from Prayers: Conversations with God, and plans to write another one again soon.
“Life has become much more fun and exciting for me because I don’t feel so trapped in my body always doing what my body will permit me to do. Life is much more of a joy and of course with my husband and two male pet cats along for the trip life couldn’t be better,” says Ann. “I am able to enjoy all these because of all the prayers and my heightened faith.”
Miracles happen when we approach God with faith-filled prayers.
God never sleeps, He never slumbers. He never tires of hearing our prayers.