Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis
By Ellie Poole Ewoldt / Tyndale Momentum
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Chase Away Cancer is based on actual real-life events in, 2-year old, Chase’s life while he perseveres through cancer. The focus is mainly on Chase, but also there is shown how Chase and his family place their faith and focus on God. There were many people touched by the events in Chase’s life. Chase amazingly remained brave through it all, even when facing fears. His childlike perspective on the things happening around him touched my heart in the way only a child can see things; “tubies”, “a nap with the doctors”, “I’m so brave”, “magic”, and many other quotes.
“This is what we were all created to do. Persevere. Press in and run. Life is hard and often includes the road less traveled–with many more miles than we bargained for–but the prize is better than we can imagine.” (Ewoldt, 2016, p. 226)
From its very first pages Chase Away Cancer struck me on a very personal level. I have a 2-year old boy; well, he’ll be 2 at the last part of May. I could see the “what ifs..”, imagining what if this was my son. Tears uncontrollably ran down my face in many sections of my reading Chase Away Cancer. In addition to tears, there were also parts where my heart was warmed with a smile. God allows for things to happen in life for His purposes, which are beyond our level of understanding and comprehension. However, that fact does not always erase the hurt and frustration we often feel as we are submerged in all of life’s bitter circumstances. In those times we must remember, His ways are not our ways and understanding those ways often rises far above our logic and reason of them. (I know, a lot easier said then done.) Be still, and know He is God.
I recommend Chase Away Cancer! Chase, I greatly admire your bravery and courage in such a scary world!
About the Author—Ellie Poole Ewoldt has blogged about her family’s journey with pediatric cancer since 2012. Ellie and her husband, Bob, speak about Chase’s story several times a year on behalf of Lurie Children’s Hospital. Chase’s story has been featured in venues such as Lurie Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, the Ace Foundation, All for Hope, Cal’s Angels, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Young Associate Board’s Run for Gus.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about Chase and his attitude as he navigated his treatment?
A: Oh my word… This question made me smile. Let’s just say this: Chase is aptly named. He’s so active and he would do the craziest things during treatment where I really think he scared his doctors. One time, he was messing around and fell headfirst out of his hospital bed. Thankfully, he didn’t pull his IV out (spoiler alert: that happened too – but at a different time), but he did cause quite the uproar on the oncology floor as incident reports had be filled out and doctors had to come in and keep checking in on him. He even had to have a quick MRI! And because of the chemotherapy, his cells didn’t respond quite the way they should have, so he had a squishy cone-shaped wound on his head for something like two months. It was crazy! We had a saying that we shared with the staff that cared for Chase: it would be like “blah, blah, blah, medical, medical, statistics…BUT, it’s Chase.” It became like this kind of smile-inducing back door out of so many conversations or statistics because he just – in his personality and his road through the treatment – took the least expected path. Which, as you can well imagine, was both awesome and terrifyingly stressful. The thing about kids in treatment is that they’re so different from how you or I would handle it. If we don’t feel well, we, or at least I would chill out and rest. But not Chase – he was a bit like a light switch – either “on” or “off”. There was really no in-between. Either he was down for the count, or he was unstoppable. There was rarely any other speed.
I was able to include quite a few of his antics throughout the book and I hope they give you plenty of opportunities to laugh even in the middle of a book about cancer, but I think one of my all-time favorite pictures that kind of sum up Chase happened early on. He’d had a procedure in the morning to place a central line in his chest and then he’d been admitted to the oncology floor for chemo. He slept off the anesthesia for a while and then he got up and got ahold of the big-wheel tricycle that was kept in the playroom, and he just took off! IV pole and all! I was his “handler”, running the pole alongside him, making sure his chords never pulled, but it was completely crazy! And you know he was just showing off for the nurses too. And in Chase’s attitude and spirit, Bob and I took our cue. Wherever Chase was, that’s where we were too. And it was great because there was so much joy (and often still is) even in the middle of crazy, awful circumstances. In some ways, Chase was a great “normalizer” because we found ways to enjoy life with him even on the oncology floor of the hospital. He made it easy to keep our priorities straight in this regard: just because we were devastated by the disease didn’t mean we were devastated by Chase. Where there was life, there was joy.
Ewoldt,E.2016.Chase Away Cancer.Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.