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Tracey and Craig Clarke rely on their faith, and passages from the Bible, as they face a catastrophic illness
Tracey's post-surgical incisions bring to mind words such as these from Corinthians: 'For when I am weak, then I am strong.'
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By CATHY DYSON
The words on the index cards gave Tracey Clarke comfort when she needed it most.
The Stafford County woman was undergoing radiation treatments last fall to destroy the cancer in her brain. Five times a week for six weeks, she climbed onto a treatment bed, got under cushioned grips that held her in place, and had a netting pulled tightly over her face.
"It was just nerve-wracking," she said. "You have your head sort of tacked down to a table, and you can't move."
In those dark moments when the radiation machine aimed a powerful beam at her head, Tracey found comfort in words she'd written on the cards.
Usually, the night before the treatments, Tracey said the Lord brought a line of Scripture to her mind, and she wrote it down on large index cards that she carried into the radiation room with her.
They were passages from the English Standard Version of the Bible, of Paul's messages of encouragement in the New Testament or about stories of suffering in the Old Testament.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38
Tracey and her husband, Craig, have relied heavily on Scripture, and their faith, as they've dealt with her catastrophic illness. Tracey has an aggressive malignant brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM.
The typical life expectancy is 12 to 18 months after diagnosis, and "she's at month 11," Craig said.
'TRIALS OF MANY KINDS'
Now 43, Tracey was in the best physical shape of her life when her world changed in an instant.
It was last July. Craig was out of town on a business trip, and Tracey, an artist known for her mythical paintings, started having strange sensations.
She felt like wind was rushing over her, as if an industrial fan was aimed her way. Then, she had a strange feeling in her left arm, and started experiencing odd smells and sounds.
Tracey feared she was having a stroke or aneurysm and went to the emergency room.
Tracey and Craig Clarke detail the journey they've taken with brain cancer at caringbridge.org/visit/traceyclarke/journal.
"Brainworks," a blog about Tracey's art, is available at traceyclarke.blogspot.com.