Ron explains that within a month, Deborah starts experiencing severe pain related to the cancer. Ron and Deborah meet with a world-renowned cancer specialist to hear his recommendation. The specialist announces that, with the cancer as extensive as it is, there is no hope, no cure, and Deborah should spend what remaining time she has with her family. He predicts that Deborah has less than a year to live, and Deborah momentarily faints, falling out of her chair. After the doctor leaves, Deborah tells Ron to forget about the one year the specialist predicted; they serve God, and God can sustain her life however long he sees fit.
Deborah once again powerfully illustrates the hope that Christian faith and belief in God’s power can be in facing fear, tragedy, even death. Although given a dire prediction, Deborah’s faith maintains her will to live and to keep on fighting. This will to live and commitment to living as long as she can seems to play a significant role in extending her life far beyond the doctor’s predictions, as will be seen.
Ron and Deborah move in with Mary Ellen and Alan for a time, and they undertake an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy, determined to fight as long as possible. The therapy takes a heavy toll; Deborah loses weight and strength, but she continues to fight.
Deborah’s choice to fight her cancer and undergo chemotherapy directly defies the doctor’s recommendation, suggesting that she has much more faith in God than in a single medical authority.