Cancer Treatment – Hearing the Devastating News
If you or someone you love is going through cancer treatments, take a few minutes to read this personal story.
On July 22, I received the most devastating news of my entire life: “Allison, your test results have come back. It's not TB, but cancer, and it has spread to several parts of your body.”
For a few seconds I just sat there in my doctor’s private office in shock and utter disbelief. Shortly thereafter my mind started flooding with all these thoughts. . . “How did I get cancer? I'm only 36 years of age and at the apex of a new career change. Will I die and not see my dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur come to fruition? And what about my plans for having two babies? Would I not be able to give my baby girl the name ‘Anaya’ (which is an African name meaning look up to God)? Were my dreams being thrown out of the window? I never smoked, abused alcohol or any other type of illicit drug, so where on earth did this cancer come from? Was this a hereditary type of cancer?”
Once the realization of what my doctor just informed me of set in, I let out a cry from way down deep in my soul. Through the floodgate of tears, I searched my doctor’s face for the answers to my questions. He could not offer me any rational explanation, and I could see the pain and agony on his face as well. I had known this doctor for many years since he first operated on me back in 1997 for fibroid tumors. He was able to save my uterus when other doctors I had previously gone to said that I needed to have a hysterectomy. Would he now be able to use those same God-given skills and talents to rid my body of this cancer? No, not this time. This situation called for another type of specialist, so he referred me to an oncologist who specialized in ovarian cancer since he believed that the cancer might have originated in my uterus.
After the oncologist examined me and reviewed the test results, she determined that the cancer did not originate in my uterus, so she then referred me to another doctor -- a gastrointestinal surgeon -- who performed both an endoscopy and colonoscopy on me. The results from these tests showed that the cancer originated in my appendix, then spread to my stomach lining, gall bladder, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and colon. And to top it off, there were also two rare forms of cancer in my body! Like the first two, this doctor was unable to take on my case, so I was referred to an oncologist who specialized in the rare form of cancer that was wreaking havoc on my body. This final doctor's recommendation was for me to take a radical approach, meaning that I would undergo a surgical procedure called “debulking,” in which the surgeon would cut out as much of the tumor that was visible, followed by aggressive chemotherapy.
I asked him if there were any other alternatives, and whether or not I had a chance of surviving this if I did not take his recommendation. He answered honestly stating, “No, you will not survive this because you are already in Stage 4 of the disease.”
Cancer Treatment – The Pain
Using the good sense that God has given me, I elected to have the surgery and the cancer treatment of chemotherapy. The day of the surgery was October 14 and it took the doctor seven hours to perform the procedure. My reproductive organs and part of my colon were removed; my appendix was taken out, and my gall bladder had to be peeled. Toward the end of the month, I received my first dose of chemotherapy, and subsequent visits to my oncologist showed no signs of improvement. The prognosis from my doctor was that I would be on chemotherapy for the rest of my life.
How much more can I take God? Will I ever awaken from this nightmare? The pain in my heart, mind, spirit, and body -- will that ever go away? When will the hallucinations from all my medications finally stop? Am I going to succumb to this dreaded illness that I would not wish on my worst enemy? What happened to my joy and my peace? Where is that smile that displayed all 32 teeth? How did that magnificent light that illuminated from my being now turn into a flicker?
So after eight months of grueling chemotherapy, two blood transfusions, extreme weight loss, fatigue, achy bones and joints, changes in my hair texture, mouth sores, the numbing of my fingers and toes, and severe sensitivity to the cold, I am left to tell my good news!
Cancer Treatment – The Results
On December 29, I received the greatest gift of all time -- the gift of life and health. The same doctor who told me I would be on chemotherapy for the rest of my life had to recant those words. The CT scan I had taken on December 17 showed no visible signs of cancer in my body!
Tri-monthly scans concur with the first scan -- no signs of cancer. How and why did I survive this?
A few months prior, I heard God say in my spirit, "From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." These words can be found in the gospel of Luke 12:48. Because of God's grace, His mercy, and His love for me, my life was spared and I was given a second chance. I realize now that my faith, meditating on and affirming God’s Word, along with the outpouring of love, prayers, and support of my family, friends, and people who I don’t even know played an important part in the healing of my body. Though at times I got depressed, was very tired and weary, I never gave up my faith in God's ability to rid my body of this illness. Faith is “an unmovable and unshakable belief and trust in God, His Word and His promises, despite whether or not you evidence change in your situation, condition or circumstance.”
Cancer Treatment – Understanding
I challenge each and everyone reading these words -- perhaps many of you are going through cancer treatment -- please be encouraged. God is forever faithful. Whatever trials or hardships you are going through, keep the FAITH and God will see you through it all. He did it for me, and I know He will do it for you. God keeps His promises and you can stand on His Word!
We all have different purposes here on earth according to God's will. Prior to my being born to my earthly parents, God gave me a specific mission or assignment that must be completed. God spared my life because I am not finished with the task He has called me to do. He wants me to use my spiritual gifts of helping, mercy, encouraging, faith, and shepherding to help others to bear witness that He is alive and wants so very much to be in a relationship with all who will come. God loves us so very much and it breaks His heart to see us in pain and walking far from Him.
I do not believe that GOD gave me cancer; however, God answered many of my questions by placing this Bible verse in my spirit: John 9:1-3 reads, “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’” The same holds true for me -- cancer happened so that I can be a witness to the healing and miraculous powers of God Almighty.
God healed me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And the ultimate healing that He can offer us is spiritual healing. Prior to me accepting Christ as my personal Savior, I was living a life that was really empty. I sought love in all the wrong places, was very angry, confused, and was holding onto unforgiveness of things I did and wrongs committed against me by others. Now that I have a relationship with God through Christ, I am joyful, peaceful, and more loving of myself and others.
We may pray and ask God to heal us of physical illnesses or diseases. Sometimes healing is in line with His will for us and sometimes it's not. Proverbs 19:21 states, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is God's purpose that prevails.”
Please never give up hope; trust in God with all your heart. He sent His son Jesus Christ into the world so that we might have a life filled with abundance and prosperity. Hold tight to your rock and Savior Christ Jesus because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.