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“I’m sorry to tell you this, but we found three tumors on your liver”. After nearly two years after my initial diagnosis of colon cancer and being cancer free, this was a complete shock.
I had a “clear” colonoscopy just months before then an unrelated trip to the ER, just two days before I was hosting Thanksgiving, brought me this news.
I was devasted. I knew that the cancer spreading to my liver was not good. I prayed to our Heavenly Father to heal me or perhaps make it a mistake and that there wasn’t really anything there.
No Hope to Abundant Hope
After many tests, they confirmed my worst fears. I had stage IV colon cancer.
Upon visiting my new oncologist, the resident came in and told me, with no emotion or compassion, “You probably have two to three years to live”. The tears began to flow. I asked God “Why”?
The medical oncologist came in and had different news. The tumors were small, and we caught them early. We believe we can cure, not just treat your cancer.
I was both elated and furious. How could the cold and uncaring resident, without having looked at my tests, say this to me?
The oncologist laid out my plan: six rounds of chemo, surgery to remove the tumors in the liver and my gallbladder and six more rounds of chemo. He told me they were going to use a very aggressive chemo “cocktail” on me and if I need to skip a week or lower the dose if the side effects were too great to bear, I could. With stage IV cancer, they had to be aggressive.
When I got home, I got down on my knees and gave it to God. All of it: the fear, the cancer, the sleepless nights, the side effects. God and cancer can battle it out. It is in His hands.
During chemo, I would read my devotions and Bible and pray. Nurses would notice what I was reading and several Christian nurses and my Palliative doctor would pray with me. When home, I would also write out my prayers to Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. I would write scripture based on healing, fear, how God has plans for me. I’d write one full page each day then pray over the scripture.
Friends and fellow bloggers. Family and friends and people I didn’t even know were praying for me.
Of course, we were in the middle of moving two hours away due to a new job for my husband. He was living in our RV near his new job, while I was home, trying to sell our house, preparing for house showings, going through chemo and taking care of three dogs, five cats and a dozen chickens.
My sister-in-law was able to stay with me for a few weeks, which was a tremendous help.
I ended up with seven rounds of chemo, because, due to COVID-19, they had to postpone my surgery. On May 12th, I had surgery. With the pandemic, my husband was only able to drop me off at the door and pray with me.
I wasn’t alone, though. I had God with me. God and cancer is no match. He is my refuge and stronghold and loves me so much. I would talk to him throughout the day and ask for strength and healing. Instead of the 6-7 days in the hospital, I was well enough to go home after 4 days. Praise God!
After a month of healing, it was back to chemo. Six more rounds. This time, however, the side effects were much worse. My Dr. continued to ask me if I wanted him to lower the dose or skip a week. I declined. I decided that I would get through it with God by my side and that a few weeks of feeling awful was worth it while the chemo killed any remaining cancer cells.
I also had genetic testing done to see if my cancer was hereditary (I’m adopted and have no medical history) or environmental. Turns out, mine was caused by environmental issues. This started me on my quest to remove all toxins from my home including personal care items (shampoo, lotions, etc.) and cleaning products. I used peppermint for the nausea caused by chemo and lavender before my doctor’s apppoints, to start. You can learn more about my journey at my sister site, Cedarwood and Sage.
Remission and Fear
A week after my last chemo treatment, I had bloodwork and scans done. The doctor excitedly shared with me that I was in remission. There were no signs of cancer in my body! Only God! I was elated.
At the time of this writing, I’m waiting to go back for scans and bloodwork to see if I’m still in remission.
As a human, the fear that the cancer has come back often pops back up, but I know that my God is a healer. He may not heal me this side of heaven, but I know that He has plans for me. God and cancer. He is the great physician and healer.
One story in the Bible is a particular encouragement to me. Matthew 9:20-22 (ESV):
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment,for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
I imagine me reaching for Jesus’ cloak. I tell him “Jesus, I believe that you can heal me. My faith is often flawed, but I know you love me and can heal me”.
I pray often for peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding, despite what I’m facing.
I feel good now, with just a few lingering side effects. Whenever the fear of future recurrence arises, I remember what the Bible says in Matthew 6:34 (ESV):
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
This verse reminds me that worrying about the future or that the cancer will come back won’t do me any good. I’m trying to live for the moment. Enjoying time with my husband, kids and grandkids.
I’m enjoying hobbies that I haven’t been well enough to do in a year. I’m enjoying, yes, enjoying, cleaning the house and cooking for my husband. Instead of thinking, “Ugh, I have to do the laundry, I think, “I GET to do the laundry today”.
God Fights Our Battles
Only God knows how many days I have this side of heaven. He has formed me in my mother’s womb. Who am I to question His plans?
So, for now, I continue to enjoy feeling well and my daily fellowship with Our Father. I give Him my difficulties as He tells us in Psalm 55:22 (ESV):
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
He wants us to give Him our circumstances and let Him handle them. We were not meant to carry our burdens alone. He is with us and carries them for us.
Too often, we try to handle things on our own and leave God out of it. Having cancer has taught me that it is not my battle, but His. He is fighting for us.
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”” – 2 Chronicles 20:17 (ESV)
I’m giving my battle to God. What battles are you holding on to?
If you or someone you know are going through cancer, I’d love to pray for you. Please reach out at [email protected]
In the meantime, you may appreciate these recommended resources on God and cancer.
God and cancer – there’s no match. If you or someone you know is facing cancer, please reach out to me. I would be honored to lift you or them to the Lord Who Heals.
God bless you, my friends.
Because of Him,