Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I have cancer?! How do I tell others? Help me, God. What’s next?

Life is short or long; nobody knows.

 

Physicians and Ministers are intersecting occupations which I honor and respect; they’re arts of science and spirit.


Dr. Merle Hodges, Sr. delivered my precious baby boy several years ago. Two years later, his son Dr. Merle (Boo) Hodges, Jr. delivered my beautiful baby girl. This very important man in my life, last month, diagnosed me with Grade 1 Endometrial Cancer. I am thankful, not that I wanted cancer—it was tough news for him to deliver, but for his knowledge of it and his advice which led to life-saving action.

It’s difficult to tell people you have cancer. Suddenly, there’s this sense of sadness as we realize how short life can be; how much we love and will miss each other someday. We connect on a new emotional level. We humbly wonder what the future holds. It’s out of our hands. We pray.

Within two days of my cancer diagnosis, I met my new gynecologic oncologist Dr. Jed Delmore and he performed a robotic hysterectomy that same week. To God be the glory for skilled physicians and medical teams as well as for modern technology of the healthcare industry in Salina and Wichita, Kansas!


Through the process I saw God’s hand in everything. 


My pastor came to Wesley Medical Center to pray with me and sit by my husband on the day of my surgery. I imagine that God wanted many other people to see a man wearing clerical collar in the hospital, too. My fellow church members prayed for me in a phone-prayer-chain and also in regular worship services. Awesome is the blessing of having family and friends near me who share the faith! I was encouraged with hugs, kind words, cards, Facebook messages, calls and personal visits.

Surgery removed all of the known cancer!


No cancer was found in the other “extra parts” and fluids removed during surgery to be tested. It had only been in the endometria which they’d already determined from the initial D&C/hysterscopy. I was happy to get a call from nurse Lindsay with news that pathology testing reported that it was stage 1A, an early diagnosis.

During my 3-week follow-up the doctor mentioned that Grade-1, Stage-1A was the best possible outcome and, statistically, my chances for this cancer to return somewhere else are 3 to 5% for the first two years after surgery. If I pass two years in good health, the prognosis is lowered; it becomes only one-half of a percent. Well, that allows for some optimism!

Thankfully, I am in recovery mode now and won’t need further treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy. I know how difficult this is by remembrance of my husband’s journey with esophageal cancer.

I pray, God-willing, frequent follow-up check-ups during the next couple years will have good results and I may live a long life. I thank the Lord for spiritual care my Minister offers each week in his sermons and worship services that include The Lord’s Supper; plus, the privilege to pray and be in His Word everyday.

Yet, even if long life is not to be, I have comfort for whenever the Last Day arrives.


I know God is always by my side and has gone before me. Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to live as God-Man with us. In His birth, perfect life, suffering, death, burial, descent to hell, bodily resurrection, and ascension, Jesus claimed victory over death for everyone! He hears believers repentant prayers, forgives sins, crushes boastful pride, encourages/teaches humility/love; and, finally, He awards heaven as the prize for all who receive the one true faith which the Spirit freely offers (in baptism and the Word). Through Christ, believers trust the promise we will live forever in Paradise when death takes our earthly body.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. Mark 13:31-33 ESV

God provides food, drink, work skills and everything to enjoy life.

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 ESV
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Proverbs 15:13

Today in my quest for making good use of my time and finding enjoyment, I discovered a tutorial How to Prepare an Old Book for Altering or Art Journaling on Pinterest. Experimenting in creating art journals has been on my bucket list. God has blessed me with a creative spirit. I hope to use this gift more often for enjoyment to the glory of God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 ESV

My body was designed with the miraculous ability to become pregnant and give birth. I am Pro-Life; I do not support Pro-Choice-to-End-Life by abortion or human euthanasia.


I praise the Lord for creating me with a healthy uterus to protect and nurture my unborn children during those months of my youth. I thank Him for blessing me with a faithful daughter and a theologically-devoted son who takes time to read and talk with me and others about God’s Word. Just yesterday we discussed Colossians 3.
and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” Matthew 21:16 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Life is full of wonderful surprises and it also jolts us with shocking challenges we must be prepared to face. 


Like a cancer diagnosis which leads to death, ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, we’ve been diagnosed with sin which leads to death. Physical symptoms warn us to take medical actions; similarly, the Ten Commandments act like a mirror to help us see our sin. Symptoms of cancer don’t just fade away. Sin doesn’t go away in God’s eyes unless faith washes them away, whiter than snow, by Jesus blood (Psalm 51). This faith points us to want to follow God’s instructions for living and loving in this life He’s given us. Surgery may remove cancer, temporarily saving life on this earth; but, for sure, Jesus saves believers who inherit eternity in Heaven with Him. This is far better than to reject the gift of faith, leading to everlasting-punishment-without-God which is Hell!

I pray that you seek to read/hear His Word (the Bible) and receive the Spirit’s help so you, also, are confident that nothing will be able to separate you from His love. If you live near me and don’t go to church, please, will you join me at mine (Faith Lutheran Church)? If you live in another area, here’s a link to help you find one that shares my faith. I want you to be blessed by Christian fellowship and grow strong in the gift of faith in Christ which promises peace that passes human understanding.

Do you have questions? Comments? Please post them below. I review them and it may take up to a day for them to show publicly, so please check back. I will do my best to respond as soon as possible.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for a beautiful encouraging post. Your son is a blessing as a friend to my husband and I and to many others as well. It is nice to know how things went for you and I say praise God for this outcome and for His blessed gifts especially.

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  2. Amen! You're welcome. I appreciate your kindness.

    ReplyDelete