January 28, 2008
The night after Mike and I met with the doctor, I barely slept. I kept replaying our conversation over and over in my head, praying that God would help me understand it all. For years now, I have spent so much time wanting to understand God's healing power and the inheritance we have as Christians. I have read the stories of healings in the new testament over and over. God has helped me realize that sickness is not His will for us, that it is a product of the world we live in. It is never too late to stand against Satan, because we are stronger than him through Christ. Now, I know as well as anyone that God does not always choose to heal us on this earth, and that is when it gets hard to comprehend. I prayed so hard for Jeff to be healed. I believed with all my heart that he would get up and walk out of that room at hospice. He and I talked about the day that we would be able to celebrate our healing together. But God's plans are His and not ours, and as much as we want to understand I believe there are some things that we will not fully know until we get to heaven. I wished so much that I could have told Jeff the news I received on Wednesday, only to realize that I am sure he already knew.
When my mom and I attended the Our Journey of Hope seminar put on by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America almost a year ago, one thing I wrote down in my notes was this: "There is always hope for a miraculous intervention." I went back through all of the doctor's reports that I have from Akron and CTCA. All of the tests I had performed at Akron were faxed to CTCA for them to reread and make their diagnosis as well. In September, when the CT scan of my neck came back showing something, I was referred to a neurosurgeon. At the neurosurgeon's office, he actually showed me the picture of my neck. It showed all the bones in my neck and also a portion of my skull. The little vertebrae in my neck were all bright white except for one on the right side which was gray. When he saw this, he ordered an MRI to be done there to get a clearer picture. I never actually got the results from that specific MRI, but I knew that scan had to have been faxed out to CTCA. As I looked back through my papers, I found the results of that scan, which was read by a doctor at CTCA on 10/3/07. It says: " This examination shows abnormal signal alteration involving the transverse process of C5 on the right, consistent with bony metastasis." In the report from the original CT scan I had done on 9/17/07, it states: " Osteolytic bony destruction of the transverse process of the C5 on the right." In the report from Akron regarding the same scan, it states: " The lesion is estimated to measure approximately 1.1x 1.3 cm..." I know that most of this probably does not make sense to most, and the only reason it is familiar to me is because of all of the doctors I have seen. My point for listing all of this is to make it known that two different doctors at two different hospitals saw a lesion in my neck consistent with cancer that had gone into bone. There are measurements, and I saw it with my own eyes. It was called an osteolytic lesion, which is exactly what the tumor in my sternum was called. In September, I felt God touch me as people prayed. I have never had an experience like that before and I will remember it for the rest of my life. The pain in my sternum was gone and I was able to do things I had not been able to do in weeks. None of the doctors had any explanation as to why that pain would disappear, but I knew. I was told in my first trip to CTCA that their goal would be to get rid of the cancer so that the bone would start to regrow. I was also told that this could take a few years to see the new bone. In these last scans that I had done, the reports show that new bone is starting to form in my sternum, meaning that the tumor is not there. The reports question whether I had any mass in my neck to begin with, and are now saying that only a touch of arthritis is seen. But I saw it, and two other doctors reports confirm that. And now it is gone. Gone.
I have said before that I have never been witness to a miracle. It is my testimony that I now have.
In John 9, there is a story of Jesus healing a blind man.1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 7"Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8His neighbors and those who
had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to
sit and beg?" 9Some claimed that
Others said, "No, he only looks like him."
But he himself insisted, "I am the man."
10"How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded.
11He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see."
Jesus used something physical, the mud, along with His touch to heal this man who had been blind all of his life. People questioned what he did to deserve this affliction, and Jesus let them know it was only so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. People questioned the healing, wondering if it could even be the same man. The man's explanation was simply that Jesus touched him, and told him to wash his eyes. The man was obedient, and he was healed.
All I can say is this: I believe God touched me that day in September, but my ailment still appeared on scans. He led me to the facility that I needed to be at, and I know He told me to still accept chemotherapy treatments. I was obedient, and I have been healed.
As I said, I know not everyone gets better just because they pray and believe they will. I know that God's plan trumps ours. Jeff was taken to Heaven, and I have not yet. And my fight is not over. I still believe I will battle this, possibly for the rest of my life. But I know that I have a victory to stand on, and there is so much hope in that.
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