Cancer: It Can't Happen to Me

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4 NIV

I haven't updated the blog much recently. Today I'll tell you why.

Last Monday, I underwent major surgery for cancer. Somehow, I knew weeks before the diagnosis that cancer had its grip on me. The fear of facing it robbed me emotionally and took the fun out of life. It even took away my desire to write. My life these past couple of months has been about cancer and little else.

Cancer. The "C" word. We all think about it and know people victimized by it. We see cancer's ugliness and pray that we'll never experience it firsthand. I'm no exception. When I had some unusual bleeding, I convinced myself it was a symptom of a late menopause. I tried hard to ignore it. Most of all, I prayed fervently and believed that God would make it go away. The bleeding continued and got worse. I've never been one to rush to the doctor, so I waited.

I sought answers in the Bible and found Luke 8:43-48:
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."
Did you notice those words immediately and instantly? I claimed the scripture as my own. I was the Twenty-First Century version of that woman, and I decided that if I could just have enough faith, I would instantly be healed. No doctors for me!

I prayerfully asked God to allow me to touch the Savior's robe. But the bleeding continued.

Finally, I gave in and went to the gynecologist. He ran tests and was reasonably certain that a cervical polyp caused the bleeding. I had an ultrasound, biopsy and D&C, and the doctor saw nothing unusual. Thank you, God! Instant healing!

A few days later, my faith was tested when the pathology report came back. It showed a small spot of cancer hiding among the cells. The doctor said that I would need a hysterectomy. In his opinion, the cancer was very localized and would be easy to remove laparoscopically. A pathologist would review samples while I was on the operating table, and if everything looked okay, the surgery would take just a little over an hour. I could go home the next day, cancer free.

My surgery was scheduled for Monday, June 14th.

I felt an odd sense of peace as I faced surgery. No fear. Many people were praying for me, and I knew that the Lord was with me. That peaceful feeling assured me of the best outcome: An hour or so of surgery to remove a tiny bit of cancer, and I'd be home the next day. It wasn't an instant healing, but an easy one, and I'd take it! Thank you, God!

The surgeon completed the laparoscopic surgery, and before he brought me out of the anesthesia, he waited for the pathologist's call. It came. The cancer had spread into the wall of the uterus. The visible part of cancer, that tiny spot, was the tip of an iceberg. I needed several hours of open abdominal surgery and lymph node sampling to determine if "it" had spread even further.

On Monday evening, I awoke in a hospital bed attached to tubes and machines. I was aware enough to know that things had not gone as expected in the operating room. It would take a couple of days for the pathology report on the lymph nodes to come back, and that report would be the final answer about how much damage the cancer had done and if it still lurked inside of me. I thanked God that I was all right and prayed that the cancer hadn't spread. But for the rest of my hospital stay, I couldn't pray. I wasn't angry with God, but a little unsure of His existence. The enemy loves to attack when we're weak and vulnerable. I fought my uncertainty by shutting down.

On Wednesday, I received the news that the nodes were clear. The cancer was Stage I and had not spread beyond the wall of the uterus. I might possibly take some radiation treatments as adjunct therapy. Otherwise, I'm considered cancer free, no evidence of disease. Praise God! He hadn't done it the way I'd wanted it, but the outcome was what I had asked for. I was healed.

I came home from the hospital on Friday and logged onto my Google page. The first thing I read was the Bible Verse of the Day. It said:

Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Luke 8:48

God is so good!!

Dear Lord: We might not always understand your ways, but we know that you are with us always, even in the worst of times. Thank you, Father! Amen.

Ladies, please read. This could save your life:

According to Women's Cancer Network:

About 85% of women with endometrial cancer survive this disease. That is because three out of every four women with endometrial cancer are diagnosed at stage I, the earliest stage. These early diagnoses are made possible when women pay attention to symptoms.

Here are the signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer.

➤ Vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause

➤ New onset of heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods

➤ A watery pink or white discharge from the vagina

➤ Two or more weeks of persistent pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic region.

➤ Pain during sexual intercourse

Over 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer say that they experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding prior to their diagnosis. Please see a gynecologist or gynecologic oncologist and ask about an endometrial biopsy if you experience any of these symptoms.

No God, Not Another Valley!

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Recently, a dear friend sent me Pete Wilson’s book, Plan B. I often skim through a book before I read it, and as I flipped through the pages of this one a passage stood out: “Even in the midst of Plan B, you really have only one task, one calling. And that is to do what you would do if you were confident God was with you.”

I’ve been facing some health issues this year. At the first evaluation, the doctor warned me that it could be cancer. I was terrified of how that diagnosis might change my life. It seemed to take forever to get the answers I needed, and while I waited for doctor’s appointments and test results, I begged God for healing.

Funny, how we rush to God in a crisis and long to be in His presence. It’s as if nothing else matters then but our relationship with Him.
What better than a crisis for the Potter to work His clay?

Please, God, I begged, “Heal me, and do it instantly so I won’t have to blah…blah…blah…” My symptoms continued. They even got worse. I wondered if God heard me. And if He did hear me, then did He care? I’d been through a whole string of valleys, and as I faced another I began to fear God and expect the worst from Him. I doubted that He loved me.

What you would do if you were confident God was with you?

There was the question leaping out at me from the pages of a book, and I had to answer it.

If I were confident God was with me, I would be assured that no matter how He answered my prayers, His answer would be right and good. As I pondered God's greatness, I thought of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on that night when they took Him away to die for my sins. Jesus said to His God, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Jesus was confident that God was with Him, and He was ready to accept God's will, whatever it was. Jesus had the most intimate relationship with God. He was God! How then could I not follow His example and believe that God was with me even if my diagnosis was cancer?

That image of Jesus in the Garden led me to pray differently about my circumstances:

“Father, please don’t allow me to face yet another valley, but I'll accept whatever you decide.”

Praying that way brought me to a place where I realized that if I were confident God was with me, then I believed that He loved me. I knew that whatever He decided, I would have the strength to face it. I had confidence that He would provide for my needs, but in ways I couldn’t begin to imagine.

My relationship with God changed once I turned my thinking away from the what ifs and toward what I would do believing fully in His existence and His love for me.

We learn in the valleys.

Yesterday, I had minor surgery to remove a polyp that was almost certainly benign. The biopsy results will confirm it, but whatever the result it doesn’t matter as much anymore. By changing my thinking, I learned that God does love me. He may not always answer my prayers in ways that I want and expect, but He always provides for my needs according to His perfect will.

Romans 12:12 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

“Even in the midst of Plan B, you really have only one task, one calling. And that is to do what you would do if you were confident God was with you.”

I urge you to renew your mind. Get out of the pattern of worldly thinking and imagine living life with the utmost confidence that God is with you, now and forever. Believe me. If you do this, you will experience God working His plan in your life -- His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


I'm proud to be a contributing author to the following series of humorous devotionals.
And check out my "Kid's Bible Dictionary" and pre-teen mysteries, also from Barbour.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.
Click on the picture.
I am the author of these books, but I have not been compensated for mentioning them on this blog or linking them to the seller's website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

©text on this blog copyrighted 2012 by Jean Fischer unless otherwise credited. You may link to the blog, but please don't reprint the text without my permission.

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