I HAVE THE "C" WORD.
and . . . THE TREATMENT IS . . .
and . . . THE TREATMENT IS . . .
I HAVE THE "C" WORD part 2
CANDY ... FOR A TREATMENT
. . . "Doctor, you prescribed candy... for a treatment! Wow!” I quipped, “Where were you when I was a child? Do Hershey bars cure anything? If so, I hope I have whatever they cure!"
The Bible informs us laughter, or a merry heart, does us good, "like a medicine." (Proverbs 17:22 KJV).
One day, I would like to be given this prescription scribbled on a piece of paper to bring to my pharmacy: “Daily take laughter seriously, and whenever necessary consume chocolate.”
WELL, ONE CAN HOPE . . .
And I have a lot of hope. The early discovery of the cancer places me in a good position for a positive outcome. Recently, I learned that cancer is measured in five and ten year survival rates. Out of 1,000 women who have been diagnosed with this stage, 50 will not survive their breast cancer over the next ten years. But when my cancer surgeon, informed me it’s going to be really nice to get to know me over the years, I thought, What is this guy talking about? He’s confusing me with some other patient. Now I know … if you don’t want to be part of that statistic of the 50, you must be observed … for years.
As a Christian, always watched by a loving Savior, I know “Immanuel,” the God who is “with us” (Matt. 1:23 KJV), Jesus, often uses people to be His hands, His feet, His eyes. God can use a doctor’s eyes to watch over me, too.
In my case, as in most, there are no straight forward just do this and then all will be fine answers. It is not like when I was fourteen and had appendicitis. Basically, it was – get it out and it’s over!
Cancer Journeys are a Marathon
Not a sprint, it's a long-run race with a finish line on the distant horizon. Cancer journeys are a marathon.
But like many paths we travel, it is one of gratefulness for the little miracles along the way. Such as, a friend told me she prayed for the procedures I had to go through at that time to be less invasive. Then a surprise decision -- the doctor announced I would have one less biopsy when they prepared me for two painful ones back to back. I was grateful for this little miracle.
That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the BIG miracles. Jesus is a healer. My Healer. And prayer is a tool in that prescription.
But presented with a plethora of possible prescriptive choices, such as, prayer and holistic avenues, or combined medical and non-medical treatments, some that were advanced by doctors and others offered by my family and friends, including try medical marijuana, here’s a critical detail –
I married a man whose wife died of cancer. With a strong emphasis on holistic treatment choices, he with his wife battled her raging cancer from her twenties into her early thirties. Until one day, the war ended.
VICTORY ... IS – CHRIST
Though the victory was and is – Christ conquered death on the cross. We have "victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ"(I Cor. 15:56 NLT). And to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8 KJV). There is rejoicing knowing that fact, and yet on earth, there is mourning.
In the early years of our marriage, my husband was just too concerned about me. He didn’t want me to do weekend speaking retreats or to be gone too much anywhere. I would say to him, “Hon, I’m going to come back. I’ll be fine. I’m not going to die.” My assuring him, it didn’t seem to help.
Then one day I realized, I am lying!
The next time when I sensed my husband was worried about me, I spoke the truth, “Ross,” I stated, “I am going to die! Unless the Lord returns in my lifetime, someday I will die. And if it is God’s sovereign will that I die first, God will see you through as He did before.”
He smiled a half-smile. “Do you feel better now?” I asked.
“No!’ he announced.
THE TRUTH IS . . .
But life changed. He loosened his grip to the point that a few years ago when I was asked to travel out of the country for a month to minister to abused women in an area of the world where it is dangerous to be a Christian, my husband agreed for me to do this. When we were about to leave for the airport, a phone call came, “freeze!” Due to peril, all Christians involved with this trip were to stop all plans. But, my husband showed courage right up to his willingness to take me to the airport.
Jesus explained it this way, you will “know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NIV).
Scripture tells us, “it is appointed unto men once to die” (Heb.9:27 KJV). It’s not an appointment we like to think about, but it’s real and unless the Lord returns in your lifetime, it’s written on all of our calendars for some appointed day. Those in Christ Jesus, go home to live with Him … some day.
DECISIONS ... DECISIONS ...
Woman on this road share a bond. Yet, each woman's breast cancer journey is as unique as the woman herself. So what's the decision given that my husband traversed a dramatic, much more serious round of cancer treatment decisions previously with his young wife?
We did and will continue to seek the Lord for big and little miracles. We prayed and will pray, and family and friends have prayed, even strangers have prayed for me, too. But soon, this coming Tuesday, after being on a waiting list for six weeks -- it’s my turn for surgery.
It’s a newer surgery, only a choice for some cancer patients for the last five years. There are no statistics about long term results. My husband preferred it for me because I will go through the least amount of medical treatments doing this, we hope. Like many choices, this decision has risks. Though the wait was only six weeks part of the hope is that they do not find there was a change during that waiting time.
So, during this surgery the cancer will be removed and radiation will be placed inside me for an hour. Reconstruction will occur. And if all goes well, my husband will take me home later that day. A long time ago, when I had appendicitis, I spent a week in the hospital. Now, for this surgery, hopefully, I go home that day! Then, I wait for a pathology report and visit the doctor again . . . and again . . . and take a journey of years of trust -- a walk of faith -- that this battle is won.
Like other Chirstians, I have trod a road of sunrises and sunsets, decades of reliance on a faithful, loving Lord who has and will see me victoriously through this life whatever I face. It is a familiar well-worn path.
I BELIEVE . . .
I believe in the power of prayer alone for healing. Though it doesn’t always occur, it can and does happen.
I believe in the power of holistic choices for health. But that also can succeed or fail. My choice to use a natural product, turns out it had a cancer producing agent in it. That story is for another day.
I believe God has given wisdom to those who practice traditional medicine. Yet, that can be highly inadequate or very successful, too.
And most of all, I believe in the great PHYSICIAN himself, Christ who never fails.
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and that belief alone changed my life’s health condition, now and forever.
I believe in many things and I’m sure you do, too. But my faith is in CHRIST alone.
THE GREATEST TREATMENT
As you travel your own journey on the winding road of life, the greatest treatment that is the remedy for all you face in life today, and for the uncertainty of tomorrow, and will carry you into eternity ... is a belief and faith in Christ.
My husband’s young wife died of cancer. That influenced our present decision. But some day, if the Lord tarries, this wife will die, too. Someday, Jesus Christ will take me home -- and He will take you home, too, for those who are In Christ Jesus. Do you believe? I pray you do. Because I hope to see you there at that home, too.
I have the small “c” word. But, for my treatment, I believe and place my faith in the capital “C” WORD - Christ alone.
Audrey Marie Hessler