I feel like standing on the Rooftops and shouting aloud about the Goodness of our God. I want to share with the whole world about his great love and mercy for His people and how He has so gently led my family and I through one of the darkest periods of our lives.
It started almost 2 years ago with a diagnosis of Cancer, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma to be exact and it was terrifying, the questions, fears, tears all flowed freely for a while until the Lord finally got through to us that He would be with us throughout this ordeal.
We had a reprieve for about a year, and life went on as normal until I noticed the Lump on the side of my husband’s neck. It grew so fast and was getting bigger by the day. When I finally convinced him to go to the doctor and have it checked out, the results were worse than we originally thought. He would need the full chemotherapy treatments, immediately as it had become life threatening.
We were thrown into a world of appointments, doctors, endless tests and emergency room visits as well as many needles. Then came the time for the chemo drugs and it was brutal, the first treatment I thought to myself, there is no way that he would make it through this, this is so bad, he was so sick and miserable and I was a wreck.
Thankfully, the Lord had reminded me just before we started all of these treatments, that He would be with us, that He would not leave us therefore I could trust Him for the outcome, whatever that might be.
He graciously held off all of the horrific side effects that you hear about with patients on Chemotherapy, and even though my husband did feel nauseous on more than a few occasions, we learnt how to help him through it.
There were certainly other struggles along the way, like 2 hospital stays and countless restless nights, tingling of the feet and a loss of sensation in his hands and feet. He has also experienced the horror of his hair falling out in huge clumps, and I have to admit for me that was the worst, as it was a solid fact at that point that he indeed had Cancer.
He had set up beforehand a source of Provision for our family through my husband’s employer, who graciously agreed to pay him a management fee whether he could work much or not. That in my books is a miracle!!!!
He surrounded us with people who prayed a lot for us as sometimes to be honest, I had no words to pray, I was exhausted and I did not know how to pray for my husband or myself as we trudged along the road.
He motivated a friend of mine to faithfully bring a meal to us once a week, for a few months, that was incredible and such a blessing. He opened up the way for my youngest daughter to go to two summer camps that I did not have to pay for and then another friend took her with to an amusement park for the day.
When my little one could not get over a cold a friend took her in for 4 days so that we could protect my husband as his immune system was compromised due to the chemotherapy drugs.
Another blessing that came was in the form of telephone calls, drop in visits, tea with friends, and lots of love from all around us, sustained us in the moments where we thought we could not take another step!
Around the middle of all of this when I was feeling particularly down one day, I believe the Lord gave me a picture of a long distance race and that at that moment of our race we were at a pit stop. You see, marathon runners don’t run a whole long race without having any pit stops along the way, there are places of refreshment, where they can get water or whatever else they need. It refreshes them and then they are able to continue their race. That is what he was giving to me at that moment, a pit stop, a refueling for the Journey ahead. I was so excited, because the word of God started to come alive to me again, and I felt full of joy and able to keep going.
One of the phrases that the Lord brought my attention to at that time was what King David said, “He strengthened himself in the Lord” David’s men had turned against him and wanted to stone him but David turned to the Lord and because he did the Lord strengthened him.
So I asked the Lord to show me how he wanted to strengthen me at this time, and he took me to Psalm 84
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
A long time ago I had set my heart on a pilgrimage to seek the Lord and to walk in his ways and so even when I walked through deep valleys with weeping, because I had the Lord within my life I would go from strength to strength, not defeated and crushed, but actually able to thrive in a hard place. Thank you Lord!
Another verse that he led me to was found in Psalm 103
Psalm 103:13- 14
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
The Lord reminded me through this verse that he knew I was struggling at that time with my emotions and that the fear of my husband dying and the fear of being alone in this world were real to me, but he had compassion on me and was comforting me so that I could be strengthened and carryon. I felt so very grateful and so much stronger at that moment.
The last verse that he took me to at that time was;
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
I realized at that Point how gracious the Lord had been to me already throughout the entire walk through this valley of Cancer and how he had brought encouragement and strength when I needed it and now I could confidently Rest in the Lord for he truly had been good to me.
I sighed a sigh of Relief when I realized that the Lord was indeed taking care of me in ways that went beyond my understanding at the time and I could trust him to see me and my family through it all.
By this time we still had 3 more chemo treatments to face but God remained faithful, with bringing more good news to our home and the good news was that after the did the fourth round of chemo the Doctor had ordered a CT Scan of my husband’s body they discovered that the Cancer was gone!!!!!
Yes you heard me right, it was gone, they wanted to complete the treatment regiment, which we agreed to do. We were ecstatic, but to be honest we did not understand the full ramifications of it all until later when we were referred to another doctor who would do a Bone Marrow Transplant on my husband.
It is a dangerous procedure as they completely destroy his immune system. I cannot tell you I was thrilled about this news and tried heard to encourage my husband but with my own concerns we really were no good for one another.
The great news is that the Transplant doctor told us that she was not prepared to do a transplant at this time due to the fact that he had responded so well to the chemotherapy. We danced a happy dance at that news. She told us the news that every cancer patients longs to hear, You are in Full Remission!
Friends, my husband is in full remission from this cancer and the long term diagnosis is good, and I know without a doubt that without God, leading us to the right doctors, getting the right drugs, setting up prayer teams for us and a myriad of other details that he orchestrated on our behalf we would not have come through this in the way we have.
God is our healer, and he heard the cries of his people on behalf of my husband and has brought healing to his body.
I am so very thankful and grateful to the Lord for all that he has done for us; I have not enough words to express how my heart truly feels.
We have one more step to go through with the doctors and that is for them to Harvest his stem cells and store them for future use, but I know even through that procedure God is with us and will see us through!
Therefore my heart soars and sings, TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!
I would like to leave you with this Psalm that aptly describes my desire to give praise to the Lord for his work on our behalf.
Psalm 100:1-5 A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.