I was teaching my Sunday School class on March seventh and it was Moses reminding the Israelites to look back and remember all the times God had cared for them and kept His promises. My heart quickened and I decided to share my journey with the class.
It started in January 2017 when I discovered a lump under my arm and so began rounds of testing and scans.The biopsy showed that it was malignant and all my plans changed. The scans showed spots in my lungs but not what kind of cancer. It was decided after eliminating other options that it was probably Melanoma since I had it on my arm in 2005.
On March 8th I had an appointment with an oncologist to get acquainted and discuss going forward. I walk into his office and after he greeted me he said “ you have 6 months to live.” Seeing my shocked expression he went on to tell me that with treatment maybe 2 years.
After making appointments for installing a port and more testing I made my way home.
I walk into the breezeway from the garage and my daughter is waiting for me with my granddaughter who is wearing a shirt that says ,” Only child expires in October “. I was surprised because I knew this was not the timeframe they had planned. She laughed and said that a couple of weeks ago she had an infection and needed to use antibiotics and they interfered with her other medication.
It took a moment to grasp what had just happened. The precise timing for her to be waiting to tell me this news, on the day when I had just been given such grave news left me with with such overwhelming joy . It was in that moment that I realized it was going to be okay God was in control and Isaiah 43:1-2 came to mind “Fear not ,for I redeemed you; I have called you by my name, and you are mine. When you pass through the waters,I will be with you .”
That night I prayed that God would show me the way forward especially with a new oncologist. The next day meeting with my breast cancer specialist I mentioned that I think I needed to have an oncologist who specializes in Melanoma and she informed me of a doctor who was doing clinical trials at University Hospital. I left her office that day with an appointment to see Dr K.
A couple of weeks later after more testing I go up to Chagrin to meet with the new team to see if I was a candidate for the trial. And in walks Dr K a big guy with a big smile and a firm handshake. He tells me that he can help me and that I’m a candidate for the trial but he has one question for me. “What do I have to live for?” I get out my phone and show him a picture of my 1 and1/2 year old granddaughter. I got my schedule to start my infusions every 3 weeks for at least 2and 1/2 years.
On the first morning on my way to Chagrin for my first treatment the song “Even If “ by Mercy Me was playing and everything I was feeling was in that song.
And so the years went by infusions ,labs ,scans and extreme tiredness but the cancer was diminishing. I was almost done with my treatment when one of the doctors, also helping with the clinical trials, informed me that she had voted against me being a candidate for the trial since she didn’t think I would be around to finish the treatment.
So it’s been 4 years since I was diagnosed and given a pretty grim outlook but I’m thankful it’s God who numbers our days because since then I’ve been blessed with my son getting married to a wonderful woman and 2 more grandchildren.
Thanks for reading my story and letting me praise my awesome God!
The question is not Why me? but why not me?
Here are the lyrics to the song that is my testimony :
“It’s easy to sing when there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say when I’m held to the flame like I am right now
They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain
Well good thing a little faith is all I have right now
But God when you choose to leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing It is well with my soul
I know You’re able and I know you can
Save through the fire with your mighty hand
But even if you don’t My hope is in you alone”