The look on the face of my gynaecologist after the scan said it all. Several minutes later, I heard the confirmation from my husband. On 3rd August 2002, I was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma (cancer) of the cervix. Two days later, I went for my x-ray and CITI scan for confirmation of the diagnosis. The cancer in my body was for real.
I was surprised that I was able to accept the diagnosis extremely calmly. My mum, uncle, sister and mother-in-law
had all passed away due to cancer? Yet when I received the bad news, I had a deep sense of inner peace and assurance which can only be from God. By nature I am a pessimistic person, yet God loves me and spared me the agony that others often face upon hearing that they have been diagnosed of cancer.
The cancer in my body was for real ...
My mum, uncle, sister and mother-in-law had all passed away due to cancer ...
I had my surgery done on 7th August 2002. This was my fourth surgery. This time was it was radical hysterectomy (removal of womb ovaries etc). It was a hard decision for both my husband and me. My husband had longed for our own children. But because of his love for me, he let go of his dream. The operation took about 5.5 hours and it went on very well without any blood transfusion. I want to thank God for the miracle. Three weeks later, I was discharged and ended up with the inconvenience of carrying the urine bag which I had to change every 2 weeks.
Five days after discharge, I went for another minor surgery to insert a chemo-port, an alien onto my body. The day after the insertion of the chemo-port, I started my radiation and chemotherapy concurrently for five weeks. During the treatment, I had to endure severe physical discomfort, emotional anguish, mental questioning and spiritual challenges. I began to ask ?Why me?? ?Why this torturing experience??
After 5 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, I was to rest for a month before I continued with another 3 sessions of chemotherapy on three weekly intervals which were stronger than the first 5 sessions of chemotherapy. During the one month rest, I went to another hospital to treat my bladder where I had to stay for 2 weeks. All in all I carried the urine bag for almost three months. I was wondering why it has to be this way.
It is not at all easy for me to recall the effects of chemotherapy. The strongest of the nastiest words will not fully portray what I went through. But God has shown me His love through His people. Many of my friends, members from my church, First Assembly of God, Kuala Lumpur, relatives and family from Australia, Hongkong, Taiwan, US have called and many have visited me during my hospitalization. Many have prayed for me earnestly. I really could not describe my deep appreciation for their care and love. Some of the members told me that they prayed for me everyday without fail. One of our church members said she woke up 2.00 - 3.00 every morning to pray for me. I truly appreciate their prayers. I know without their support in terms of care, love and prayers, it would have been much, much more difficult and depressing to go through this torturing experience.
The most amazing experience is the sense of inner peace within me although at times I experienced depression during the period of my treatment. I was not frightened of death because my hope is in Jesus and death is only a gateway to meet and stay with Him in eternity. Though I do not know the future but I know God holds my future. I also began to realise that life is short and therefore I need to treasure every second God has given to me. In such adverse circumstances, I can still choose to make the best of my life even though I cannot control my future.
During my treatment, I was asking myself why God allowed me to go through what I went through because I believe there must be a purpose and a lesson to be learned from each circumstance that we are in. One month after finishing my treatment, my sister was also diagnosed with cancer. Even though it was inconvenient to me, I invited her to stay with us so that I can take care of her. I took her to the hospital for her treatment every day for 5 weeks. It was only when I took care of my sister that I understood why God had allowed me to go through this sickness. God let me experience the torture and trauma in order that He can use me to help those who are going through this same illness. I could understand my sister?s feelings and thoughts better. I could identify and empathize with her. My support and love to her during the last days of her last journey in life flowed from my experience and my own journey. She passed away peacefully without much suffering and struggles. We know that we will see each other again one day in eternity.
After finishing my treatment, my sister was also diagnosed with cancer ...
It was a trying time for my family and me. But I thank my God for He led me and my family through the most difficult period of my life with His love. God was certainly my strength, my shelter and definitely my only source of real hope during those days of physical discomfort, emotional anguish, mental doubts and spiritual challenges.
I am grateful for my friends, members from my church, relatives and family members for their prayers, visiting me while I was in the hospital and at home, sending me to the hospital for my treatment, doing the marketing, cooking for me, their kind words and encouragement and their support in one way or another. Last but not least my special thanks to my dearest husband who has been my greatest encouragement.
My God has not only spared my life, He also brought me to a greater appreciation of His goodness and faithfulness. I am now emotionally, mentally and spiritually stronger than before my treatment. This is not due to my being an optimistic and strong-willed person but rather due to the extra mercy and grace which I had experienced from God during those torturing days. My God deserves all the glory and honor.
Both my husband and I would like to volunteer to assist any family who is going through a similar torturing experience. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .May God bless you.
By Fang Kim Bea