One year ago I was at MD Anderson for a second opinion. The cancer had returned in my lungs. It was inoperable. Radiation was not an option, and for the rest of my life I would be on chemotherapy. I had six months to a year to live.
Every time I say this or share it, I have to stop for a minute.
I’ve been told three times in the last five years “cancer has returned”, but this last time was different. Cutting or burning the cancer out was not an option this time; I was shaken. I met with a new oncologist, I was now at MD Anderson having my labs and scans redone. I was hopeful and believing God for a better report. However, the results confirmed the cancer had returned. Prognosis was the same. I remember my daughter asked the oncologist “if chemotherapy gets rid of the cancer, can my mom stop treatment?” The doctor turned to her and said slowly and kindly, “chemo can’t do that.” In essence, the treatment would keep me alive until I chose to not take it anymore.
Two weeks later I had a port put back in. My son surprised me with a visit from Kentucky to take me. You may have seen that picture on facebook. The following week I began treatment of 5FU, Irinotecan, and a monoclonal antibody therapy. I didn’t share this publicly. I kept this within a small circle of family and friends for prayer. Scott and I felt this was a battle to fight privately. So that’s what we did. We prayed, stood on God’s Word, and believed.
I despised the black, rough, ugly shoulder bag that made a click every minute chemotherapy was administered into my body. It dispensed the harsh chemicals over a 48 hour period. If it dropped off of my shoulder, it would pull the tube out of the port, and would spill. A Toxic Hazard Spill kit was always close by. I hated the touch of it, the smell of it, the sound of it. One day, as I was swimming in my hatred for this toxic bag strapped to my body, I felt the Lord so sweetly say, ‘don’t despise that bag. I’m going to use it to confound the wise. I’m going to do what the doctors said can’t be done.” He had my attention. I said, ‘yes sir’, and immediately my perspective changed. I decided at that very moment to trust God and spend time encouraging others, instead of focusing on my situation.
Perspective is a powerful thing. It can ruin any situation or better it. Even if we have faith to move mountains, if our perspective is wrong, our faith is weakened. From what point of view are we really looking at our situations? From down below, where the situation looks enormous or from above where it appears smaller ? We could even say from God’s perspective, his point of view. It really is our choice.
Today as I am here at MD Anderson again, I am grateful. Grateful to still be alive. Grateful to be able enjoy my husband, kids, grand children, friends and everyone I come in contact with daily. My point of view is from a grateful heart that colors every situation a beautiful hue of thankfulness. Yes, it truly is perspective.
You may be wondering about chemotherapy. May 2022 after a mere eight treatments, in spite of my prognosis, doctors took me off all chemotherapy- just like God said He was going to do. I am here today just for the monoclonal antibody therapy. God is faithful.