I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
On December 14, 2005, I was diagnosed with the breast cancer (third level). The news came as a complete surprise and caught me totally unprepared. It was definitely the worst day of my life but what made it even worse was that I was quite well informed about cancer and therefore had some idea of what to expect. I had mixed emotions; but the thought that immediately crossed my mind was “what have I done to deserve this.” However, when I look back at the events of the last eight or so months, I now understand that GOD wanted to develop His character in my life and to know He loves me.
Two days later (December 16, 2005), I underwent mastectomy. When the nurses and OT technicians shifted me to the OT table, I asked the Lord to “let the hands of the doctors be Yours. I’ve laid my life into Your hands, so please take charge of the surgery and all further treatment.” The surgery was successful and I believe it was because God was in control.
As you can imagine, it was a difficult time, but my family and I experience so many miracles during this time, that it became an enriching experience instead. We saw God provide us with finances for the surgery and treatment. We were initially worried about finances, but God knows our needs and opened doors for us. He is a trustworthy God. It is written,
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him
[Ps. 34: 8].
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing
[Ps. 34:10] “.
We also experienced His help while seeking dates for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was very difficult to get early dates and there is a waiting period of about six months. But with the help of our Lord we were able to get a date immediately. I was given 6 (six) three weekly cycles of chemotherapy and 25 (twenty-five) cycles of radiation every day, after surgery. This was a particularly difficult period. I experienced severe body aches, vomiting, infection in the gums and the oesophagus, depressions, frustrations and a general lack of interest in life. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father who gave me the peace to know that He will always be there for us. He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust [Psalm 91: 2].
I also experienced Gods protection and this incident illustrates it very aptly. After taking my first chemotherapy cycle, I was very sick. There was infection in my throat and oesophagus. I thought the pain in the throat was due to tonsillitis, so I took antibiotics. But after taking it my condition worsened. After taking the third capsule at about 9 p.m. I went to sleep. Someone woke me up at around 1.30 a.m. and told me that I was suffering from an antibiotic reaction. I rushed to the bathroom and vomited the entire capsule (it had not dissolved), which I had taken at 9 p.m., just as I had taken it. I immediately felt better. I know that it was the voice of God that woke me up, because “Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep*. [Ps. 121:4]
During this period, I really felt the presence of God with me. He was with me always. After every cycle of chemotherapy, I would develop fever. I decided I would not take medicine anymore. Instead, I called a Pastor and asked him to pray for me and he told me that I have such strong faith that I would receive healing immediately. Within minutes of praying the fever had gone. I encourage you to trust in the Lord and He will answer your prayers. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God [Ps. 20: 7].
During radiation, I met several ladies with the same kind of cancer and undergoing similar treatment, complaining about various side effects and not being able to eat properly. But Praise God I never experienced such side effects. I knew that Lord is with me and He has promised us that ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’. [Heb. 13:5] While we do not know what the future has in store for us we can trust in God, knowing that “the plans I have for us,” declares the LORD, are plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future*. [Jeremiah. 29:11] I find myself closer to HIM than anybody else and I love HIM more than ever. During this period, the support of my husband, my daughter’s motivation, the love of my mother and family and the encouragement of friends gave me strength to go on. Now that I have completed treatment and rejoined work, I am slowly returning to a ‘normal life’. I know I’ll definitely win this fight against CANCER because If God be for us, who can be against us? [Rom. 8: 31]. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.[ Is. 53:4-5].
And ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me’. Phil 4:13
The joy of the LORD is my strength. [Nehemiah. 8:10]