This testimony was written by a close friend of mine and sister in Christ. I remember the day she went to the hospital, the grueling surgery that followed, the phone call that floored me when she told me she was diagnosed with cancer, and feeling the fear of it all. During my visits with her in the hospital, what stands out in my mind was how strong and determined she was. The following is her testimony of healing from Jesus Christ her Lord, Savior, and Healer…
Most of us know someone who has had cancer. As you know, having cancer can put a halt to almost every part of life. I remember the day my life came to a jolting halt. It was Father’s Day, June 17, 2001.
I had been suffering from digestive problems for years, but the severe weakness and flu-like symptoms had gotten worse. Just days before, I had been to the urgent care and was diagnosed with Hepatitis. But, that Sunday morning, I still ended up going to the emergency room with jaundice, weakness, and dehydration. I was so used to nothing happening that I was surprised at how fast paced it all went. I was taken to get an ultra sound, as well as a urine and blood test, and then left to wait for the results. I was told I was being transported to Santa Barbra to have a kidney stone removed from my small intestine.
The next morning, I had a tube inserted down my throat to remove the kidney stone. However, when I woke up, I was informed that it was not a kidney stone, but a large tumor that needed to be removed in the next few days. That was my only option, as the tumor was shutting down my small intestines. I had two days until surgery.
The doctors prepared me for the worse-case scenario, that when they go in to remove the tumor, they might find cancer. And, there would not be much that could be done for me! I tried to stay hopeful, even though I was being prepared for a twelve-hour surgery that would remove almost half of my small intestines, half of my stomach, half of my pancreas, and my gall bladder. Time would tell if I would need a colostomy bag, be diabetic, or have other long-term complications.
I was in shock, to say the least! But, I had to keep it together for my kids. I did the only thing I knew to do in a time of crisis. I prayed! I prayed for strength, hope, and for life. “Oh Lord, surely you are not through with me yet. I don’t want to die. I’m so scared. Please be with my children and comfort and protect them, always. If it be your will, I want to see my kids get married, and hold my grandkids. I want to make a difference. Please, Lord, I know you have more for me.” That night, before I went to sleep, I literally heard a soft voice say, “I will be your comfort and strength for what lies ahead.”
The morning of my Whipple Surgery, I had two separate interns say to me, “You know, this could be cancer, and if this is cancer, there is nothing we can do for you. You know that right?” I simply said, “You are only telling me what you know as practicing doctors. My Heavenly Father is my Real Physician, and until He says I have cancer, I will not believe it. So, please leave my room and do not come back speaking death over me again.” Yeah, they thought I was nuts.
After the surgery, the surgeon told me the tumor was indeed cancerous. It was the size of a cantaloupe, which wrapped itself around my intestines and was shutting down the flow of anything going in or coming out. It had also spread to at least two nearby lymph nodes and attached itself to my stomach and pancreas. Since not much was known about this type of cancer at the time, I was diagnosed with stage four or five duodenal carcinoma.
There was no set course of action, for this type of cancer was so unusual. So rare, that it is usually not discovered until people are in their mid-seventies, and by then, it has spread too far to treat. They told me the Hospital Cancer Board would meet and determine what my treatment would be. At one point, I over heard someone tell my daughter that I would be lucky just to leave the hospital, let alone live six months to a year.
Eventually, I did get to go home. There were visiting nurses, feeding tubes, oncology appointments, and so forth. Talk about scared. I didn’t know any of the terminology and the more computer research I did, the scarier it got. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. I tried to stay positive and allowed no negativity around me.
But, it seemed everyone found it necessary to tell me their cancer story, usually a breast cancer story, and they were all sad. Many ended in a death from the cancer, or cancer related problems. There were times I literally had to ask people to just leave, as they all had their opinions and were convinced they knew what was best for me. I was told I did not have enough faith, that I didn’t have the Holy Spirit in me, and the list just went on. But, I also had friends that knew how to pray, encourage, build up, cheer up, and love me where and as I was.
On September 1, 2001, I began chemotherapy and radiation. After several treatments, I started having pancreas problems and chemotherapy was discontinued. I cried because I thought I was going to die. I prayed God would give me the right treatment, and now they were taking it away from me! My only thoughts were, “How could they do this to me, God? Are you really going to let me die? And yet, I heard… “Trust me”.
Was I that desperate, that I begged for chemotherapy? Where was my faith now? Who was in charge? God, or the many doctors I had poking and prodding me? Radiation continued daily, for five weeks. Chronic pancreatitis set in, along with chronic pain and the doctor check-ups continued every month, then every six months. And here I am twelve years later!
I take enzymes with each meal to help digest foods, and I currently have a mal-absorbing problem, and a Vitamin A deficiency, which could cause me to lose my eye sight. Am I worried? No, I am not, even though my doctor said it was impossible for me to bring my vitamin count up to normal on my own. I have no reason to worry.
I have watched my kids and my five grandchildren grow up. The doctors continue to look at me in amazement. They say I don’t look like a Whipple Surgery cancer patient. I am blessed, as I do not have a colostomy bag and I am not diabetic. I am alive and cancer free! Even though I feel like I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I did my best to fear no evil, because His rod and His staff comforted and guided me. Yes, He was my strength for what was before me. Some call me lucky but, I know I am blessed. He’s not done with me yet!
As of today August 8, 2014, I went to my doctor’s appointment and found out that my Vitamin A count has gone way up… to normal! This is the first time in over a year that I am in the safe zone with my Vitamin A. My upcoming doctor appointment with the specialists at UCLA has been canceled. And, I am going to work hard and trust the Lord that He will keep it that way. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I look up to the hills from where my help comes from, the maker of Heaven and Earth! “My doctor was right. I could not raise my Vitamin A count on my own. But God! With God, all things are possible!” Matthew 19:26
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Copyright Kimberly Elizabeth McCune 2014