The Lord was with me every step. He woke me up at five in the morning on Lydia’s birth date to tell me I was starting labor. Really? A few minutes later . . . I was in so much pain I wanted to kill something.
After having Lydia, I had to face reality because putting off treatment was over. I had spent my pregnancy studying natural medicine, and my doctor connected me with a local man who was dying of prostate cancer, but had refused surgery, chemo, and radiation. Instead, he’d visited a hospital in Mexico where he was cured naturally. He’s sixty and feels seventeen again. I spoke with him, and he put me in touch with the facility. I prayed before I called the hospital, and the Lord told me to have surgery. I was stunned. I thought for sure He’d step in and heal me naturally, give me this big miracle to brag about and how it was a reward from Him for having faith. He gave me permission to call the Mexican hospital, probably so I wouldn’t have that “what-if” hanging over my head. I called them, and two different doctors—one of them was the same one who’d treated the local man with cancer—told me there is no natural cure for the cancer I had. Surgery and radiation was my only option.
At this point, when I wept, it wasn’t for myself. I was scared I’d do the wrong thing and mess it up and make the Lord look bad or that He failed.
I had surgery. The night before, a prophecy was spoken over me. It’s another long story, but it gave me comfort that I would love the Lord like Peter, the main character in my novels. (The person who spoke the prophecy has never read my manuscripts!) The next day, I woke up from surgery behind curtains. The room was large and full of people who were also coming out of anesthesia—cursing, screaming, vomiting repeatedly, lunging at nurses. Me? I had prayed for protection beforehand, so I woke up staring at the beautiful artwork on the ceiling. Then I found out I had a male nurse and a female nurse, and their names were Jay and Dianne. My main character’s parents’ names are James and Dianne! If I hadn’t been drugged, I’m pretty sure I would’ve jolted in a double-take. Combine that with the prophecy from the night before, and it was yet another sign that the Lord was with me.
When I was finally well enough to stand and walk again, I looked in the bathroom mirror, expecting to appear beastly after surgery. I looked younger! When the cafeteria employee delivered my breakfast the next morning, he thought he had the wrong room because I looked ten years younger than my age. Hahaha…. I love God!
The doctors warned me that after having my thyroid removed, my parathyroid glands would be “stunned” and unable to regulate my calcium levels, so I would have to take calcium supplements for a while following surgery.
Eight days after surgery, I was attacked by a dog. Thankfully, I pepper sprayed it before it got to me, but the stress messed with my hormones and my calcium levels dropped. I was locked out of the house with the kids in the backseat. (Another long story.) I couldn’t drive anywhere in that condition, and the hospital was about twenty miles away—with construction taking up one-third of that distance. So I called Matt home from work to unlock the house. (Still faster than an ambulance driving through construction.)
I sat in the car and waited for his arrival. My brain turned to mush quick, and I could feel myself beginning to lose consciousness. I called Matt, but he didn’t answer. I called a friend, and she kept me talking so I’d stay with it. My ability to speak tanked fast, and I had a delay responding to questions. As I lay slumped over the center console—feeling my muscles tightening more and more by the minute, I prayed for God’s help, and He assured me I would live. By the time Matt arrived home, my body was so stiff he couldn’t pick me up or carry me. He dragged me into the house, and it took serious effort. He gave me Vitamin D and calcium and took care of the kids. I was telling him what had happened with the dog when my heart started to fail. I could feel something wasn’t right in my chest. Then I realized my heart was slowing down too much, and slowing down more and more. I remembered the Lord’s promise that I wouldn’t die in this scare, and He put a visual in my mind of an old rescue inhaler. I told Matt to get it, and I took a couple of puffs and the medication boosted my heart rate! I had Matt massage my calves to prevent blood from pooling and keep it flowing freely back to my heart. That was the scariest ordeal of surgery.
A couple of days after that, I visited with the surgeon for my pathology result. Most of the doctors had told me I had an “easy win,” and that because I was a young female, surgery alone would probably be enough. They doubted that the disease had spread much. The pathology report surprised us all. In surgery, they had taken out several lymph nodes, and all but two of them had tested positive for cancer. The surgeon said that my young age was the only reason my case was stage 1. If I had been just ten years older, it would’ve been stage 3. He said I needed radiation.
The battle continues in Part IV.
Michelle ~ “We love Him, because He first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19
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