In January 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer. As my husband and I were sitting there listening to what the doctor said, the probable treatment that would be necessary along with surgery, I think I was in a state of shock, where as my husband began to cry. The doctor looked at my husband and said, “you’re taking this harder than she is!”
As we walked out of the doctors’ office into the hallway of the UT Medical Center I told my husband that I wanted to call my mom but I first wanted him and I to pray. So we just stopped there in the hallway outside the doctors’ office and began to pray.
When we got in the car I called my mother and could barely whisper the words to her that I’d been diagnosed with cancer and just asked her to pray with me, which of course she did. I then called my children and my brother, each and everyone of them had prayer with me over the phone as we were heading down the road to our home.
As soon as we got home I went to my Bible and began to look up “healing” scriptures. I wrote down approximately 30 of them and then typed them out on the computer and made five copies which I taped in areas of my home. Places that I knew I would see God’s words to me day and night in the coming days, weeks, possibly years ahead of chemo and radiation treatments.
In meeting with the Oncoligist and the Radiologist Oncologist, I was informed that my type of radiation and the location of where the radiation was being pinpointed would be the second worse type of radiation that a woman’s could go through, the worst being the mouth area. I was also told that I would be wearing a chemo “infusion pump” one week at a time. I had no idea what the doctors were talking about but I was given booklets and a DVD to study and learn what I would be going through and what each technical term meant. They had informed that I would have a day surgery to have a port inserted into my chest so that blood can be drawn and a PICC line can be inserted for my chemo treatment.
I begin those treatments on a daily basis on March 26 of 2012, the day before my 65th birthday.
Every day for the next several months, as soon as our “morning show” was over, my husband would drive me to UT Medical Center to receive those treatments.
My actual chemo treatment consisted of going into the cancer suite on Monday and receiving a two hour treatment where they would inject the chemo. After that a tube (PICC line) was inserted into my port. The PICC line was hooked to an electronic-like box called an “infusion pump” that was about 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 2 inches deep. This pump would begin to put chemo into my body literally every minute of everyday until Friday afternoon when I would go back to the hospital and one of the nurses would remove the tube and pump.
On Monday through Friday, I literally slept with this pump, ate with it, showered with it, and sang with it…all the while it continued to inject into my bloodstream.
The “wardrobe mistress”
for Fee Hedrick Entertainment, Carol Culp, was a dear friend of mine and she made a purse like carrying bag for me to wear, especially on the stage when I felt like singing.
The fourth morning of chemo, as I was getting ready to go to the theater to perform our show, I was brushing through my hair and it fell out in large clumps. I called to my husband to come into the bathroom. I looked at him and said, I’ve lost all of my hair. Then two months into Radiation, I had third-degree burns from it. The doctor came in after treatment on one of those days and said he was giving me two weeks off from treatment for my skin to regenerate. You see, my skin was charred and blackened, anything that touched it, the skin would peel off in layers and it would leave red, running, painful blisters.
Up until then, I would go in to perform on our morning show and barely get through the show, sometimes half of a show, sometimes just one song. And then wearing clothes was no longer a possibility with the way my skin was peeling off and the pain and nausea I was having.
That day in the radiation treatment room when the doctor told me he was giving me two weeks off, he also said that my life was literally in Gods’ hands. He went on to say, “if you live you will be in a wheelchair with a colostomy the rest of your life.”
I walked out of that treatment room in a daze. At this time I could barely walk because of weakness, extreme weight loss, nausea, and the condition of my skin but when I walked into the reception area, I said nothing to RW, my husband. he got me out in the car, took me home. I walked into my bedroom and begin to scream at God.
“Okay God, if you want to take me…then just take me now! I’m ready to go! I don’t want to put my family through anymore pain. So take me now!!! But if you still have something left for me to do, then you need to heal me.”
I began to notice things were happening in my body in the next few weeks and apparently the doctors did too so they begin to order more testing. On December 16 of 2012 I was sitting in an exam room waiting for my colorectal specialist to come in and when he finally opened the door he stood there pointing his finger at me and finally said “I pronounce you cured of cancer”! Those were wonderful words to hear!
I AM CANCER FREE! Those are the most amazing words a cancer patient can hear.
Every several months in 2013 I went in for CT scans and blood work to be done. On December 28th of 2013, Dr. Miller, my Oncologist, told my husband and I that he and the other doctors conferring on my particular case had agreed that it was my determination and my faith that made me whole.
I know it was the faith in God and His Word that got me Through It All. I can always depend upon God and His Word and so can you! No matter how big or how small your issue may be, my God is able!