Year of first diagnosis: 2011
Kind of cancer: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
I discovered a pair of lumps in my left armpit. I was aware that they could be cancerous. I finally went to my physician when they didn’t go away after a few months. He referred me to a surgeon for a biopsy.
I vividly recall sitting in the surgeon’s office with my wife Kaye waiting to hear the results. The news was devastating to us. Non-Hodgkins’s Lymphoma. He referred us to an oncologist at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion. It was time to pray.
The oncologist ordered a pet-scan. Unfortunately it had spread throughout my body. I was rated #4 on a scale of 1-4. It was time for more prayer.
I was scheduled to endure two chemotherapies for eight months. The first was Rituxan which is relatively mild. The second was CHOP, a hard chemo, which is nasty with awful side effects. It was time for much more prayer.
Kaye was wonderful during the whole experience. She sent out letters and e-mails to friends and family asking for prayer support. Wow, did we get it! We ended up on the prayer list of virtually every church in our community, across Michigan and several other states also.
As I went through the treatments, I was tolerating the chemo reasonably well. The side effects were not nice but far milder than for some other patients. After the sixth month I had another pet-scan. Great news came the next day – the cancer was gone. I was done two months early! Prayers were answered. Thank you, God.
I am now in the second year of maintenance and my life is progressively returning to normal. There were time I felt very alone, but never without God’s presence. A particular bible scripture that meant a lot to me during my trials is in Daniel Chapter 3. Daniel’s three friends were confronted by the king of Babylon. If they would not serve the king’s gods they would be burned to death. Their reply was, “Our God is able to deliver us, but even if he doesn’t, we will perish before we serve your gods.” God did deliver them. I rested in the fact that God would not abandon me regardless of what would happen. I refused to give in to fear and depression, or to give up. Only God truly understands what we are going through in our trials.
I so appreciated all of the love and support I received from my family, friends and churches, and also the outstanding care I received from the medical staff that served us. Thank you, God, for answering our prayers.