Just a note today to say belated Happy Birthday to my sweet grandma who died of colon cancer (stage 4) in 1995. In her case, she found out she had late stage cancer (stage 4) and had postponed going to the doctor for a long while even though she had suspicions that she was very sick. I was young then… just recently married and working full time, so I didn’t get to see her but a few times during the three months that we knew she was sick before she passed. She was 66 when she found out she was sick, in May, and she passed away on August 30th, on her 67th birthday.
My grandma was one of the most influential people in my life. I suspect that was the case for many people… since the line of cars during her funeral shut down traffic for what seemed like miles. She was one of those people who never had an ill word to say about anyone and always opened her home and heart.
Exactly 21 years after my grandma passed away, I was diagnosed with colon cancer in the same month she passed away. They wanted to do all sorts of expensive tests to see if it was genetic, but I declined. According to all the research I’ve done, less than 20% of cancer is hereditary. The rest is based on environmental exposures from the world around you and the food you ingest. Sadly, people who live in rural areas are exposed to a lot more toxins from cropdusting, weed control chemicals, and the like. They also spray more for bugs… as was the case with my grandma, forever carrying a bucket of bug spray to keep the spiders and scorpions away from the house. We won’t ever get our millions of dollars for losing her, or be able to prove that was why, but she was worth millions to me.
Fortunately, I was able to find out about my cancer before I was stage four, but even with stage four, today, there are survivors who have managed to beat the odds. I wish that she had the knowledge that is available today. I wish I could have gone to her house and made her carrot juice every morning, cooked for her, and gave her supplements and helped her get well. She was irreplaceable.
I have to remind myself, though, that God ordains our time here. “If there are days for us to have, we shall have them,” said my friend Irene, when I was in the struggle of making the decision to either choose chemo or natural methods for healing. God is on either path, and He knows the number of our days. There are no accidents. One day we all will meet our maker.
It is always nice to get good news on the health front, though. For the past two years I have gone every three months to my oncologist’s office so she could monitor my blood. I have had a sonogram on my abdomen twice and a colonoscopy once (since having surgery to remove part of my colon, 20-something lymph nodes, and repair the sack around my organs). I didn’t do the chemo, opting instead for lots and lots of carrot juice, CBD oil, mistletoe injections, supplements, organic food, medicinal teas, herbs, and more. Most healing of all, though, has been my prayer life and trust in the God my grandmother helped to share with me through her faith, love and prayers. Forgiveness, hope, faith, and peace bring healing. Nothing can trump God’s will, but Christian friends praying for you has power like nothing else.
So in honor of Mawmaw, I wanted to share my latest update. I’m sure she would have celebrated with me if she could. So would have my mama, who lived her whole life in a medical struggle with Type 1 diabetes which eventually took her home to Jesus. I think God knew she couldn’t deal with diabetes AND cancer. She had enough on her plate. Being without these two women has been more than difficult on me, but I continue to lean on Jesus and the grief is not keeping me down. I have my moments, but I’m kept busy with the boys – thank God for little boys to homeschool.
Last week or so, I had my regular three month oncologist appointment and as of August 2018, I now have graduated to six month check-ups. My vitamin D levels have risen since starting my supplements, even though they are not where I would like to keep them… they are a far cry from where they were three months ago. My tumor marker numbers (which they use to judge whether you have active spreading of colon cancer because colon cancer does not spike white blood cells) is below normal levels, meaning there is likely very little or no activity creating tumors in my body currently. It has consistently been below one on the charts and she said it was normal for it to get up to three. I hover at .07 on almost every blood draw except for one where I was slightly above 1. I had worried that the stress of losing my mama and our current moving dilemma would have set me back, but thanks be to God, I am doing good.
So here’s to Mawmaw, mama, my good news, and many, many more years to bless my family and friends and enjoy this beautiful life God has given me. I told someone else today who contacted me for help with a friend who was diagnosed with cancer… I’m not sorry I got cancer. It has changed the way I look at life. It has made me less stressed, more forgiving, more purposeful, and more appreciative. As Chris Beat Cancer says, “Cancer is not a death sentence, it’s a wake up call.” Sure, some of us may not be willing to do WHATEVER it takes (including all the health nut things) to get well. Some people just love their fast food too much. Sure, some people may be too advanced to have time to heal naturally, and may be too far advanced for even western procedures. But then again… people die every day from auto accidents, accidental overdoses, and every other cause you can think of (IE: dumb ways to die). We all have a dash to spend here… the one between birth and death on our tombstone. I pray that each of us uses ours the best way possible to impact the world for good and shape the future to build Christ’s Kingdom. This life is a vapor. Eternity is where it’s at!
One day I’ll be seeing you again, Mawmaw and Mama… until then… I hope you have pie in the sky, by and by! No carrot juice required up there!
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. I won’t steer you wrong, though… go click them and buy some amazing stuff to fight cancer with. And for the record – I’m not a doctor and this post is not medical advice.