My name is Pam……….The year was April 1992 – I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma breast cancer in my left breast. I remember questioning “Why me God” and having the overwhelming feeling of, “Why not me”? I had always shied away from actual contact with someone that had received a “cancer diagnosis” for no other reason than just not knowing what to say to them or how to comfort them. In my 20 year journey God has used my experience with this dreaded disease to minister to others. He has opened many avenues in the area of listening, sharing, supporting, praying with and for others and has developed lasting friendships, thus fulfilling the “Why Me”.
At my initial surgery I opted for double mastectomy as a preventative measure even though cancer had not been detected in the right breast. The biopsies confirmed the cancer in the left breast and an additional diagnosis of lobular in situ carcinoma cancer in the right breast. The decision to have double mastectomy was the first of many blessings in which God showed me His Divine Intervention.
The year to follow was a very hectic time with treatment, re-construction, doctor appointments and therapy. The reports continued to show that the cancer had been removed and life began to resume normally for the next 2 years. My 2 year check-up was routine but a tumor the size of an orange was spotted on an ovary requiring additional surgery and further treatment. The biopsy proved to be non-cancerous.
Faithfully every year I went for an annual checkup and the prognosis was always a clean bill of health until November 2008. A routine chest x-ray, blood work-up and a visit with a new oncologist was the schedule that day. My oncologist for 16 years had given up his patient list to work in a different area of oncology treatment. To digress a moment: when I received the letter notifying me that I would have a new oncologist and the fact that I had been told for years that annual checkups were not necessary I considered not keeping the appointment for the annual checkup. After much prayer, I felt the necessity to have an oncologist on record so I kept the appointment. Divine Intervention once again!!
The physician assistant came into the room where I was waiting after my blood work and x-rays. The questions came one right after another, “are you feeling okay,” “are you in pain”, “have you suffered any trauma”, “have you been in an auto accident”, “have you fallen”, “have you…..”, “have you…. At this point of the conversation I knew “something” was not right and my head is spinning from all the questioning. I silently prayed, “God this is in Your hands, be with me, and surround me in Your peace”.
The next months were a whirlwind of additional tests, biopsies and doctor appointments. The biopsy confirmed the cancer had laid dormant and undetected for 16 years but had now metastasized to the sternum, T11 and T12 vertebrae, and a possible lesion on the skull.
Treatment started in January of 2009. I was assured that my cancer was very treatable and the form of chemo I was given would help to keep the cancer controlled. I tried three different types of the chemo and each one had its different effects, none of which I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Sitting in church one day the announcement was made that “Team Up Against Cancer” would be having a meeting on Tuesday evening. I went there to find out what this group was and how to be involved. I will never forget how God intervened once again and opened the doors to a possible alternative treatment. I was given information on a cancer vaccine study and also a alternative treatment being done at a facility in Scottsdale. The cancer study got my attention for two reasons. The first being that the information was called in to the facilitator of the meeting that day and two, he had also received this same type of treatment 20 years prior.
My church family laid hands on me, prayed for me, and supported me. I think back often of the day the pastor in my Sunday morning class prayed for healing of my cancer and spoke the specific area where the cancer was in my body. I had not shared that information with the class. God intervened once again.
I was so positive that God opened the door for me to be involved in the cancer study and when I received the call that they denied me as a candidate, I was confused. I pressed forward in my research of the other facility and the treatment they offered. I knew God was working this situation out in my life and I would continue to press on.
A few days had gone by and I received a call from the lady I had filed all my paperwork with for the cancer study. She told me that she felt very strongly that I would benefit from the study, so much so that she talked with the doctors directly involved and they had agreed to take my case before the board for an exception to let me be a participant. That decision came in less that a week. I knew it was from God and was His Divine Intervention once again!
Many obstacles arose in the next few months, from insurance issues, financial issues, travel arrangements and cost, different advice from medical professionals, work schedules, etc. Every obstacle that Satan put up was resolved by God immediately. I saw the miracles of His grace to me every moment. There was such a peace involved in the decisions that I had to make and I am happy to report that I am in the study and my checkups show that the cancer has not been active and there have been no additional sights found in the body. I know God used this avenue of treatment to heal me of this disease. He has also provided me the opportunity to share this study with three ladies diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, thus fulfilling once again the, “Why Me” in my life.
When we are faced with horrific circumstances that appear overwhelming and make us feel so powerless, it’s wonderful and humbling to personally know a God and Savior that opens doors, changes minds and hearts, provides friends and loving family that pray and help with travel and other expenses, and provides peace to face those insurmountable circumstances.
Psalm 30:2 O, Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, “all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them ,and they shall be granted you.”