On Sunday, May 1, 2011...
I had a go-kart accident that resulted in a fractured hip. The ER physician referred me to an orthopedist who ordered an MRI that revealed what the radiologist read to be a fibroid tumor. Usually benign, my GYN doctor told me not to worry and to follow up once I recovered from the fracture. Almost a month later, I began to have abnormal bleeding so I went back to my doctor. Ultrasounds revealed a mass so large my left ovary could not be seen. The physician felt that it was likely a hematoma from the accident and not to worry. However, he drew blood for a CA125 test to rule out ovarian cancer.
After waiting all the next day for the results, I began thinking that NO news is good news – until I received a call from my GYN’s nurse asking me to come in. I knew then it was not good news.
My physician apologized for not looking at my MRI previously. “I would have seen you much sooner. The results of your blood work are indicative of ovarian cancer,” he said. A normal result ranges anywhere from 0-35. Mine was 1686. “I have already schedule your appointment with an oncologist tomorrow morning.”
The new doctor confirmed it was cancer and I needed surgery immediately. Unfamiliar with ovarian cancer, I quickly asked, “Am I going to die?”
He replied, “It’s in God’s hands.”
This surgeon was a Christian! Surgery was scheduled for Friday. After leaving the oncologist’s office, I sat alone and prayed. I had so much to pray for. I was not even sure where to start.
I prayed for comfort. Looking up in the sky as I spoke to God, I saw God’s hand in the clouds reaching for me. Immediately, I imagined taking his hand and at that moment I felt comfort. I did that repeatedly in the days to come; imagining taking God’s hand reduced my anxiety.
However, the night before surgery, I woke up and looked up for God’s hand and I did not see it. I panicked and began to cry for something to tell me I can no longer see God’s extended hand because he is already holding mine.
I went to my Bible to Judges 6:1-18. Those Midianites were like the cancer hiding in my body and I was Gideon, asking God how can I go to battle against something so big? At that moment God revealed that he would be with me, holding my hand. The verse I clung to and woke up to written on a poster in my hospital room was Judges 6:12. “I am with you, Mighty Warrior.”
The surgeon successfully removed the tumor and 98% of the cancer that had spread. Once home, I faced six months of Chemo. However, it was delayed as my hip needed to heal more.
Chemo began in July and by the end of November I had completed my final treatment. Extremely tired and stripped of my self-esteem and self-worth, I began 2012 bald but with a renewed faith and more intimate relationship with God.
I do not recall having any obvious symptoms of Ovarian Cancer and I did not fit the criteria of those most likely at risk. I was angry at first for having the go-kart accident but that anger quickly turned to gratitude because the cancer may not have been discovered if not for the accident. As Christians we may not always understand but should be reassured that everything happens for a purpose, His purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God knew my accident was going to happen. I believe he intended this cancer to be discovered as he is not done with me. He saved my life so my story could possibly save the lives of others that do not yet know him. My abdominal scar serves as a reminder to me of God’s scarred hands.
God is still holding my hand as he guides me to do his plan; he will hold yours too. All you have to do is ask.