OVARIAN CANCER STATS
I chose to start out with the statistics of this rare disease and its survival rate, not to intimidate anyone who is facing this aggressive disease but rather to show you the Goodness of my God and what He CAN and WILL do when you “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5
Dr. Diaz: I want you to know that Ovarian Cancer has a 60% chance of recurring.
Patrice: So, during your study, how soon have you seen the cancer return?
Dr. Diaz: It usually recurs within the first two years, but if it goes past 5 years, the chances of the cancer not coming back are even greater. Normally, people are finished with chemo after 6 cycles, but because you are a part of the Clinical Trial, you will go on to do maintenance chemo totaling 22 cycles. Doing the maintenance chemo is a good preventative means of keeping the cancer from recurring.
Patrice: Well Dr. Diaz, I am not even concerned because I know it was God and the work of my two doctors that healed me from this disease!
Dr. Diaz: Smiles
My battle with Ovarian Cancer began March 21, 2018 and after a very successful chemo infusion and de-bulking surgery, the battle ended on August 27, 2018, and we received the news we were longing to hear.
“My Doctors say I’m in REMISSION but the Word of God tells me I’m HEALED.” 🙏🏽
“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” ~Isaiah 38:16-17
I would like to give you a flashback of the events of what occurred the day of my surgery. I want you to know that God made His presence obviously clear based on the success of the surgery and the ongoing praise that permeated the Recovery Room after Pete and Michelle received the results of the surgery from Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz.
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. ~Psalm 91:14-16
Too Blessed to be Stressed…Too Anointed to be Disappointed!
The morning of surgery, I woke up with praise on my lips. I was feeling fearless! The previous CT Scan that was done on July 18th revealed very promising reports that the Chemo did exactly what it was supposed to do according to my doctors.
I, on the other hand, just take pleasure in giving God the glory that He was the Chemo flowing through my body and He directed it to every diseased area where it needed to flow.
Let’s Take a Quick Break for a Bit of Sermon Talk!
Last week’s sermon preached by Pastor Rick from Christ Fellowship is such confirmation of God’s divine intervention. Just to give you a snapshot of his sermon, he explained that during WWI, Mustard Gas was used to kill soldiers.
Amazingly, what they found after examining the bodies of the dead soldiers was that many of them had cancer. It was discovered that the Mustard Gas not only killed the soldiers as intended but it also killed the cancer cells. With that discover, they wondered if they could find the perfect balance of mustard gas that would kill cancer cells without killing the patient. Sure enough, their discover led to a medical breakthrough, chemo therapy. Amazing right?
Every three weeks I am subjected to chemo, my “mustard gas”, and while the chemo is eradicating the cancer cells, it is also killing some of my good cells. What I find even MORE mind-blowing is how God sheltered me throughout the entire battle that was going on in my body.
With that said, how can I not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the chemo that flows through me every time I receive my infusion?
The side effects of the infusion is vast and though I have experienced some, they have not been debilitating to the point of feeling like death coming upon me like Pastor Rick explained his experience.
I am just so thankful that Jesus Christ shielded me from so much!
So, as I reflect back on August 1, 2018, the day of my surgery, I prayed, asking God to make Himself evident in the operating room, giving my doctors steady hands to use the tools with precision, and the wisdom and knowledge of where to navigate in search of the remaining tumors and lesions.
If I said I was scared of the end results I would be lying. I had completely erased the notion of fear and defeat out of my mind. I was confident in the knowledge and abilities of my two doctors, Dr. Troy Gatcliffe and Dr. John Diaz, but more so, I had an unexplainable peace that surpassed all understanding in the sovereignty of my Savior.
So what about other believers who have the same attitude of faith I do, yet their outcome is different?
Well, I don’t have an answer for that except that as we do this Christian walk, we have to believe with ALL our hearts that God’s plans are ALWAYS good NO MATTER WHAT!!! We don’t understand it at times, but because we know God’s love for us, we must trust Him even when it hurts or we become doubtful.
I heard a sermon by Pastor Robert Jeffress the other day and he explained why parts of our lives are like the back of a tapestry.
On the reverse side of the tapestry shows a mess, with hanging threads and tangled stitches.
Isn’t that how life is at times?
Sometimes life’s a mess and we can’t seem to understand why bad things happen or sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
Though we may not have the answers to life’s questions, we will one day when we are united with our Creator.
The tapestry of our lives will be revealed and we will see the beautiful, detailed image of how God has woven together all the loose and dangling threads for our good.
All along, it was those loose threads and uneven stitches that depict the events of our lives that God was stitching together for His perfect will and His glory.
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17
“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” ~John 13:7
Party in the Pre-Op!
I felt so glamorous in my designer, green gown that draped off the shoulder with a second piece of fabric wrapping loosely across the front. To complete the fashion ensemble, I rocked my airy and light baby blue headpiece. Then I completed the look with a pair of pastel yellow, skid-grip socks.
The nurse came in to chitchat for a bit to entertain any questions I might have and to prep me.
Heart rate, temperature, blood pressure checked, and then he started an IV line in both hands.
The anesthesiologist discussed with me how they will make the surgery pain-free and that the medicine will remain in my system for up to 24 hours to ensure that I wasn’t in pain after the surgery.
Since this was going to be administered by a needle in my lower spine, all I cared about was that it would be done while I was knocked out. Even though they assured me that it wouldn’t hurt and done before I knew it. The same thing with the catheter, I did not want that done while I was awake. Ugh!
The highlight was when my two doctors came in to ask me if I was ready and because it’s always so pleasant talking to them, they were so nice about posing for a picture with me. They are so sweet!!
It wasn’t evident that I was going in for major surgery at any moment. I was being so silly doing all these antics on Michelle. She was saying they were gonna complain about all the noise we were making.
Typical Michelle…such a prude. LOL
Suddenly the curtain was pulled open and the two nurses that came to wheel me to the operating room, commented that we were having way too much fun. 👍🏽
From the short commute to the operating room, I was out before I knew it.
However, I will describe what occurred in the operating room based on the conversation my doctor had with Pete after the surgery was finished, as Pete and Michelle experienced it.
What was originally planned to be an extensive 6-hours surgery was surprisingly reduced to 2 hours.
Can We Get Our Praise On!
As Pete and Michelle sat in anticipation and curiosity of what was taking place in the operating room, two hours later, in walked Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz. They were very pleased with the outcome of the surgery.
A matter a fact, what Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz witnessed in the operating room had them questioning what they saw the first time they attempted to do the de-bulking surgery when I was initially diagnosed but realized that the cancer was so compacted and attempting to remove it would not have been the optimal decision.
The surgical plan was to conduct a complete hysterectomy along with removing the spleen, parts of the intestines and other organs where the tumors and lesions matastisized.
It was with much amazement that Dr. Gatcliffe said he ended up only having to remove the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and omentum. As for the intestines, spleen, and any affected organs aforementioned, no evidence of the cancer was present.
While my doctors were giving credit to the chemo, and rightfully so, Michelle and Pete were not only thankful that the chemo melted away most of the cancer, but they also acknowledged the power behind my healing was ultimately God.
Overwhelmed with joy and just rejoicing about the great news, Pete was beside himself that all he continued to say was, “Oh wow! Thank God! Thank God!”
Michelle recalls, wanting to run outside the door to the outdoor foyer area and just scream, yell, jump for joy! She remembers feeling the urge to yell out and share the news with all the people around her of how good our Heavenly Father is and that He never leaves His children. She wanted to let my doctors know the G😍😍D G😍😍D God we serve❣️
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” ~Psalm 105:1
You Gotta Trust the Process!
When I was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, I knew that 1 of 3 things could result from having this disease:
- God would miraculously heal me from this cancer through faith and prayer, completely sparing me from enduring surgery and chemo.
- God would allow me to go through my battle with cancer, but He would carry me through it and like the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, if I ever doubted that He was still by my side, it was because my footprint faded into His as He carried me when the road became too difficult to travel. Healing would come on His timing.
- God would not take this cancer from me, but instead welcome me Home early.
God chose Option 2 for me❣️
He not only healed me of this disease but He chose to do it as a process.
Remember the story of the blind man whose friends fought their way through the crowd to get their blind friend to Jesus because they knew once Jesus touched him, their friend would gain his sight?
Were they in for a surprise!
With the on looking crowd, Jesus chose to pull the blind man away from the crowd and out of the town.
I’m sure with all this blind man heard about Jesus, he expected instant healing.
Much to his surprise, Jesus chose not to give him his sight all at once. The first time Jesus spat on his eyes, the man saw men as trees, walking. The second time as Jesus put His hands again upon the blind man’s eyes, his sight was restored and he was able to see clearly.
Could Jesus have fully restored his sight the first time?
But like I said, sometimes Jesus immediately saves us from the stuff we are facing, and sometimes He carries us through the fire.
Jesus chose to bring healing to my body in stages.
Though my healing didn’t occur instantaneously, I was praising God throughout it all. After hearing the glorious news from my doctors about the CT Scan and that the chemo did what it was supposed to do, it melted away most of the cancer, I knew I not only had to trust the Hands of my Savior but to trust His process and His timing.
It was after my hysterectomy that I received my full healing.
For me, trusting God as He delivered me through my battle with cancer was a faith builder. It gave me so many opportunities to thank Him through the stages of my healing and to trust Him that not only is His timing perfect, but that blessings flow when I intimately seek Him and spend time in His Word.
It is during our struggles when we face these God defiant giants in our lives, we just need to surrender it all to Him.
Jesus, You are enough and I will allow You to pull me away from the crowd, and away from anything that causes me to take my eyes off You.
I heard a preacher say this once and I committed it to memory, “God’s delay doesn’t mean His denial!”
Will you choose to wait upon the Lord?
Whether your healing happens instantly or it occurs in stages, use that time to thank Him every step of the way because He is worthy of our praise.
Crunch on this…The M&M of My Healing!
So, I’m sure many of you are wondering, “Was my healing a Miracle or Medicine?
By definition, a miracle is defined as an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. It is an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause that defies the laws of physics.
So, would I say God performed a miracle on me?
My answer is no!
However, giving all glory to the omnipotence of my Savior, I see my healing as God’s divine intervention through the use of medicine and my doctors.
God gave knowledge and wisdom to my doctors of how to treat me, using the right chemo that would be effective at melting away the cancer cells. He also blessed and guided their hands to remove all visible signs of what was left of the tumors and lesions.
Because I KNOW that nothing happens without God’s sovereign plans, and that He is in complete control of EVERYTHING that happens to us, I am thankful that He chose to heal me of this disease.
God not only determines the date we will be born, as well as the time of our death.
There is absolutely nothing that occurs on this earth that catches Him off guard because we serve an omniscient; all-knowing God!