What Cancer Does to You

It’s not me, but my dad has it. He was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last May 2016 then it progressed to stage 4 last July. 

When you hear that diagnosis, it changes you and the people around you. Drastically. Significantly. Surprisingly, it’s not all that bad. Because to a good and faithful God, He can turn this darkness into His light. That’s just what He did to our family.

When your life has been turned upside down, and you’ve been broken and shaken to the core, the valuable things become much clearer. Ironically, when you’re in the darkest times of your life that’s the time that you see things clearly, without the haze of personal ambition, self love, personal comfort, or social recognition. It’s you, your loved ones, and your mighty God. 

God has blessed us with so many things for the past year: faith that may be tested but will not be shaken, character that may become weak but will not be shattered, and a heart that may bleed and weep but will not be irreparably broken. 

So summing up the lessons that I’ve learned for the past year.

God is sovereign and is unchanging. His goodness, faithfulness, and graciousness remain no matter what our circumstance is. During daddy’s 1-month hospitalization last April to May, I saw puzzle pieces fall into their rightful place… as if God has been preparing our family for that battle, and He gave us the weapons to win. First weapon was my sister’s medical background. My dad tend to easily get anxious over pain and uncertain things. My doctor sister was the one who appease him by explaining the medical condition in a way that only a loving physician and daughter can. Second weapon was financial advantage. We’re not rich, but we’ve got so many help to cover for our skyrocketing bill of over half a million. Daddy is a senior citizen so everything is given a 20% discount. My dad is my healthcard dependent, and he still has over 100K in coverage. My sister’s husband is in the health insurance field and gave us tips on how to process the bill to maximize the healthcard’s use. Since my sister is a doctor, my dad’s main surgeon waived her professional fee in honor of the Hippocratic Oath. We got blessings too from PCSO, relatives, and friends. So to date, we are debt-free through His provision.

Family mirrors heavenly love. God uses people to bring you strength during those times that you feel so weak and close to giving up. My mama, sisters, my brother-in-law’s faith encouraged me to continue this fight and believe that we have the victory in Christ. My relatives brought joy and hope to daddy when they visited him. They blessed us and help raise some of the needed money by doing garage sale for us! 

Miracles do happen! At times it’s exacrly how you envision it. My dad’s two successful surgeries. His positive response to chemotherapy. No hair or appetite loss. He even gained weight because he was hungry most of the time and ate! At times, God will give you something different but exactly what you need. Before daddy’s diagnosis, we’re praying that the mass is benign. It turned out malignant, but through that daddy drew closer to God, reaching the point that he accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. What I ask for was physical healing but God has something better, daddy’s spiritual restoration.

I need to grow up. With my sheltered background, I had to learn domestication and independence fast! This involves going to the market early on a Sunday, figuring out what’s a fresh carrot and which ones to buy, preparing the clothes to be sent for laundry service, cleaning up our house, throwing the garbage at the end of the day, cooking rice, etc. I still have a long way go to in this domestication journey but I will get there. 

Looking back, it was the toughest year for me. That was the time that I said to God, “I’m all in, Lord. Break me.” Little did I know that His answer would come soon, really soon! But given the chance, that would still have been my prayer. Otherwise, I would have missed out on witnessing God’s great power, unwavering faithfulness, and overwhelming love. 

So for 2017, Lord, I’m still all yours.


2 thoughts on “What Cancer Does to You

  1. You are wonderfully made, Hershey! I am blessed by your story. I pray for more breakthroughs for you this 2017 and in the years to come!

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