26 Dec 2013 by Dr MC Leong –
My wife was diagnosed having breast cancer. What started off as a routine and annual health check at her gynecologist on 9th October 2013 discovered brownish discharge oozing out from her nipple and a lump was felt in the left breast. Immediately, a doctor’s letter was issued for further examination and a mammogram was scheduled at a nearby hospital. Both mammogram and ultrasound were performed. The mammogram radiology report shows no mammographic evidence of malignancy. The ultrasound radiology report stated features could represent a benign left breast lesion, and biopsy was recommended with clinical and HPE findings. What was puzzling was why nothing showed up in the tumor markers from a blood test she did just 2 months prior to this discovery. At least, we could have known sooner.
The biopsy was performed on the left breast where the lump was located, and the diagnosis came in after a week of waiting. In just two lines: the feared two lines – (i) mucinous carcinoma, BR grade I and (ii) low grade duct carcinoma in-situ (DCIS). This is cancer, no matter what words are used to describe them.
My wife calmly received the news as the cancer was at the very early stage, and we went to consult a breast surgeon in a Medical Centre in Subang which confirmed that the cancer is in early stage, and that a lumpectomy could be performed just to remove the cancerous lump. The surgery was then scheduled for 9 November 2013, exactly one month from the discovery. My wife wasn’t a Christian, but during this period my wife drove and went to the Healing Rooms at Glad Tidings Petaling Jaya church for prayers by herself at night and in the massive traffic jam. This was to me like the moment of the woman with the issue of blood reaching out to touch Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43-48). “She would get the healing,” I thought to myself.
She was prayed over and asked to receive Jesus into her heart. “Your breast will not be removed,” the pastor who prayed for her encouraged her in a simple and reassuring word. Since that night, she had peaceful night sleeps and her anxieties were gone. She received Jesus into her heart. Praise God!
A week after her surgery, we went to see the surgeon to obtain the post-surgery report which was actually a histopathology report on the lump specimen. Her lymph nodes were clear from cancer cells; which was good news that the cancer cells did not spread to other parts of her body. Although the lump was removed, there were still traces of DCIS at the lateral and inferior margins, which indicated that the surgical cut was not enough to remove all during the lumpectomy. “All that can be done now is to remove the entire left breast, i.e. a mastectomy,” said the surgeon.
My wife was devastated. All hope of not having a breast removed went down the drain, with all the prayers of healing and the promise of not having the breast removed seemingly useless now. She said it was fated. “Will her faith in God be shaken by this?” I asked myself.
So she resigned herself to the fact she had to do the mastectomy, and her surgery was scheduled on 12 December, a week after we had our earlier arranged family holiday which was planned before this episode began. Three days before the second surgery, I asked her to go to Healing Rooms again. Surprisingly, she listened to me and drove there by herself that night. She was prayed over and a word was given to her to wait on the Lord. “What the Lord has promised, He will make it to pass (in His own timing)”. That wasn’t so reassuring to my wife, and she said nothing much can be done in the next two days before the surgery.
But interestingly, prior to this on the Saturday morning during marketing, my wife stopped by a mobile stall which comes once a month to sell Chinese foodstuffs. The stall’s lady owner has a warm personality and my wife asked the lady what food is good to take after a cancer operation. Surprisingly, the lady asked my wife more about her story and offered to pray for her as she is also a Christian! My wife was given a telephone number of a breast cancer survivor who is now a counsellor at a hospital. “Call her for cancer support. She can help you with your concerns over the surgery”.
The day after the Healing Rooms, my wife thought of calling the counsellor to ask if she should ask for a second opinion. She didn’t want the mastectomy. Immediately, the counsellor asked my wife to call the breast surgeon at her hospital to seek an appointment the same day. The counsellor even taught my wife what to say to the nurse arranging the appointment, and to say that this was urgent for a second opinion before her surgery the next two days. The surgeon’s appointments were already full until year-end. The earliest any appointment could be set would be in January 2014! By then, she would have had her mastectomy!
Praise God! She got the appointment but she had to wait 3 hours before being attended to. And good news – the surgeon said my wife needn’t go through the mastectomy. Another lumpectomy was needed to remove the DCIS and a full course of 25 radiotherapies was compulsory. What a relief to her! She immediately SMSed me while I was at work. When I saw her text, I smiled and said to myself, “See? I told you to just believe in God. He’ll turn things over even though we feel there isn’t any time left” – I was so in awe of God’s favor that I even told my course participants who were attending my training!
Surgery day – 13 December 2013. She did the lumpectomy, and was discharged after 2 days in hospital. On 20 December 2013, we went to meet the surgeon to remove my wife’s surgical dressing and to hear about the post-surgery report. The whole episode ended when the report stated “No residual invasive carcinoma is seen…the excision margins are FREE FROM TUMOUR”. Praise God – Glory in the Highest!
It had become all clear. The tumor is gone forever. Just like my wife's favourite song during this ordeal, "In Jesus’ Name", sung by Darlene Zschech, "God is working for us…pushing back the darkness." And this is clear to her to have faith and perseverance in continually trusting God even though the road is dark.
To us, this may seem to be a last-minute turnaround miracle, but to God, this is natural to Him who works according to His own timing, not ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD
The healing is not just on the physical, but on the spiritual too. Indeed, He is making all things new. This is truly an eventful 2013 ending with a wonderful favour from God. It is also our first Christmas as a family under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and HEALER. Amen.
References for pictures