On April 5th 2010 I was diagnosed with 4th stage colon cancer.
I had been bleeding from my back passage for three years but had not told anyone. I thought it was something that would go away on its own, perhaps I had haemorrhoids or colitis. I had met some people with these conditions and they seemed to be coping. I was fifty six years old when my condition started. I had five children still living at home.
Up until then I coped well as a mother of my big family of fourteen children, doing the cooking , shopping, caring and managing the household. I am a woman of many talents; an engineer, putting in woodburner stoves; a carpenter, my son and I made a big table for all of us to sit at for meals; and a gardener, my sons helped me clear our neglected big garden. I made nourishing meals on a budget. A lady I met at an IT class said I should get a job in management. I continued my job as a mother at home. Nine children had left home already and had gone on to university.
Being a stay at home mother is not an honoured job in the world. Some people think you are not right in your mind to have a big family. As our family grew we got less invitations to visit with friends. My son was telling me that the hot plates he took out of the oven were a health hazard. I said back to him, “Having children is a health hazard.”
My energy began to wain and I lost interest in the garden and home. I did not go outside the home much. I just kept things ticking over. The children had always helped with meals and my husband picked up the groceries. I was feeling rejected, discouraged, depressed and hopeless. My children were getting stronger and doing well at school and work. Those who were married did not live nearby so I did not get to see them so often. Everyone seemed to be getting along fine without me.
Tensions built up between my husband and me as we were both under pressure. I would argue a lot. I began to get annoyed with the children if they did not co operate with me. I began to get bitter and angry. Things were not working out the way I had hoped. I had to get up in the night to use the bathroom and often I did not get back to sleep. The bleeding continued and my life was spiralling downhill.
I told my husband that Easter Monday that I wasn’t feeling well, that I had been bleeding for a while. I didn’t tell him the truth. We went to the hospital and I was referred on to a specialist in cancer. I was diagnosed with malignant colon cancer, fourth stage. I had an eight centimetre tumour the size of an orange. When the nurse told me what I had I did not panic. I was already numb and had lost the will to live.
My husband rang round my family to tell them the news. They were sad of course, but they and my husband had courage to believe I would get better. They began to pray for me. They showed their love and cared for me. This began the road to my recovery. People I didn’t even know prayed for me when they heard I had cancer. My symptoms changed. The bleeding stopped and my appetite returned.
I went through five weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in July. I would get the maximum dose of radiotherapy one can have in a lifetime. The treatment was given to reduce the tumour before an operation to remove the tumour and part of my bowel. I had no side effects from the treatment. I believe I was being healed.
Three months later I was called to the hospital to arrange a time to have the operation. I knew I did not need an operation. The doctor wanted to check and arranged a colonoscopy. The monitor showed there was no trace of the tumour and the wall of the colon was like a baby’s skin. I have a letter from that doctor to say there was no tumour. I did not have an operation.
Three years later I am in better health. I do not argue any more. If someone annoys me I don’t retaliate. I don’t get angry. I try to be more loving and thankful. I cast my care onto The Lord. I know Jesus has forgiven me my failures and healed me from cancer so I chose to forgive others and tell others about what God has done for me.
My husband has written a book about my healing called “Staying Alive” It is available on kindle. I hope you will take courage from my story.
Ps. This article was written as I am taking part in the following writing challenge – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/writing-challenge-health/