Sue went in to surgery yesterday (5/9/07) to remove the tumor. After several hours, Brad got a great report from the doctor. There did NOT appear to be any signs of cancer anywhere else, but the Dr. took several samples for biopsy in the coming days. There was some collateral damage to the small intestine from the radiation treatments; otherwise, everything looked good. Sue will be in the hospital about a week as her reconnected colon heals and they make sure everything "works"!
After much consultation I was advised to seek out a different surgeon. There were some concerns that there may be complications in my surgery and the resection of the tumor may require a more specialized surgeon.
My appointment with the new surgeon however left us shocked to say the least. After reviewing my CT scan done in the hospital he was seriously concerned that the tumor had invaded my bladder. He began to discuss the possibility of not even being able to remove the tumor or having to take my bladder as well. I could not believe what I was hearing. He ordered an MRI, which I had done on April 13th. My MRI results were to be reviewed by both the board of surgeons and a team of radiologists at Emory University.
On Sunday April 15th, I desperately needed a touch from God. During our worship service I felt the desire to just go kneel at the altar. I just wanted to worship at the feet of Jesus. I felt like the woman needing to press through the crowd and touch the hem of Jesus' garment. I resisted going for a few minutes as there was no call to come to the altar so I would be very noticed. But God continued to nudge me forward. As I went I grabbed the hand of a sister in the Lord who desperately needs a healing touch from the Lord as well.
As we knelt at the altar I boldly cried out to the Lord and presented my very specific request. I needed a miracle. The next thing I knew people were around us praying. The pastor came over and prayed. It was powerful!!! When I finally got up to return to my seat I noticed that the whole altar was covered with people who had come forward to seek God's touch as well. Our pastor was in tears as he felt the sweet move of the Spirit.
I came home and began watching the Visual Bible - A dramatization of the book of Matthew. It is awesome. As the leper came to Jesus and said "if you are willing you can heal me". The actor portraying Jesus looked right into the face of the leper and said "I am willing" It was as if the Lord was looking right at me. "I am willing"
God continued to encourage me through out the week and I have gotten stronger and stronger since that day. My strength is improving and I almost feel normal again (Brad says I was never normal - Ha, Ha)
On Monday, April 23, the surgeon finally called me with their conclusions.
There is NO bladder involvement and only a slight chance of bone involvement which could be easily taken care of with surgery. They saw no other complications and my surgery date is set for Wednesday, May 9th. Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!
I continue to pray that I will soon be fully recovered as I am ready to get on with all the Lord has in store for me to do.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I love you all.
To God be the Glory!!!
Sincerely, Sue Becker
I am sorry that it has been so long since I posted an update. I actually spent about 3 hours one afternoon a few weeks ago writing an update. I had poured my heart into sharing everything the Lord has been doing in my life, both physically and spiritually, through this trial. When I posted it I was sent an error message and the whole thing was lost in cyber space. Since then I have been so weak I have not felt like writing anything. So today I will at least try to give you the basics of what's going on and how I am doing.
Since my last update, after much prayer and counsel I decided to go through with radiation and chemotherapy treatment. I sought the Lord diligently on this matter and told Him every step of the way that I did not want to do this. However, every medical professional involved in my treatment advised me that this was my best treatment option, even those very alternatively minded. The most critical part of my recovery was to get this tumor out of my body and the most effective tumor shrinking method at this time seems to be chemo/radiation. I continued with the herbal tea and with the help of two alternative care doctors, began a nutritional protocol to help the chemo/radiation be more effective as well as help with some of the negative side effects of these very radical treatments. Had the Lord not absolutely confirmed to me that this was the path that He designed for my healing I could not have gone through with it.
I began treatment on Feb 21. The protocol was 5 weeks and 3 day of both chemo and radiation. The chemotherapy was a low oral dose that I did at home. I prayed every day for God's protection and that He would direct both these agent to the tumor itself. I progressed very well until about 3 weeks into it when the nausea and fatigue were overwhelming. I did not however experience any of the other negative side effects, which I attribute to the nutritional regime that I was on. My blood counts were excellent as well as my liver function through out the treatment, which I praise God for. I had begun to pray that God would reveal to me when my body had had enough. I began to have some pretty extreme allergic type reactions at which time the chemotherapy was stopped. I continued the radiation for another week.
I then began to experience some severe abdominal pain. I was hospitalized for testing. A CAT scan revealed that fluid was collecting in my abdominal cavity and that my small bowel had been damaged by radiation. Radiation was terminated and I am now in the rest and recovery mode.
However, the two doctors involved in my care in the hospital interpreted the results of the CAT scan totally differently. At 6:45 AM on Tuesday March 27th, I was told that my cancer had spread and that surgery was now out of the question. No other possible explanation was given. The oncologist would be by later and they would then discuss the next step. When the doctor left the room Brad and I were in a state of shock. But I knew that I had to hear from God. We prayed and Brad went on to work. Alone in my room, I began to sing and praise the Lord. I thought of the verses about the Angel of the Lord encamping around those who fear Him and how the Lord will give His angels charge over you. I immediately sensed the presence of these "ministering spirits". I asked the nurse to bring me a Bible. For the next few hours, waiting on the second doctor to arrive, I prayed and sought the Lord through His word.
My sister in law called on my cell phone to share a scripture that the Lord had put on her heart for me that day. She had no idea I was in the hospital! The scripture was the all too familiar James 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my brethren, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
WOW! I do want to be "mature and complete" and "not lacking anything"; so if this is what it was going to take then I would be joyful.
God ministered to me through His word both through Psalm 91 and Isaiah 46. God's peace that passes all understanding certainly began to guard my heart and my mind (Philippians 4:6-7). This is a major miracle for me because I have always been a worrier and have battled fear often. I know now that God used this incident to deliver me from this powerful stronghold in my life.
When the second doctor came by (six hours later) she did not feel that the cancer had spread but that everything going on was a result of radiation. Radiation was terminated and a PET scan was ordered. PET scans show cancer anywhere in your body.
The PET scan was done on Friday March 30. The scan showed that the tumor had significantly shrunk, another soft tissue mass that had shown up on the original scan was almost completely gone and there was no evidence of cancer anywhere else in my body!!!!!
We are praising God for this report.
I am now in the rest and recovery mode awaiting surgery. I should be having surgery in about 4 weeks and my prayer is to remove the remains of the tumor and hook my bowels back up all in the same surgery. I am looking forward to getting this all behind me and moving on with my life.
This has been a long hard road to travel but I do not regret taking the journey. God has done so many things in my life to prepare me for His future plans for my life. I know many of you as well as I have questioned how this could happen to me. Perhaps you have even questioned the validity of the message I teach. But God has assured me that our message is true and that I am to share it even more boldly than before. As I have been in and out of doctors offices and read the risk factors of colorectal cancer, I had none of them. In fact my colonoscopy showed a very healthy colon: no polyps, no diverticuli just a very large tumor in my rectum. No one in my family has a history of colorectal cancer. So how could this happen to me? The doctors tell me it takes a long time for a tumor to reach this size and had I not been eating the way I have all these years, I would have probably been here 10 years ago.
God, however, has shown me that there are both physical as well as spiritual causes for disease. I first thought this was just an attack of the enemy. And while I do believe he has attacked my life and testimony I have come to realize that I am the one who opened the door for him to attack me. I had over the years opened the door for the enemy to gain a stronghold in my life through unforgiveness.
This of course led to bitterness, anger and resentment. This needs to be another sermon for another time but God in His mercy has set me free and by His stripes I am healed. I am learning to love others in a way I never thought possible.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I seek a new surgeon and prepare for surgery. I am very weak right now and in a good deal of pain due to the bowel damage. I am asking God for a healing and am hoping that this will resolve as I recover more and more from the radiation.
Sincerely, Sue Becker