On July 10, 1997, I almost became a statistic. Fear, anger, and total shock sent my emotions skyrocketing. That was the day I found out I had prostate cancer. The news came after a visit to my doctor for a routine checkup. After doing a digital rectal examination (DRE), he started going through my ﬁle. A few moments later he looked up from the ﬁle and curiously asked, “What have you done about your prostate cancer?” “My what?” I blurted back, hoping I hadn’t heard right. “Your prostate cancer,” he repeated.
THIS STORY OF MY CANCER EXPERIENCE CAN HELP YOU
I could hardly believe what I was hearing. Panic and fear took over, and then anger and frustration set in. You see, a year earlier, I had taken a prostate speciﬁc antigen test (PSA). The reading was 5.8, and I was referred to an urologist. There he did a biopsy to determine malignancy. Days, weeks, months, and a year passed and I didn’t hear from either doctor, so I assumed the result was negative. After all “no news is good news,” or so I thought. Just imagine the shock and frustration I felt when my doctor asked that dreaded question.
“Why wasn’t I informed?” I demanded. I literally lost it. I was enraged. I could feel the physical (ﬁght or ﬂight) responses setting in. But reality soon struck me, irrespective of who was to be blamed; the fact was that I had cancer. I left the doctor’s oﬃce in a daze. Driving home my mind wandered back to my late father, and the physical and mental anguish he suﬀered just before he died. He literally deteriorated to a mere skeleton. My late mother told me she prayed for him to die so that he could be relieved from his pain and suﬀering. I remembered my trip to the morgue. His frame was so emaciated; at ﬁrst I did not recognize him, and I cried.
Remembering my mother, I initially decided not to tell my wife, but better judgment prevailed and I told her. Much to my surprise, she handled the news better than I expected. That gave me strength. I decided at the time not to take conventional treatment. I was going to change my diet and continue with my life, but things didn’t work out that way. From there everything went downhill, or so I thought. That very week, my employer informed me that my job was about to become redundant. As if prostate cancer was not enough, I was now facing unemployment. A blister broke on my hand and began spreading to about the size of a quarter, and other small ones came out on my ﬁngers. In my mind I thought the cancer was spreading. Another PSA test came back with a higher reading: 6.4. Everything seemed to be going out of control. I prayed. But that “mustard-seed” faith was lacking. The faith that brought instantaneous healing to my body many years ago when I was ﬁrst diagnosed with diabetes was now inadequate. During this time my life took on new meaning. I became very contemplative and began questioning my purpose in life and its fulﬁllment. This led to an awakening of a deeper desire for spiritual growth and further information on the laws of health to develop physical, mental, and emotional strength.
I began reading all I could on cancer. My wife was very supportive in gathering information from various sources, including the Canadian Cancer Society. Her nursing experience provided her with added strength and support when it was needed most. After much research and consultation, I decided to proceed with surgery. The surgery was successful and I gave God thanks, because I know that even though it is the doctor who does the cutting, it is God who does the healing. I feel especially blessed because one does not just “cut out” cancer and live happily ever after.
The statistics for longevity after cancer surgery are uncertain. Cancer generally reappears if preventive measures are not taken. Today, my lifestyle is completely reformed in accordance to the natural health laws that God gave to us from the beginning, to enjoy happiness and abundant living. I am living with side eﬀects from the surgery, but I gain strength from adversities. With my loving and caring wife by my side, I am guided by the Bible verse “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” Knowledge, strength, and mental success are gained from experience. Because I have walked this pathway before, I can help others who may follow the same path. The physical, mental, and emotional pain has given me experience, which allows me the opportunity to leave signposts to guide others safely through this life’s rugged terrain. Today I am not only physically and spiritually healthy, but I am in control of my life and have now made it my personal responsibility to take a proactive role in the ﬁght against prostate cancer and other cancers. My quest to learn more about healthy living has provided me with incentives to train as a nutrition consultant.
My experience and training has shown me that there is a powerful healing capacity within me. This innate intelligence is working constantly to restore the balance and harmony of health and wellness. As a child of God, I now know that I have more control over my health than we have been taught. My health is my responsibility. I have the choice to determine what I put in my body and what lifestyle I live. If I give up that responsibility to a stranger, I become disempowered and de-energized. I do not see myself as a survivor; I see myself living a life of high self-esteem ﬁlled with energy and vitality. “Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a vision, but today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope” (Kalidasa – An ancient Indian poet.).
There are many health challenges, and I am conscious that life is ﬁlled with positives and negatives. I have learned to face my greatest fear with the understanding that I am not alone and that I have family and friends, but most of all I have God. Two of my powerful tools are prayer and meditation. I learned to visualize the healing power of God. Since my surgery on November 17, 1997, I have not taken any prescription drugs. I have been given prescriptions for drugs but I have never ﬁlled them, because I did not believe they were necessary. If I had ever needed them I would have taken them. You see many of us were made to believe that our health is something that only doctors and prescription drugs can inﬂuence. We are culturally programmed to expect fast cures for our ills and look to others for answers. After my surgery the urologist recommended that I take radiation treatment as a precaution against cancer cells that may have been left behind because of the enlargement of my prostate. I gracefully declined. My concern was the added stress on my body and that good cells would have been compromised and in turn weakened my immune system against pathogens.
I do believe that the majority of medical professionals are dedicated to their work and are doing a good job in the area of medicine in which they have been trained. They should be commended. However, after my ﬁrst experience with surgery, I have decided to take a proactive role in decision making that involves my health. I can vividly remember an incident that took place in the recovery room after the surgery. My heart was ﬂuctuating rapidly. I was supposed to go to the recovery room for a few minutes, but I ended up in the intensive care unit for three days under observation for heart problems. I was asked several questions about the previous condition of my heart. Several tests were conducted, and the medical staﬀ could not come up with any answers. Everyone was getting very concerned, excluding myself because my faith and my belief in God gave me strength. It was on the third day when a student doctor suggested that they reduce the ﬂuid I was receiving via the IV machine. After the reduction my heart went back to a normal rhythm.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
Galatians 5:1 ESV For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Matthew 7:7 ESV “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Romans 7:25 ESV Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 3:5 ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Colossians 3:2-5 ESV Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Matthew 5:28 ESV But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 2:11-16 ESV For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. …
Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study