Loving Louise: “I can’t explain it, but we find no trace of cancer.”

Cancer???????????????????????????????

Cancer.  We hear the word and recoil, thinking of the destruction these rogue cells cause.  Several of my friends are currently enduring the ordeal of cancer treatments.  Both of my parents died of cancer.  Most of us have friends, colleagues or family who have been touched by this terrible disease.

We are all blessed when Christians choose to glorify God in diagnosis and treatment for cancer.  Louise has been a wonderful example of this. Though very much wanting to live, she has sincerely and openly confessed that, “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.”

She wished she hadn’t looked

Louise has been extremely ill this past year.  Miscarriage claimed her first child then later in the year, her twins.  Illness, dizziness, infections, and fatigue followed the second miscarriage.  By the end of November all the tests results were in:  stage 3 bladder cancer.  Further tests revealed the cancer had spread to her ovaries and uterus.  Louise’s doctor showed her the images and pointed out the cancer.  She wished she hadn’t looked.  Prognosis was 6 months of treatment in hopes of stopping the spread with the possibility of surgery afterward.

Brian and Louise grieved, and cried out to God.  They questioned, they wept, they turned to the Scriptures and they prayed.  Their physical families and the church family circled around them and lovingly helped and provided for them.

Chemotherapy

The prescribed chemotherapy was in pill form, taken at home, two weeks on, one week off.  Extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dizziness ensued.  The food that would stay down smelled foul and tasted terrible.  Louise shaved her head.  She slept a lot.

Through all of this she would text friends about the things that God was teaching her.  She told everyone of God’s goodness to her -doctors, nurses, and anyone else who would listen.  Most people will at least politely listen because who wants to discourage someone struggling with cancer?

Test results

After the second cycle of treatments Louise had a good week.  She felt stronger.  She could eat.  Her abdomen was pain-free.  Louise went in for her next set of testing.  The doctors were concerned about something and put a rush on the results.

Tuesday night the oncologist called Louise.  “Oh no.  Something must be wrong for the doctor himself to be calling me in the evening.”

The voice on the other end was incredulous.  “Louise, I can’t explain it, but we find no trace of cancer in any of your tests.”

Louise gasped, “Praise God!”  She wanted to be sure.  “Are you sure it is me? Please read me the health care number.”  He did. “Yes, that’s my number.”

The doctor continued, “I examined the results very carefully and asked two of my colleagues to give me their opinions.  We are in agreement.  There is not a hint of cancer anywhere.”

God has done this!

Excitedly Louise exclaimed, “This is God!  God has done this!”

“I need to read that paper you gave me,” her doctor replied.

“Paper?  What paper?”  Louise was puzzled.

“It was called, ‘God’s Bridge to Eternal Life.”

“Yes, God is the one Who did this and that tract will tell you about our wonderful God!”

Brian and Louise quickly spread the news.  They are keenly aware that God does not always or even often answer prayers for healing this dramatically.  Her doctors want to quadruple check the results.  So far the tests have all shown the same thing:  no trace of cancer.  The doctor showed her the cancer-free images next to the first ones.  She’s glad now that she had looked and could see the difference.

Thank you and give God the glory

To those of who have been praying, thank you.  Brian and Louise want to give God the glory.  They don’t want to squander this opportunity to point others to God.  They approach God with open hands and continue to give Him their lives to use as He wishes.

Brian and Louise do not know what the future holds; none of us does.  But today, and with gratitude, we praise God for healing Louise.

Loving Louise: When a Friend Has Just Been Diagnosed with Cancer

A dear Christian sister???????????????????????????????

A dear sister in Christ from our church, a young woman in her 20’s, has just been diagnosed with cancer.  This post was originally written for our church family but Louise has given me permission to share this here in hopes that it may be helpful to others.

Diagnosed with cancer

We are all impacted by the latest news about our dear sister, Louise. After miscarrying three babies this year, she now has been diagnosed with stage three bladder cancer. This news has caused us all great sadness to the point that some of us struggle to engage in our daily obligations as we wrestle with the reality of this burden. And we find ourselves asking why. Why are such terrible tragedies and burdens laid on one person, a person who wholeheartedly loves God and seeks to honor Him in every area of her life?

We may never know why

Could I encourage you, dear brothers and sisters, to lay this burden at the feet of our dear Savior? The reality is that we may never know why. God ordains all events for our good and His glory, even when we cannot understand the purpose.

Messages from the book of Job

Most of you know that Pastor Bud has been preaching Sunday evenings on the book of Job. When he began no one was aware of Louise’s cancer. God directed him to begin this series and Louise has expressed how listening to these messages has helped her. Maybe they will also help you as you consider Louise’s situation. You can access these messages at www.sermonaudio.com/lightaudio.

How can we help?

Louise begins her treatments today. How can we, as her church family, help during these days of treatment? Let me offer some suggestions:

Praying

Be praying for Brian and Louise each time God brings them to mind. Pray that the treatment will be effective. Pray that Louise would be spared from any nasty side effects. Pray that she will maintain her strength so she can have the treatments. Pray that Louise will have such a wonderful testimony in all of this that people will be drawn to Christ through her radiant testimony. Pray that she will continually find her encouragement and strength in the Lord her God.

Doing

We can also be doing things to help. I will check with them, but things people in her situation usually need are meals, housekeeping, money for parking, transportation, people to stay with her during treatment, and notes of encouragement along the way.

Be Sensitive

As Louise begins treatment she may become very weak and not feel up to chatting with any of us. We need to take direction from her in the matter of personal visits and phone chats. We need to respect her privacy about details of her condition or treatment she may not wish to share with everyone.

This Impacts others

We need to remember this impacts Brian every bit as much as it impacts Louise. What godly husband does not wish to ‘fix’ things and make them easier for his wife? In this matter Brian has to watch as his wife endures a treatment which may bring its own set of difficulties. Pray for Brian to continue to have godly responses to his wife’s suffering.

Let God use this in your life

So, dear church family, please allow God to use this to draw us closer together. Allow this to soften any hardened place in your heart as you cry out in prayer to Him for Louise’s situation. Praise God for His goodness and trust in Him through this time of suffering.

We serve a great and loving God, One Who loves Louise more than we can ever love her. “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”