|The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 232)|
I Will Never Leave Thee, Nor Forsake Thee
I was brought up in a Christian home, with the privilege of being a fourth generation Christian, where the faith first dwelt in my maternal great-grandmother. I was acquainted with the narratives of Jesus’ ministry and familiar with many Bible stories from a young age. Nevertheless, salvation is not gained through heritage; rather it is through faith characterised by a personal relationship with Christ the Saviour. I write to recount God’s blessings in the journey of my recent illness and to thank God for His grace and mercy.
Sometime in Nov 2017, I felt faint for the first time; that same evening, I suddenly passed out after my shower. I was taken to the hospital where I was found to be severely anaemic and received my first ever blood transfusion. After that, two months passed without incident.
In Jan 2018, I passed out for a second time at home. Two months later, I had yet another fainting episode, this time while I was at a shopping mall. Thank the Lord for His protection, as I was not hurt. I was also grateful for helpful bystanders and security staff who speedily came to my aid. The next day, at my medical review, I was told that I had Stage 3 endometrioid adenocarcinoma – a malignant cancer. Surgical removal of the tumour was the recommended option. As I was still anaemic, I was admitted for further blood transfusion in preparation for the surgery. I was also able to have my CT scan done on that same day as an inpatient, rather than by an outpatient appointment weeks later. Thank the Lord!
While waiting for the day of my impending surgery, I was blessed by many church brethren who came to visit me at the hospital. With their concern, support and prayers, I did not feel like a lone soldier in battle. Some brethren brought my parents to visit me before the surgery, and our church elder came to pray with me. I had peace in my heart as I had fully committed both the surgery and the outcome into the Lord’s hands. After the surgery, I was a little fatigued but had no pain. I was up and about the next day, without any need for pain relievers. For this, I give thanks.
The evening before discharge, I struck up a conversation with a fellow patient from the neighbouring bed – we talked about religion. She expressed interest in learning more about my faith, and we exchanged contact details. Subsequently, some church brethren shared the Gospel with her; she has since been coming to church meetings regularly. She told me that she was moved by the kindness among the brethren, and was able to sense the peace and joy that came from within them. Praise the Lord!
As the tumour was not completely removed during the first surgery due to its difficult location, I had to undergo chemotherapy. Each session would take up most of the day. I thank God for the sisters-in-Christ who kept me company and cared for me at each session. In addition, I did not experience many of the side effects of chemotherapy, aside from constipation at the very beginning. I was even able to return to work and was deeply aware that the Lord had compassion upon me and protected me as I tended to work duties, particular during my time of physical frailty.
After five sessions of chemotherapy the doctor deemed it sufficient for the targeted effect. The Lord had been merciful in that my body had tolerated the toxic medications relatively well up to that point. Through those fearful sessions, God sent His people to minister to me with prayer, encouragement and His precious Word. The second CT scan showed a 40% reduction in tumour size in response to the treatment which meant that it was time for my second surgery.
Before surgery, brethren from church brought my parents to visit me. I remember having mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was hopeful for a successful surgery; on the other, it would be good if I were to pass on to my heavenly home. To think that I would be liberated from all earthly sorrows and ailments, to be with my Lord forever – how wonderful that would be! A doctor once said to me that one does not suffer if one were to die on the operating table. That said, as Christians, it does not matter whether we live or die, for our God is with us!
After surgery, I was transferred to the intensive care unit, where I had to remain in bed most of the time. Visitations from the brethren brought relief during those dreary days, giving me strength in my infirmity.
My eventual discharge from the hospital was followed by thirty sessions of radiotherapy, where each session lasted several minutes, and was painless. Thank the Lord that I was able to lead a relatively normal life during that period and also gain some weight. I completed my course of radiotherapy, and was able to spend a few days in Hong Kong soon after. The Lord watched over me throughout the trip.
As I revisit these recent events in my life, I am blessed to gain a deeper knowledge of my God – His presence, grace, mercy, faithfulness and power! He knows that I am but a clumsy and feeble lamb of His, often slow to learn; yet He graciously guided and provided for me the whole time – from diagnosis to treatment. Indeed, the Lord saw me through the fainting episodes, issues with my bowels and uterus, numerous specialist visits, medical reports … the list is endless. As He has provided for my physical needs, God also ministered to my soul – I had ample time to confront the reality of my illness and the radical treatment it required. He gave me peace from within and His promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb13:5) is real – to this I can attest. God did not employ spectacular miracles to heal me, but He gave me faith to adhere to the doctors’ instructions; and I believe that was the best way in accord with His plans. My part is to obey; the outcome, whatever it may be, is in the Lord’s hands.