My Testimony

Around mid May of 2008 while brushing my hair, I discovered a sore spot on the back of my head.  This sore spot felt like a small bump.  I had my husband take a look and he thought it was just a hair bump.  About a month went by and this bump began to grow and also became tender.  It was now the size of a marble.  On Sunday June 15th, I decided to go to Prompt Care facility since I didn’t want to wait to contact my doctor’s office on Monday.  The doctor examined me and thought I had a cyst.  He decided to lance the cyst to relieve the infection.  However, nothing came out.  He suggested that I keep applying a hot compress to bring the infection to the surface and eventually the cyst would go away.   

I continued to wait another month and the cyst kept getting bigger and also became very tender.  So I decided to contact my dermatologist for an appointment.  On July 11th, I was still diagnosed with still having a cyst and was told I needed to have out-patient surgery since the cyst was not going away on its own.  My surgery was scheduled for July 21st. I was told this would be a simple procedure and that I would remain awake while the cyst was being removed.  During the procedure the surgeon was surprised that instead of having a cyst, I had a tumor about 2 inches in length.  He assured be that the tumor was not cancerous and to come back to the office in 2 weeks to get the final pathology report. 

On August 4th, my dermatologist informed me that the pathologist was unable to determine the type of tumor or even if it was cancerous, therefore, the tumor had been sent to Mayo Clinic for further study.  He assured me that even if it was cancerous, the surgeon was confident the tumor had been completely removed.  I was told to come back in 2 weeks to receive the final pathology report from Mayo Clinic. 

On August 18th, I was informed that the tumor was rare type of stage 1 cancer called myofibroblastic sarcoma and that the surgeon had not completely removed all the cancer.  The cancer involved the margins of the scalp that was also removed with the tumor.  Even though the tumor was low grade; it was aggressive in behavior which was of great concern.  I was told I needed to have more surgery remove more of my scalp and to also remove some lymph node(s) to make sure the cancer had not spread to other parts of my body.  I was scheduled for my next surgery on September 5th.  I was completely devastated after hearing this news.  My father has just died a week before Thanksgiving last year of throat cancer and now I have cancer.   

The next couple of days were very hard and I was not sure how to deal with the fact I had been diagnosed with cancer.  I just kept praying and asking God to give the strength to push through this difficult situation and to accept the path that he has for my life.  Then one morning as I was getting ready for work, the words “Stronger Everyday” came to me.  It had only been 5 days since I found out I had cancer and through prayer and the support of my husband I was felling stronger with every passing day.  When I got in the car to leave for work, a song started playing on my iPod called “Patience” from an album called “Stronger Everyday”.   I realized that God was assuring me that all I had to do was wait on him to deliver me from this illness.  So during this waiting period until my next surgery, I read and meditated on healing scriptures to reinforce my belief in the fact that God would heal me.

Friday, September 5th, the day of my surgery, I felt like this was a next step in my healing process.  My husband and I arrived at the hospital around 7:00am.  I needed to have a Lymphoscintigraphy with imaging test to determine how many lymph nodes my tumor drained to.  Once the test was completed, I was told four lymph nodes would have to be removed.  One on each side of my neck and one from each front shoulder blade.  This information was kind of scary, because what would be the chances of all four nodes being free of cancer.  All I could do was pray and ask God to give me the strength to continue to believe in his word. 

Since my surgery was scheduled for 1:50pm, I had at least 3 ½ hours of waiting in the pre surgery holding area.  The nurse was nice enough to ask my husband and me if we wanted to watch a movie to help pass the time.  She brought us a portable DVD player and some movies.  I decided to watch Evan Almighty.  Being able to watch a comedy based on a biblical story really lifted my spirit and let me know God was near. 

When it was time for me to be taken to surgery, I kissed my husband goodbye and told him I loved him.  Once I was on the surgical table and the oxygen mask was placed over my mouth, I silently starting talking to God.   I asked him to heal me and may this surgery be a success.  The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery in severe pain and having hard time breathing.  It was very hard for me to remain conscious.  I kept hearing the nurse telling me to breath or she would tap me on my arm to try to wake me up so I could breathe normally.  This was supposed to be out patience procedure, but since I was in so much pain and having breathing issues, I was admitted.   

The next time I woke up was in the hallway outside my room with my husband rubbing my hand as I gasped for air.  Once inside the room, I could hear my husband telling me “Don’t go, come back to me”.  This was scary thing for me to hear so I fought really hard to try to stay wake and to breathe normally.  I was in so much pain that I was giving Morphine and Vicodin throughout the night.  My husband also spent the night with me in my room to watch over me.   

Saturday was still a difficult day.  I was taken off the oxygen about mid morning but was still having a hard time getting my pain under control.  I continued with the Morphine, Vicodin and Ultram throughout the day and rest of that night.  When I woke up Sunday morning, one of the night shift nurses had wrote “Lord Bless You” on the message board on the wall.  That message really warmed my heart.  My pain level had improved and was off the Morphine and only taking Vicodin every 4 hours.  I was released to go home that afternoon around 3:30pm.

 That night at home, I was unable to sleep.  I was having a hard time getting my pain under control.  The Vicodin I was sent home with was not helping.  The next morning my husband contacted my doctor and they called in another prescription for Ultram.  I was still not getting any relief.  All day long, I kept praying for God to get me through the pain.  That night around 9:00pm, I told my husband I could not stand the pain any more so he took me to the emergency room.  I was given Morphine and also put on a Fentanyl patch which would release constant pain medication for the next 72 hours.  Finally, my pain was under control.  I thanked God for answering my prayer. 

On September 11th, my doctor informed me that all four lymph nodes were cancer free; however he was still waiting for the final report to determine if the remainder of the cancer had been completely removed from my scalp.  I was so relieved, to know that the cancer had not spread to any other parts of my body.  However, the left side of my face, ear and my right shoulder were numb and very sensitive to touch.  My doctor informed me that the numbness was caused from the removal of my lymph nodes and that some nerves were traumatized.  It will just take time for the numbness to go away.  I thanked God for this wonderful news.  I just had to keep believing in his word and be patience for the final pathology report. 

On September 22nd, my doctor informed me that all the cancer had been removed.  I was 100% cancer free.  The next step was to refer me to an Oncologist to determine if I needed chemotherapy or radiation treatments to prevent the cancer from reoccurring.  This was the miracle I had been praying to God for.  I felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted.   I could start living my life again and also look forward to a future without cancer.  But after a few days all I could think about was my cancer reoccurring again.  These thoughts were really starting to get me down.  But then I remember how the God told me to just be patience and wait on him.  So, I just told myself not to worry and that God was in control and everything would work out for my good. 

I met with the Oncologist on September 25th.  He informed me that he would continue to follow me for the next 3 years or so to monitor my progress.  He also stated that for the type of cancer I had, chemotherapy is not a treatment option to prevent the cancer from reoccurring and he would refer me to a Radiologist to discuss possible radiation treatments.  However, he was unsure if the Radiologist would recommend further treatments because there was a question as to whether enough healthy tissue was removed during my second surgery.  I just kept praying to God that if it was his will for me to have radiation treatments to complete my healing process for him to allow the Radiologist to give me that option. 

I met with the Radiologist on September 30th.  I was told that the type of cancer I had was extremely rare there was just not enough studies to determine if radiation treatments would prevent the cancer from reoccurring. However, I could do the radiation treatments now or I could wait to see if the cancer comes back within the next 2 years.  If the cancer did return, I would need more surgery and also radiation treatments for sure.  The doctor asked if wanted to do the treatments now or wait to see what happens down the road.  I expressed to him that I was concerned about the possibility of the cancer reoccurring and that I would feel more comfortable if we did the radiation treatments now instead of later.  He agreed and said I would have to have radiation treatments 5 days a week for 5 weeks.  The radiation process started on October 13, 2008. 

The following year on Febuary 22, 2009, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant with my first child. My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years and we just assumed we could not have any children. Baby Aaliyah was born on September 30th and was healthy. I'm go greatful that God gave me my daughter. What a wonderful blessing she is.

In the meantime, I’m putting all my faith and trust in God that he will deliver me from cancer and that my story will be an inspiration to others who are also need encouragement.  

Psalm 27:13-14 (Amplified Bible) 13[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living! 14Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.