As I pushed the handle of the door to walk out of the doctor’s office that brisk winter afternoon, I knew that I was in for the fight of my life. I took my husband’s hand and we walked down the path toward the car. We stopped and embraced. As I rested my head on his chest he said, “We are going to get through this.”
I knew I was in for the fight of my life, yet numbness filled my soul. The words of the diagnosis rang in my head like the chimes of the cathedral bells of my childhood tolling the time on the quarter hour. Cancer, multiple myeloma, blood cancer, chemotherapy, prolonged anemia, and stem cell transplant. Yet in the back of my mind, I could hear a still small voice echoing, “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever.” My mind swirled, yet an anchor settled my soul with the comforting thought that somehow Jesus was aware of my situation and would come to my rescue.
In the weeks and months that followed, I read about the disease, received prayer for divine healing, and filed paperwork to begin medical treatment. Time seemed to fly as I attended the weekly appointments for chemotherapy, antibiotics, bone marrow biopsies, blood transfusions, and check ins for the complete blood count a.k.a. CBC. Peace filled my heart and a positive attitude flooded my mind.
It was not until the day of the stem cell transplant that I acknowledged how sick I really was. Intellectually, I grasped the concept of contracting cancer. Intellectually I grasped the fact the Jesus was the only answer for my case. Intellectually, I grasped the concept that the stem cell transplant was the best treatment for me. However, as I lay in the hospital, in and out of consciousness, totally unable to care for myself I began to connect the dots. I was hanging between life and death. I was in need of help fo’ real. In the background an iMac played the scripture aloud on a continuous loop. Suddenly, I heard passages of Scripture rumble through my mind declaring the power of God to heal, bring victory, empower, enlighten, and cause ME to be an overcomer. I was no longer involved in an intellectual pursuit. I made a connection with the God of the Scripture, with Jesus The Christ, and began to own the promises for my life and wellbeing. I had a blessed assurance.
As the stem cell transplant team entered the room, I knew that the power of The Christ was present to prevail. I knew that I would make it through. Using my own stem cells in the transplant, the process lasted 45 minutes, but the healing process took five years. There were days when I thought I would die. Waves of despair flooded my soul. There were numerous trips to the ER because of a crisis. I spent hours hooked to an IV receiving chemotherapy. Nausea, incontinence, vomiting, and dehydration were my constant companions.
Darkness seemed to overwhelm me. But songs of deliverance flooded my soul. I often heard the voice of Holy Spirit singing on the inside and listened to the words of familiar melodies. After several rounds, I opened my mouth in agreement and gave voice to the Word of the Lord for my situation. “I am not forgotten, God knows my name…” “Never would have made it without YOU…” “You came to my rescue…” “Encourage yourself in the Lord.”
I began to say what God was saying, sing what God was singing, and hum what God was humming. I knew that I would be healed. I knew that I would live and not die and declare the glory of God. My friends, I worked with the grace extended to me from the Word of God, the prayers of the saints, the songs of deliverance, the tears I cried, the fears I pushed aside, and I held fast to the precious promises given in Scripture about my situation, circumstance, and condition. There is no cure for multiple myeloma. Drugs are used to keep the cancer in check.
Despite the use of a variety of chemotherapies, remission was not achieved until the fifth year. Oh yes, I overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony! I recognize that every situation is different, that I made mistakes along the way, but this I know: Jesus is a healer. The path to remission was circuitous; it was not magic. I fight to maintain the victory!
I’d love to hear your testimony of overcoming! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @marriagedoctor2.
Dr. Vivian M. Jackson is the First Lady of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches and Hope Christian Church as well as the wife of one of our newest columnists, Bishop Harry Jackson (stay tuned for his first post). Dr. Vivian is an international conference speaker, seasoned with 35 years of Christian ministry. She serves families in establishing their children in Biblical truth. Also known as “The Marriage Doctor,” Dr. Vivian shares poignant information with couples to help them sustain strong marital relationships.