Posts Tagged ‘surviving cancer’

By Deborah Hocutt. Photos by Daniel Hocutt.

It was a Wednesday afternoon when I got the news: “Deborah, you have cervical cancer. We’re so sorry that there’s nothing we can do. Do you have your family nearby because some final decisions will have to be made? You’ll really need their love and support during a time like this.”

calloutA second opinion with a leading cancer specialist confirmed that yes, it was Stage 4 cervical cancer and yes, the prognosis was not good. Not good at all.

There are always these defining moments, aren’t there? Those character-revealing times on our path. Times when we have to go beyond our own abilities. Times when we have to look deep within ourselves to find God’s strength and courage. This was my time.

I knew treatment and surgeries were going to gobble up my remaining days. But I chose, and still choose, to stay positive. I checked into the hospital where I faced radiation, chemotherapy and major surgery – eleven hours of surgery. And my odds of making it through that process were about 10%, even less with post-surgical complications.

That fearful cancer call, that eleven hours of surgery, that chemotherapy and radiation treatment… were over twenty years ago!

I have come to accept that cancer is part of who I am. This acceptance comes only through faith, which acts as my pillow, and through grace, my comforting blanket.

But I didn’t come to this understanding easily or quickly. I have struggled to comprehend disease in God’s world, to stop going through scenarios in my head of “I could have …,” “I should have …”, or “If only I ….” It took years to stop looking for answers to “Why me?” and start coming from a place of “If it be Your will, Lord.”

Through much prayer, I have come to thank and praise God for my cancer. Without walking that journey with Him, I wouldn’t be the mother to two beautiful daughters born in China but placed, by God, into my arms. I wouldn’t know the amazing and rare love of my husband who each day loves me for who I am and who faces the fear, pain and aftermath of cancer as much as I do. I wouldn’t know how to care for and understand those who face serious illness and death. If not for my journey, I wouldn’t appreciate the overwhelming power of God’s grace and ever-present comfort. And even when I face the side effects of cancer, I know that whether in my now-home or my heaven-home, I am in the hands of a loving God, who guides my walk.

Before cancer God had a plan for me, during cancer He had a plan, and now He continues to have a plan for me. So what have I ultimately learned through my walk with cancer? Following God’s plan for my life, whatever that may be, is the most powerful medicine of all.

Deborah HocuttDeborah Hocutt, former literary manager now a full-time mom, is part of the FBC Prodigal Project.

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