Monday, June 30, 2014

My Cancer Testimony.

June 30, 2014 at 4:26pm
(some details left out to spare the reader)
Many people do not know, but I am a cancer survivor. I don't even refer to myself has just a survivor though, because Christ has healed me so completely it is as if I never had cancer in the first place. And many times I can even 'forget' that I had it until I hear someone's cancer story and I relive my journey in my mind.
Back in July, 1981, I was planning on getting married, at age 23, and as most young women do, I needed to get a medical exam to make sure I was healthy and all was fine. Being so young and not working at the time, and not knowing any better at that time, I went to the local Planned Parenthood Clinic for women because it was a free clinic. I went there for a pelvic exam. Being a young girl, my mother assured me that it might be a little uncomfortable, but nothing too bad. Well, the woman who did my exam had to be like 80 years old, and as she examined me.. she did not think it unusual that I suddenly screamed to the top of my lungs in pain! She just about killed me during that exam! I was so embarrassed but I could not stop myself from screaming in the pain! I got home, and told my mother, she was shocked that I had such a reaction! I was so weak I almost couldn't walk.  Afterwards, they sent my test to the lab for results which took a month to return back to say it was abnormal! Which meant I had to return to the clinic for another painful exam. I had to do this 2 more times, and each time a month apart the results came back abnormal. 
After the last exam, they suggested I go to the hospital, which I did on a Friday, I went to the University Hospital/ Oklahoma Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City. The doctor examined me, that Friday afternoon, and immediately on the following Monday, I was admitted into the hospital. For a whole week, I had every test known to man and no stone was left unturned. I will spare you the details of all the tests, but some were very painful.
I remember every detail now like I did then. As this was a teaching hospital, they had a panel of about 25 doctors and cancer specialists examine me all at one time. I was so embarrassed. But you soon lose all sense of modesty. That panel as each one examined me, stated that they could visiblably see my cancer,, it was horribly color and about the size of a golf ball in diameter and sitting on the lining wall of my vagina. Why the Planned Parenthood nurse could not see this when she looked, Lord only knows, she missed or ignored seeing it 3x.
The diagnosis was .. CLEAR CELL ADENO CARCINOMA, of the vagina, very rare and the only reason that I ended up with this cancer was due to the fact of medical error during my mother's pregnancy with me. Back in 1957, mom tried to miscarry me the whole 9 months, doctors back then dispensed a drug called D.E.S.  (Diethylstibestrol), a synthetic, non steriodial estrogen, that was thought to stop miscarriage. This drug was given to millions of mothers in the 1950s up to the 1970s. Finally the drug was banned, but research proved this drug did not stop miscarriage but caused the daughters of these women to get this very rare vaginal cancer, and all the sons of these mothers to get breast cancer. There has been ongoing research all these years on this drug and the damage it has caused. So far over 500,000 daughters and sons of these women are affected. They do not know if it will transfer to the grandchildren of these women. There was a class action lawsuit but I could not join in as my mother's medical records were lost. But I am on record at the University Of Chicago and they keep in touch with me about my health.  I have a stack of medical records like 2" thick and a lifetime of memories.
I ended up having a 10 hour surgery, hysterectomy and vaginal reconstruction. Had no chemo or radiation. They had to remove the lining of the vaginal area and reconstruct a new one using skin grafted from my right thigh. I was in the hospital 2 weeks after surgery, to recover. I can say I would rather have another hysterectomy before I ever have another skin graft! It was horrible. Very long story short, I had the surgery, took a year to completely recover and the reconstruction to be complete. There are many more details I could tell , but let me just say its been now 33  YEARS in Oct. and I have been so completely HEALED by Christ that I hardly ever remember that I even had cancer. I am not just a survivor ,, I have overcome and am completely restored, as if I never had it. PRAISE JESUS.  My cancer was Stage 4, they did not know if it was slow or fast growing..but I praise God that He led me through the process to get it taken care of and I am still here to talk about it. The story is not about me but what Jesus did in me.

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