The Doctor Said the “C” Word
April 28, 2005, started out as any other day….for a school teacher mother of three high-school aged teenagers and wife to a husband who often traveled for work. It was a bit of an easier day because the elementary students that I teach were headed on a field trip.
The trip went without incident until I boarded the bus to return to the school. I began to feel sick to my stomach. I broke out in a sweat and continued to feel worse.
I went to the emergency room, and by the time I was seen, the pain had greatly subsided. I actually gave thought to leaving, but knowing my husband and family wanted to know the complete story, I waited for the doctor to see me.
After telling the doctor my symptoms, he came to the same conclusion that we had–a kidney stone. He ran the typical CAT scan to check. The results were a bit shocking. It was not a kidney stone. The doctor saw a small, dark spot on the scan. “Nothing major,” he said, “but you probably want to get your doctor to look at it.”
“I went home that night, figuring it was not a big deal, but concern was lurking in the back of my mind.”
I went to see my doctor the next day, and she concluded that I had an ovarian cyst that needed to be removed. This was Friday; she scheduled the surgery, a laparoscopy, for Monday. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that would require only a few small incisions to remove the cyst.
The surgery on Monday was supposed to be an outpatient surgery. The total time was supposed to be less than 30 minutes. The recovery time was supposed to be less than a week. But things are not always what they are supposed to be. When all was said and done, the surgery was just under three hours! The doctor explained that the cyst was more than what she had originally thought. It was in fact torsion in the ovary that caused an abscess to form. Instead of a laparoscopy, she required a 6 inch incision to remove the whole ovary. In removing the ovary, a slight tear had taken place and some leakage had occurred, so she was recommending antibiotics as a cautionary measure. While I lay in the hospital recovering, the doctor sent the specimen out to have pathology work performed on it to better understand the root cause. As I was discharged, we scheduled a follow-up in the doctor’s office.
“The follow-up appointment changed my life when the doctor told me that the pathology report showed ovarian cancer!”
Cancer!! I thought, “Surely not me! I am only in my early 40s. Ovarian cancer is a disease of women older than me.” My husband and I cried together and numbly listened as the doctor told us that she had set up an appointment with an oncologist. I was faced with some choices. I could decide that I did not believe the doctor. After all, the cancer cells were microscopic. Maybe she was wrong. I could also choose to believe her, but do nothing about it–no oncologist visit, no treatments, just hope it would take care of itself. I also had the choice to seek treatment for my problem.
The oncologist was a gracious physician who took the time to tell us about gynecological cancers. They are called the “silent killer” because they are usually not detected until it is too late to treat. He also told us that he wanted to remove the other ovary, the uterus and other tissue. So within 3 weeks of my first surgery, I was back under the surgeon’s knife getting more organs removed.
“As I lay in my hospital room recovering, I could not help but think about a time I was dying of another disease. It was the disease of sin.”
And, as with my cancer, I could do nothing to cure it. For you see, I was born with the sin disease. The Bible says that “…all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In another place it says “…there is none righteous, no not one.” I was born a sinner.
And as with my cancer, if it went untreated, my disease of sin would kill me. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death.” I was doomed to an eternity in hell as punishment for my sin. I tried to do things that were considered good. I went to church regularly. I read my Bible. I even gave money to the church. I was a good mother and wife. All this, though, could not cure me of my sin problem. The Bible says that we do not find favor with God through our own “good” works, for it is, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.”
So how could I be cured of my sin problem? I needed a physician. And that is what I found. The Bible calls Jesus Christ the Great Physician. For you see, Jesus Christ has the cure for the sin problem. The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death–eternal separation from God in hell. Someone had to pay the penalty for my sin and as it was, I was the one that would pay. But the Bible says that we do not have to pay the penalty, because Jesus Christ already did! “…He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“I had to leave my sin behind and come to Jesus and ask Him to save me from the penalty of my sin.”
On July 3, 1994, I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me, cleanse me of my sin and He did!
As you read this, you too are stricken with the disease of sin, and you are faced with a decision just as I was with my cancer. You can choose to ignore it and hope it goes away. It will not. You can try other so-called treatments–church membership, good works, giving money to the poor–but those will not cure it. There is only one cure for the disease of sin, the death of Christ. You must leave your sin behind and ask Christ to forgive you and cleanse you of your sin.
The second surgery revealed more cancer, this time in the uterus. I am glad it was caught early enough that it had not spread; although, if it had spread I was ready to die. I have confidence that I would go to heaven, for the Bible says, “Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus) hath everlasting life.” At the time I am writing this, I have finished my chemotherapy and am currently cancer free. But I do not want you to think of the “C” word as cancer, for that is only a temporal issue. The real “C” word is CHRIST, because He is the cure of the eternal disease of sin.