Julie heard the words coming from somewhere in the white walled room. Biopsy. Breast cancer. She blinked an tried to focus. Her doctor was talking to her about the most recent recurrence of the dreaded disease her body harbored. Another surgery, he was saying, breast removal. She thought she might be dreaming. No, she realized, she was awake and at the cancer clinic. She then felt her head shaking firmly and heard her own voice protesting.
“No! I won’t let them keep cutting body parts out of me just to buy more time. It’s not about the quantity of years, but the quality. No more surgery.” said Julie.
“Julie, this surgery could save your life, without it you will most certainly die from breast cancer.” said the calm and ever collected Doctor Pallera.
“What kind of life? The last several years have not been spent living, but slowly dying. It’s just in the past year I have even begun to have a life again. I won’t go back to that kind of existence! Absolutely not! Just give me something to keep me comfortable if I need it and I will take my chances.” said Julie, with steely conviction in her voice.
Julie had felt the mass in her right breast just a month ago, and spent the next few weeks in denial. It just couldn’t be, she thought. She had been cancer free for a year and had been so happy about life. She made the decision then and there not to have any more surgery. I’m done, she thought. This is it. Three surgeries and chemotherapy had left her numb. She had prayed fervently about this, and the answer had always been the same. She felt was God telling her enough was enough.
She had watched a friend go through this. Surgery after surgery and in the end she had died anyway. The last two years of her life spent in and out of the hospital, trying every new drug on the market, and still, she died.
Julie would not put herself or her loved ones through that. She decided she would have better chances by putting herself in God’s care. He had saved her life before, performing miracles when doctors told her years ago she would not live very long.
Julie explained all of this to Doctor Pallera, and he told her in a very sober tone the decision was hers. He said he would like for her to at least have radiation. He did not think the aggressive breast tumor would be taken care of by radiation alone, but it would hopefully keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of her body. Julie agreed to the radiation treatments. She would have them five days a week for ten weeks.
She got up every week day of those ten weeks and went to the radiologist for treatments, and every day she prayed to know Jesus’ will for her. She told him her life was in his hands, and she was at peace with his decision, whatever that might be. She lived each day as if it was her last, happily and gratefully. She was not afraid of any outcome, and at the times when the radiation made her weak, her faith made her strong.
Julie could feel the tumor in her breast growing smaller week by week.
At the end of the ten weeks, when Julie went to see Doctor Pallera, he was all smiles.
“Your scan shows no trace of a tumor in your breast and your lab results are excellent. It’s just amazing!” he said in his soft, gentle voice.
Julie hugged and thanked her doctor and then said a prayer thanking Jesus. Something deep inside of her told her all along this would be the outcome. One more miracle for a woman others might say took a big chance when she put her life and fate into the hands of Jesus Christ.
As she was driving home that day the thought occurred to Julie that one day she might die of cancer, but not today. Today, she had life.
“What kind of life?” she asked herself, and the answer was simple.
The only kind worth living. A life filled with faith.
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