In the summer of 1998 as I was preparing for my junior year of college, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Scans showed seven tumors throughout her colon and the truth was that the outlook was not good. She met with an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and they opted to try chemotherapy. After much prayer (and some insistence from my parents) I did return to Lee in the fall on ’98. That decision would ultimately be a pivotal one in this story.
Mom struggled greatly through the chemotherapy during the coming months. The side effects of the poison that was put in her system took a heavy toll on her, including the one that most women fear the most with the loss of her hair. She was consistently too weak to go out and on the rare occasion that she was able, she didn’t want to because of the hair loss.
I came home that Christmas to find my mother’s body decimated. She barely weighed 100 lbs. and she was just plain sick all the time. I know that she came close to giving up, but she never did. The chemo was having some, although not much, affect on the cancer. Again I struggled with the decision to go back to school in January, but ultimately I went back.
In early February ’99, Campus Choir was scheduled to be at Winterfest in Ocean City, MD. This was about a 3 hour drive for my parents, but despite my mom’s weak condition they were making plans to attend. An hour before they were supposed to leave, my mom said that she didn’t think she could make it. With some encouragement from my dad she decided to come anyway, and she was expecting that the only time we would have together would be in the hotel, because she felt that there was no way she could attend the evening services.
Friday night’s service came and my mother tried to attend. She made it through about an hour and had to go back to the hotel. She decided she would try again on Saturday night.
As the choir gathered for prayer before the service, something was different. I can’t adequately describe it, but there was an expectancy that we were about to see something that was going to blow our minds, but we couldn’t put our minds around what was going to take place.
We took the stage and worship was electric that night. There’s something about 2,500 teenagers in a room coming together to worship that is amazing. We still didn’t know what was going to happen.
At some point during the worship, one of the youth from my home church grabbed my mom’s hand and asked her to go down to the front with her. My mother was weak and reluctant, but teenagers don’t know how to take ‘no’ for an answer and she went down. Within a few moments, I saw something unusual from my perch behind the percussion gear. Our sax player had made his way toward the edge of the stage, not more than 6-8 feet from my mom, and was ‘playing over her.’
I began to feel impressed to go pray with my mom.
As I prayed, I was led by the Lord to ask her if she was willing to dance for her miracle. This was significant to me, because my mom was NOT a dancer. She began jumping up and down, worshiping, praying, and pleading with God for a miracle.
Then it happened. The power of God took control and the next thing I knew my mom was on the floor. Given her medical condition, I was concerned because as she was lying on the floor she was clutching at her side like she was in pain. I asked her if she was alright, but I got no intelligible response.
After several minutes she got up and all she could say was, “It’s gone.” I turned around to say something to her and she was gone. This frail, bald, 100 lb. woman was running around the convention center like a little kid. The most vivid memory I have of that occurrence is seeing her waving her hat around on her finger like a toy. The embarrassment of her baldness was overwhelmed by the joy of what she was experiencing with God that night.
Following the service she shared with the choir that when she was on the floor, she felt as though someone had made an incision into her side and then reached in and scooped out the cancer. She proclaimed to us that night with confidence, “I’m healed.”
At this point, skeptics would say that it was an emotional reaction based on the circumstance and that nothing backed up her claim of healing. To those skeptics that may be reading this, the story isn’t over.
Mom got back home on Sunday evening and that Monday morning she was in the doctor’s office demanding blood work. They did the blood test and we waited for results. The oncologist called a couple of days later and asked her to come back because there was a problem with her lab work. The problem was that there were no detectable cancer cells in her blood.
He wanted to repeat the test, hand carry the blood to the lab, and personally oversee the testing. This man of science was convinced that it was a simple lab error. When the repeat test also came back clear, he asked my mom if she would consent to a CT of the colon. She agreed. The doctor also made one more request. He asked my mom to bring her Bible with her when she came back to talk about the CT because if it was clear, he wanted to know about this healing stuff that my mom was talking about.
The CT wasn’t only clear, but it showed no scarring and no sign that cancer had ever been in my mom’s body. My mom was then able to share the gospel with her oncologist, and he in turn accepted Christ as his Savior. The most amazing part of this story is the following statement that my mother made in a worship service. “The cancer was horrible. The treatment was worse. However, knowing that my suffering opened the door for one man to go to Heaven, makes me say with confidence that I would do it again if I had to.”
Side note – it is now May, 2011 and my mom is still cancer free! To God be the glory, great things He has done!!