Well, the world traveler has returned home and has some wonderful news to share with each of you!
Sherri and I arrived at home Friday evening after some flight delays due to poor weather. We were greeted by friends with silly string at the airport, drove home, and tried over the weekend to recover from jet lag and a 6 hour time difference. We went to church on Sunday, which was like returning home. It felt so awesome to be standing in church again, worshipping God. It was such an incredibly wonderful feeling and just so right and perfect. Pastor Thomas told the congregation in both services of Sherri’s and my return home from our European trip, and explained why the trip was necessary, about my upcoming stem cell transplant, and then invited me to stand before the congregation (in both services) surrounded by all the cancer survivors in the congregation, and they all prayed over me. It did my soul such good to be again surrounded by my family – my church family – after 6 weeks of separation. I had missed being in their presence as we together seek God’s presence. Truly, nothing can replace that.
On Monday morning (the 24th) I had a PET/CT scan scheduled at Hillman. Dr. Agha wanted to get this scan done prior to the scheduled Stem Cell Transplant in order to reassess the disease progression before admitting me on Wednesday the 26th, as planned. This morning, Tuesday the 25th, I had an appointment with Dr. Agha to review the results of the scan.
Dr. Agha and his team walked into the exam room smiling. He welcomed me back and asked all about the trip…where had I gone, what had I done, how did I feel, etc. I told him the various places and adventures that Sherri and I had gone on, and impressed him with the extent of the physical activities I had done, from hiking to kayaking, to rock-climbing, to canyoning, and everything in between. He asked me, rather pointedly, if I had drank any red wine. I assured him that I hadn’t, that I don’t like the taste of wine. He inquired if I had been taking any supplements or medications on the trip. No, I stated that I hadn’t. He did the rest of his typical routine, throughout which he and his team asked me a few more times about drinking red wine. After again confirming that I hadn’t had any, Dr. Agha sat down in front of me, stating that he had personally reviewed the PET/CT scan himself since the radiologist hadn’t prepared a report of it yet. Then he told me very simply that the tumors have begun to shrink. He said that although he isn’t a radiologist, he can read a scan and has done so many times, and that indeed, the tumors were smaller! He said that he wanted to wait for an official report from the radiologist before postponing the stem cell transplant, but that he expected the radiologist report to state the same and that he fully anticipated that a stem cell transplant at this time isn’t necessary. He said that his team would call me later this evening, one way or the other, and let me know the results of the official report, and whether I would need to be admitted to the hospital the following morning.
Around 10 pm tonight, I called the hospital answering service and soon received a follow-up call from Dr. Agha…inadvertently, the individual responsible for calling me tonight forgot…but Dr. Agha told me that he had indeed reviewed the radiologist’s report by that time and that yes, the tumors had shrunk! He said that we will not proceed with the transplant, that the donor would be put on a hold (so that he is still reserved for me if I do need him at some point in the near future), and that he wants me to wait two months and have a follow-up PET/CT scan.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!?!?
I believe that this is the beginning of the supernatural healing that has been prayed for by so many people. I believe that this reversal of the disease, this shrinking of the tumors, is God alone. I believe this, for one, because I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and through that relationship know that God is able to do anything, that He truly is all powerful, and that He truly is in control. (He doesn’t just take control when it isn’t given to Him, and He isn’t always responsible, but He is always able, and He is always bigger and greater than our comprehension.) Secondly, I believe that this is a miraculous healing because there is nothing else that it can be attributed to. The doctors are stumped and want to believe that it is because of some red wine (which I didn’t even drink!). It isn’t due to medical treatment, because I haven’t had any since January when I had radiation (and previous scans showed that the tumors grew and increased in number since then). It isn’t due to changes in my diet, because although I did try a special “Macrobiotic” diet for about 4 months, I ended this diet prior to leaving for Europe because I didn’t want to be restricted when on vacation. While on the diet, I had a PET/CT scan that showed an increase in the tumors. While on vacation, I indulged in sweets and other foods known to be foods that certainly don’t aid in eliminating cancer, but rather promote cancer. So diet is certainly not a reason to explain the sudden regression of the tumors.
All Dr. Agha could say is that sometimes diseases such as this will experience a spontaneous regression and a change in their biological state. True, but even that doesn’t state ‘why,’ but rather only ‘what.’
Judge for yourself, but I believe this to be God’s hand at work. And Praise God for it! Throughout these two years since being diagnosed, I have praised God continually. I do so all the more now! This is the work of God alone, in response to the thousands of prayers that have gone up on my behalf.
To Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or think, to Him be the Glory!
I look forward to writing you another letter in two months!
Much love and blessings, Amy