Breast Cancer Chronicles: Sharon Hardy Knotts

In May 2016, reminders for my annual mammogram started coming in the mail, but I was so busy, I kept putting off making a phone call for an appointment. After two months and a letter stating it was my last reminder, I finally called for an appointment in July. I was asked if I would like to get a 3-D mammogram. Unsure, “I don’t know,” I responded. “We have 3-D now,” she repeated. I asked if my insurance would cover it, and when she said that it would, I said okay. Later, I was glad I got the 3-D, because it was less uncomfortable. A few days later I received a letter in the mail stating that I needed to come in for a sonogram. I had never had a breast sonogram before, but I didn’t think much about it. I reasoned it was because it was my first 3-D and probably looked different than the digital one I had the years before. They probably needed the sonogram to aid in the comparison.

That day, July 29th, when the technician was done with the imaging, I was left alone in the dark room. After a while, I realized something was amiss. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she returned with the doctor, who said: “There is something suspicious on your sonogram.” Then she stressed: “It is very small, about the size of half a fingertip,” as she put out her finger to demonstrate. “We need to do a biopsy.” She asked me if I had any questions. I told her that I wasn’t expecting this, and I couldn’t think of anything else to say at the time. In spite of the frightening news, I was not alarmed in my spirit. I felt a modicum of concern, but I was not fearful. As I dressed to leave, a deep sense of peace emanated from my soul, and I made the decision then to maintain that peace no matter what was coming.

My husband Benny was in the waiting room, and I told him the news. His face showed his surprise. It was the week before our annual Campmeeting. They wanted to schedule the biopsy for that week, but I told Benny that I would not do it until after Campmeeting. I was scheduled to minister three times, and I knew I could not do both, so I made the appointment for the week after. When I got home I checked my online messages, and on Facebook there was a message from a lady who had never contacted me in any way before. I don’t know everyone who is a friend on my page, and I didn’t know her. But her cheerful animated message included these verses: “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it…. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and GIVE YOU PEACE.” I thanked the Lord for her encouragement, and again I took hold of that peace.

During Campmeeting, I preached faith for healing and fiery trials like never before: Worship in the Wilderness, Healer in the House, and You Can’t Go Higher Till You Go Through the Fire. I was preaching to myself as much as anyone. At that time I told a few friends whom I knew to be fervent prayer warriors to pray for me. I continued to walk in God’s supernatural peace while I waited.

On the day of the biopsy, August 9th, the doctor kept moving the probe over the same area while looking at the screen. She told her technician that she could not find the lesion. I fully expected her to say, “It’s gone.”  Eventually, she found the spot and told the technician she would have to keep the probe in position with her left hand while she extracted the tissue with her right hand; otherwise she would lose the image on the screen, because it was so small. She remarked that it was good for me that it was so small, but it made it harder for her to do the biopsy. Then I had to wait for the lab report to come in a few days.

When we left the imaging center, we went next door to the adjoining hospital where a dear sister in our church was nearing her trip to Heaven. My husband asked me if I was sure I was up to it, and I told him I felt fine, and I wanted to go and pray for this sister. We had a wonderful time of fellowship with her husband. Paralyzed from a major stroke, she was unable to speak, and there was great doubt that she even recognized anyone. Her head stayed in a fixed position, turned to her right. After we had prayed for her, the Holy Spirit put it in my heart to sing a particular song about Heaven that my grandmother used to love (Where the Roses Never Fade), and as I was singing, she turned her head completely to her left where I was standing, and looked straight into my eyes. We were all shocked, because it was such a purposeful movement. Then as we were leaving, she twice tried to lift her hand off the bed to wave to us. The next day, she slipped into a coma. I was so glad we had that visit before it was too late to communicate with her. Moreover, there is no better therapy than ministering to others when you are in the battle for yourself.

Two days later, I received the pathology report via phone from the doctor: “It was positive for breast cancer, and I needed to see a surgeon. Again, instead of falling apart, having a meltdown, or at least a good cry, I made the necessary phone call, still guided by the unsurpassable peace of the Lord. I marveled at how calm my spirit was.

At this point, I need to back up 32 years and tell you about a previous situation which makes this one the more remarkable.

The Power of Fear

I was 33 years old at the time, having a routine visit with my primary doctor, including a GYN examination. Examining my left breast, she lightly remarked it felt “a little lumpy’” and she was sending me for a mammogram. Although there was no alarm in her voice, her words pierced my soul like an arrow. At that moment, I was besieged by a spirit of fear. Having a mammogram at that age is unusual, and I was convinced of the worst. It happened to be Thanksgiving week, so after I had the mammogram, I had to wait a week for the results, because they were closing that week. That was the worst week of my life up until that time! I cried the entire week. The fear of dying from cancer jumped on me, and I actually began to have pain in my breast! My prayers were nothing but tearful complaints of despair.

When the call from the doctor’s office finally came, I was told that it was nothing. They suggested that I decrease caffeine in my diet, because this sometimes causes fibroid lumps in the breast. A year later I had my third child, whom I breast-fed, and never had a negative examination after that. But it taught me how powerful the spirit of fear is—that it can actually create symptoms in the body that are not real!

So this time when I was faced with the report of breast cancer, I remembered how fear had tormented me before, and I made the decision not to allow it to take hold on me. Please don’t think that I am inferring that I’m some kind of super saint! I could not do it without the gift of the supernatural peace of God! I am amazed by this Heaven-sent peace. I could not manufacture it on my own, no matter how hard I could try. And oh, what a difference it has made in this journey of faith!

The Power of Prayer

I began enlisting everyone I could to pray for me. I am a firm believer in the prayers of the saints. We are told by James to “pray one for another, that we might be healed, because the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much” (James 5:16). I embraced this with all my heart, and I am blessed to have many powerful prayer warriors undergirding me with faithful intercession and encouragement. Over the years of ministry, I have sown encouragement to others during their trials of sickness, and I can say that God was faithful to let me reap what I have sown in my hour of need.

One puzzling thing I have observed is that some Christians don’t want to tell others they have been diagnosed with cancer. I don’t understand what the difference is—sickness—no matter what kind, can be healed. Being diagnosed with cancer does not reflect on a person’s salvation or spirituality. It is a disease for which there are many causes. We live in a polluted world, breathing polluted air, eating polluted food, and drinking polluted water. We are daily exposed to many carcinogens all around us. We do not have our glorified bodies yet, and are subject to the weakness of our flesh. God has put the gift of healings in the Body of Christ, and healing cancer is certainly not an obstacle for God.

The c-word has a powerful effect to bring fear more than any other disease. Satan takes advantage of this and tries to undermine our faith with this destructive fear. We have all the faith we need to be healed, but we must get rid of all fear and doubt that comes against us. Our measure of faith doesn’t need to be big—it just needs to be pure—not mixed with fear, doubt, or unbelief. I have requested prayer many times for back pain, and God has touched me through the prayer of the Saints—why wouldn’t I ask for prayer for cancer?

The Surgical Consultation

Knowing how important it is to have the right surgeon, I asked the Lord to direct me to the right one, and to give me prompts or checks in my spirit accordingly. I immediately liked the doctor. At one point I told him that I had many people praying for me, and he replied with a smile: “So do we.” He praised me for being diligent with my annual mammograms and catching it early while it was so small. The lab test to determine how aggressive the cancer cells were had come back inconclusive. He would order another more advanced test to determine this, which would take a few days. When I returned, I was told that there was not enough tissue from the biopsy to do the test. This meant I would have to wait until surgery when the lump would be tested, along with lymph nodes. These results would determine if any further treatment would be needed.

This is where my prayers were focused: I was standing on Matthew 15:13: “Every plant my Father has not planted shall be rooted up.” God did not plant cancer cells in my body, and they were going to be rooted up, one way or the other. I was not going to allow that thing to grow in my body. I thought at first it was gone when I got the sonogram, but when it wasn’t, I proceeded with the plan to have surgery.

The Famous Mrs. Knotts

The next step was to meet with a board of five specialists, including a second opinion from another surgeon. Each would come into the room one at a time and meet with me and Benny to discuss my case as it pertained to their specialty. Then they would all convene and come to a consensus of what treatment I should have, which would be forwarded to my original surgeon. That day, August 25th, while waiting for the first interview, I had to fill out a questionnaire about my emotional and mental condition. I did not like it at all. The questions were posed in a negative stance, asking if I had been able to eat, to sleep, was I crying all the time, was I depressed, could I work, etc. There was a drawing of a thermometer that filled the paper top to bottom. At the bottom was zero, increasing to 100 at the top. I was too shade in how distressed I was. I told Benny that I was not about to shade in any percentage of distress. I marked it zero and answered every question “No.” 

The first person to interview me was a therapist, a sweet young lady who was kind and gentle. She may have been a little flustered, because when she read the sheet I had filled out, it didn’t leave her anything to counsel me about. The thought occurred to me that she might think I was in denial. I told her that I was a woman of faith, and I belonged to a church where many people were praying for me, and I truthfully was not experiencing distress. I hadn’t had a meltdown. I was filled with peace. She commended me on my faith and wished me well. She only spent a few minutes with me. Afterwards, Benny and I walked outside the room to an area where refreshments were available. As we were choosing what we wanted, the next doctor approached with the nurses who were navigating the interviews. One of them said: “So you are the famous Mrs. Knotts!” Benny and I looked at each other in surprise, as we had no idea what that meant. We returned to the room for the next interview. Once the doctor left, Benny said to me, “Why did they call you the famous Mrs. Knotts?” My only thought was, It had to be because I had answered “no” on every question and said that my distress level was at zero!

(Please understand: I am in no way reflecting on women who experience great trauma and depression as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis. I am aware of how devastating such a diagnosis is for most women, and I do not make light of it. I only share this to show how marvelous and amazing God’s peace was to me, a peace I could not manufacture on my own. I believe because of the experience I had 32 years ago when I fell apart, the Lord allowed me to see this time how His unsurpassable peace is available even in the worst of storms.)

The next day I met with my original surgeon to go over the board’s recommendations. The consensus was that I only need a lumpectomy with radiation, and that I was very fortunate to have caught it at an early stage before it was palpable, when it can require more surgery.

An Unexpected Blessing!

Surgery was scheduled, for Monday, September 12th, and the week before I had to go for routine pre-op testing, which included an EKG. I had been wanting to ask my primary care doctor for an EKG for a while, because several years ago a former doctor who had done one on me, made the comment that I needed to have another one in six months. When I asked her why, she didn’t give me a clear answer. I pressed her to tell me what was wrong with the EKG. She just said, “Nothing, but we need to stay on top of it.” The enemy used this to plant a seed in my mind that something was not right with my heart, so I was glad to get this EKG. When it was finished, the nurse said in a cheerful voice, “Do you want to see your beautiful heart?” I looked at the print out, and it was perfect! She told me I could get dressed and she would be back in a minute. I was smiling to myself for the good EKG test, but I was about to get another, totally unexpected, blessing!

The nurse returned with a beautiful, handmade knitted prayer shawl! Those were the words she used: “This prayer shawl is for you.” It was knitted by ladies (the Knit Wits) who pray over each shawl as they knit it, that God will bless the lady who receives it with healing. What a lovely blessing! Totally unexpected! I never thought when I went to the hospital that day that I would leave with a prayer shawl! She also gave me a bookmark of the “Footsteps” story. Truly the Lord was walking me through this trial with abundant grace, divine favor, and unsurpassable peace!

Unexpected Delays

The following Sunday morning I preached under a liberal anointing The 4Ps of Perfect Faith, on the healing of the woman with the issue of blood and the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death. I was ready spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically for surgery the next morning, and I had scores of people praying for me for the surgery. Benny and I both felt:  Let’s get this done and move on! That afternoon I posted on Facebook and emailed friends and family to remind them to pray for my surgery that next morning.

But that night as I prepared to go to bed early, knowing I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 AM, I got a personal call from the surgeon—He was ill and had to cancel the surgery! He apologized for waiting so late to tell me, but he kept thinking he would feel better; however, he knew he couldn’t be at his best. I told him that I understood and I would pray for him.

I had to quickly make phone calls to family and re-post on Facebook that the surgery was off. In the morning his office called to say the surgery could be done on Wednesday. This meant they had to bump someone else to get me in. Here we go again! I told close friends and family, but I wanted to wait till Tuesday to ask for prayer again on social media.

Tuesday morning I began posting my new surgery time for Wednesday, asking for prayer as before. I had just clicked the “post” button on Facebook when the phone rang. It was the surgeon’s secretary: “Mrs. Knotts, I am so sorry, but the doctor is very ill and won’t be able to do your surgery tomorrow.” She told me how badly he felt that he could not perform surgery for his patients and he had said, “Especially Mrs. Knotts.” We discussed the situation, and I told her that I wanted him to be on his “A game” when he operated on me. She said that she was putting me down for Monday, September 26th, which still would have to be confirmed. It was two weeks more I had to wait, but what else could I do but trust the Lord and pray for Dr. Setya to recover.

Later that day I posted on Facebook: “For the first time since this started 2 months ago, I had to battle discouragement today. I feel foolish going back and forth asking for prayer and cancelling, even though it is totally out of my hands. It is certainly unexpected, and I want to make sure I do not give the adversary any opening to come against me.”

Then I received a call from a dear ministry friend in Florida (Jewish Jewels host Jamie Lash) who was expecting to hear how my surgery went. When I explained the situation, she encouraged me that the Lord is in control. Her prayer for me was very uplifting. She went through breast cancer four years ago, so she knows the warfare, but she also knows the victory and the peace of the Lord that are the ultimate winners.

She actually started her prayer for me with Psalm 138:8:“The Lord will perfect those things concerning me.” This is the exact verse I opened my message with that past Sunday when I preached The 4 Ps of Perfect Faith. Little did I know when I spoke about “perseverance” in the face of delays and bad news that I was preaching to myself! But it is so sweet how the Lord sends His messages of reassurance like He did with this Scripture. She also prayed that Messiah would be “a bundle of myrrh between my breasts” as recorded in Song of Songs 1:13. I know myrrh has medicinal properties, and I receive this healing power from Jehovah-Raphi, the Lord who is my Healer!

Surgery Rescheduled Two Weeks Later

Monday, September 26 was a long day. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 AM, and my surgery did not start to almost 4 PM. I had nuclear mapping of my lymph nodes at 7:30 AM and a sonogram at 10 AM. Then I had to wait and wait and wait!

During this time, I had to get in many difficult positions for my back. (I have dealt with chronic back pain for years.) I kept praying the Lord would help me so my back would not become irritated. I surely did not want to deal with back pain when going into surgery. And He did! My back was sore, but not painful. The biggest snag I faced was for the sonogram, which I expected to be a breeze, having had one before. But this time I had to get on a table that was about 4 foot off the ground using a stepladder. Then I had to lie down on my stomach (which is bad for my back), and place my breast through a hole in the table. The table would then be jacked up in the air like a car at a repair station. The doctors would be able to stand under me to do the test.

I honestly could not get in that position. I kept trying to play the logistics in my mind, but to get on my stomach, I would have to crawl up the table on my hands and knees, or I would have to get on the side of my affected hip and leg and roll over. I might have been able to do it if I could’ve approached the table from the opposite side, but it was screwed into something and could only be accessed from one side. The nurses were trying to work with me, but I could not figure out how to do it. I was trying not to get stressed, but I have been through so much with my back, I know what I should and should not do.

Finally, the doctor said we would do a sonogram with me lying on my back on a regular hospital table. The reason he wanted to do it the other way is, my tumor was so small, he did not know if he could see it from a lying down position. The good news is, when I had my biopsy the month before, the previous doctor had put in a special clip that is easily seen on a sonogram. This allowed them to locate the exact area to remove tissue. When I asked the doctor if he could see the lesion, he replied that he could see the clips. I wasn’t sure if he meant that he could not actually see the lesion itself. I really wondered if it was still there. Later, lab tests showed that the original tumor that was 6mm at the time of biopsy, was only 1.5 mm at the time of the lumpectomy. Most had been removed with the biopsy!

I woke up in recovery with a lot of pain in my armpit from where they removed the lymph nodes. But it didn’t take long for it to subside. The bigger issue was nausea, but again, I asked the Lord to help me not to throw up, and I never did. I was in recovery longer then I was in surgery, because it took a while for me to get over the effects of the anesthesia. I was the last patient in recovery, and the staff was changing to the night shift. They had told my husband to get something to eat because it would be a while, and when he returned, the recovery room was empty, and I was gone. No one would answer the door, because there was no one there. A nurse walking down the hall saw him and asked him what he wanted. He explained that his wife was in the recovery room. She told him that they must have moved me, because that room was closed for the night. With her help he was able to find me in another recovery room manned by the night shift. I was still the only patient there. We did not get home till about 9:30. I still was not able to take any food. Exhausted, I went to bed and slept well. I woke up the next morning hungry and so happy to have a cup of coffee.

I never needed any extra pain medication, and my back was sore, but not painful. This was certainly a direct answer to all the prayers God’s precious people prayed for me. I could feel the prayers of the saints those weeks, and on surgery day, they were certainly holding me up. I was thankful from the bottom of my heart for their faithfulness in ministering to me in my hour of need.

Going forward I asked them to continue to pray that I would receive a good report from the lab. I truly believed everything would be clean, and I would have no need for further surgery or chemotherapy. In any event, I was in the Lord’s hands, and no matter what, He works all things together for good to them that love Him and are called to His purpose. I say this humbly, but sincerely, I love Him with all my being, and I am called to His purpose.

Notes from Sunday, October 02, 2016:

I have had an amazing easy week! My minimal discomfort has only been in my armpit. I forget about it, till once in a while I go to lift my arm high. The bandages are getting on my nerves more than anything. The fact that I have not had to deal with any increased back pain has truly been a relief! I have not taken any extra pain meds, not even once. This is in direct answer to the prayers of those who know how I have suffered in the past with back pain, and have kept this as a part of their prayers on my behalf. I have not received any word yet about my lab results. Tomorrow is one week, and I expect to hear something then. Meanwhile, let me share this fabulous, extraordinary dream I had this morning, Sunday, October 02, 2016 (5:30AM).

Dream “A Portal of Glory”

During this time, I experienced a rare spirit of peace that I can only describe as supernatural. That morning I had a visitation from the Lord that I can sum up in one word: Ecstacy!

The setting was a rural area that I understood to be a vacation/camping destination. It was a scenic landscape of green hills and valleys, with a large pond between two hills, where I was standing. On my left, I saw many RVs and campers parked up on a hill overlooking the pond. It was very serene, and I was strongly impressed that it was a place where people came to get away from the stress of everyday life in the cities. I was with a group of people, but I did not see anyone’s facial features. It was not about who the people were, but what they were doing.

Two ladies whom I judged to be about my age, said they were walking over to another area to see something exciting, and I decided to go with them. They walked ahead of me side-by-side, and they looked identical from the back, making me wonder if they were twins. I had to be careful as I walked, because the ground was uneven in places, and there were tree roots and dips I had to be mindful of, so I would not stumble. We came upon a long line of people to our left who were waiting to get into what looked like an opening in the hillside, and we had to stop. I was stretching to see what was up ahead when I realized the two ladies were gone. I asked someone where they went, and they pointed to a large cabin to my right that had a long screened porch.

I went inside and was surprised to see how huge the porch was. Even more amazing, on the opposite side were dozens of campers and mobile homes parked diagonally. Oddly, the right side of each one had no walls, but was a part of the screened porch. It was the dining area for each camper which literally joined the screened porch. This meant when the people sat down to eat, they were part of a kind of dining/fellowship hall. (It reminded me of the one we had at the Masters Retreat Campgrounds years ago.) The left half of the campers had walls, and I knew it to be where the bedrooms were, where the people could sleep in privacy. I was imagining how wonderful it must be when everyone gathers together to eat and fellowship. I heard someone say, “Some people stay here year-round, even in the winter time.” I remember wondering how they dealt with the cold.

My next recollection was being in an area which reminded me of a tunnel, because there was a ceiling overhead. It was not dark but a serene seafoam color, and I could see daylight pouring in from one end on the right. To my left was a sharp left turn, and I could not see around the corner. I saw a woman enter the tunnel from the right, carrying a bright red suitcase. Just as she got to where the turn was, she stopped. I said to the person with me, “I am going with her,” and I crossed over to where she was standing.

Suddenly, I became aware of the sun beaming down on me, and I looked up to the heavens. The sun was piercing through the shadows of tall trees, and its rays were focused directly on me. Its warmth and light began strengthening, and as they did, I felt strong vibrations of energy penetrating my body. They did not hurt; they actually were pleasurable. My whole body was enveloped with warm light and love, and I lifted my hands in worship to God. As I worshiped, the sensations grew stronger, and I wondered how much power my body could take in, but I did not want it to stop!

Then I began to cry out loudly: “Gloria Santiago! Gloria Santiago!” Over and over I declared it as my body drank in the powerful vibrations. I knew I was being penetrated with the glory of God. I am not sure how long it went on, but when it finally subsided, I lay there quietly, taking it all in, and wondering if it would start up again. I did not want to move just in case it would. Finally, I spoke and I thanked the Lord for this glorious heavenly experience. I kept wondering what Gloria Santiago meant. I knew it was Spanish, and I knew Gloria means glory, but I didn’t know what santiago means. I replayed it again and again in my mind until I fell back to sleep.

In the morning, I googled it, and the first post I clicked on was Portico Gloria Santiago. It is an ancient cathedral in Spain built in 1188-1211. With over 200 Romanesque style sculptures, the portico (entrance) is the artistic high-point of the cathedral and often considered the greatest work of Spanish Romanesque sculpture. Its three large arches are decorated with angels and foliage, prophets and apostles. The portico represents the Written Law, the Law of Grace, and the Natural Law. The central arch represents the final destination of true Christians: Glory and resurrection. This opening is twice as wide as the other two and contains a depiction of Saint James. I could not make a connection of James to my dream, but I was excited in my spirit that I had entered into some type of portal of glory!

I then googled santiago. It is Spanish for Saint James (san/saint; tiago/James.) I knew James was the first of the apostles to die a martyr’s death, but I didn’t see a connection to my dream. Then I saw a post stating that the origin of tiago is actually from the Hebrew. I knew that James is the Greek form of Jacob, which in Hebrew is spelled yacov. (The y becomes j and the b becomes v). Now I saw that the connection was not about James of the New Testament, but Jacob of the Old. But how?

As I mused on this, I heard the question in my spirit: “What is significant about Jacob?” I immediately knew what it meant. When Jacob fled to the wilderness, after his brother Esau vowed to kill him, he had a dream. He saw a ladder reaching from the earth to Heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. God spoke to him about his future, and when he awoke, he said: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:10-17)

I realized God had opened a portal to Heaven over me, and poured out His glory upon me!

This dream is even more significant in light of a dream I had last year in October 2015:

A Kaleidoscope of Heaven

Lying in bed, the ceiling of my room was gone, and I was looking up into the sky. It did not look like a normal sky. It was deep blue with random veins of burgundy and black running through it. The most unusual thing was, it was shaped like a huge octagon, divided into triangular sections with a kaleidoscope effect. The shapes were moving in a downward/upward pattern like in a kaleidoscope. There were flashes of lightning coming down, and the air was electrified. My entire body was vibrating as waves of electricity continually washed over me. Every surge was powerful and intense, creating tingling all over me. All of my senses were magnetized by the supernatural atmosphere. The vividness was overwhelming.

Over and over I kept repeating aloud: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. The Earth is filled with His glory.” My voice reverberated like a powerful boom. The more I said it, the more intense was the effect on my body. I was filled with anticipation of what was going to happen next. I knew this was something extraterrestrial, and I was excited for what I expected to be a visitation or revelation from Heaven, or maybe I was going to Heaven!

Then I became aware of darkness entering from both the left and right sides, pushing in on the heavenly kaleidoscope. As it did, the sensations in my body that had been exhilarating became uncomfortable. The more the darkness pressed in, the more painful the tingling became. I didn’t say it out loud, but in my spirit, I said, “Lord, this is hurting me.” I didn’t understand what was happening or why. At some point I realized I had to resist it. I spoke in a firm, authoritative voice: “The blood of Jesus is against you! The Word of God is against you!”

I did not hear anything, but I felt pushback from the darkness that suggested to me that I could not overcome it. Then I declared: “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world!” Instantly, it stopped. My room was turned back to normal, and I laid there wondering what I had just experienced. My body was still pulsating, and it was painful. I said, “Lord, I thank you for healing me.” I looked at the time. It was 1:11 AM. I decided to get up and get a drink of water, and when I went back to bed, I fell peacefully off to sleep.

Later, while recording this dream, I commented: “I have had many extraordinary dreams through the years, but I have never experienced one like this. I’m not sure yet what the purpose or meaning is, but I am spiritually sensitized for what may come next. As the darkness of this age is ramping up, God is reminding us we have authority over the darkness in the spiritual realm.”

Now, one year later, I was in a whirlwind of medical issues, but God was faithful! My current dream was more glorious, and right on time!

The Labs Are In!

When I was discharged from recovery, I was told someone would call with my lab results in 5 to 7 working days. On the seventh day, the following Monday, I called to inquire since no one had called me. The doctor had just received the reports that day, however Monday is a surgery day for him, so I was told he would call me the next day. When I did not hear anything, I called around one o’clock. The secretary informed me the doctor was with patients and would call me that evening. I kept the phone near till late that night. Again, he did not call. The enemy was trying to play tricks with my mind, suggesting that the news was bad, and the doctor wanted to inform me in person. I knew Wednesdays are also surgery days for him, but I called anyway. This time I was put on hold, and eventually, the doctor’s assistant came to the phone. She had great news:

“All your margins are clear, and all your lymph nodes are clear.” Praise God! This meant I would not need more surgery! This was a direct answer to prayer. She said the doctor would discuss more the next day at my follow-up appointment. One of the tests, HER-2 neu, was positive, and he would explain what that meant.

My appointment was early the next morning, and the doctor was happy to confirm my margins and lymph nodes were clear, and I would not need additional surgery. He said the tumor was very small, and most of it had already been extracted during the biopsy. The lab had found another spot, the size of a pencil point, but it was also within the margin of safety. Truly, the timing of my diagnosis was perfect, and finding the cancer so early was a blessing. But there was a snag:

The HER-2 neu test denotes aggressive cancer cells, and mine was positive. He was surprised and said it was unusual to have HER-2 positive cells in a tumor so small.  He quickly added that today there are medicines that are very successful in suppressing HER-2 receptors on the breast cells, but there was the possibility the oncologist would recommend chemotherapy to destroy any errant cells that could have passed through blood vessels and migrated to other parts of the body. There is no available scan or blood test that can measure cancer cells in the body on a microscopic level. The cells have to reach a certain threshold in size in order to be seen on a scan. Chemo is done to destroy any such cells that may have escaped.

He knew how strongly opposed I am to chemotherapy, and we had not expected it to be an issue in my case. He looked at me kindly and firmly and said, “You have an inquisitive mind,” and he advised me to ask the oncologist to give me a specific percentage of what benefit I could expect from chemotherapy. He explained they have a formula where they put all the factors together to derive a percentage rate of expected benefit. “Make sure you ask her what your percentage is, 10%, 20%, 30%? Then you can decide whether you think the percentage of benefit is worth the risks of chemotherapy.” He put his hand on his heart: “You can decide by what you feel inside.” Then he added that he would be praying for me. I don’t know what his religious affiliation is, but I knew he was sincere.

As a surgeon, his job was done until my six-month checkup, and I left with referrals in hand to see the oncologist and radiologist. I have to say, the spiritual warfare I felt that day was the strongest I had since it all began in July. I kept telling myself I was being ridiculous—I should be rejoicing that my margins and lymph nodes are clear—and I was! I was allowing the enemy to overshadow this terrific news with his lying what-ifs. I knew all the right things to say and do, but it still was hard. I realized it’s one thing to preach it in the pulpit under the anointing; it’s another thing to execute it in the middle of the warfare.

Then there is that glorious, phenomenal, stupendous, supernatural, heavenly visitation I just had the previous Sunday, when a portal of glory was opened to me, and I received a divine infusion of warm light, love, and surges of power into my body. I thought, If there were any errant cancer cells in my body, surely they were zapped!

This was probably not something I could tell the oncologist! But it was definitely something I had to hold onto as I sought God’s specific direction. My appointments were in two weeks, and by the grace of God, I intended to walk in the strength, hope, and supernatural peace God had given me the past few months. The Lord brought to mind Romans 8:11: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” I believe that is what He did in my “glory infusion.”

That was my toughest day—dealing with the report. When I went to bed that night, I told the Lord. I intended to wake up the next morning renewed and refocused on the victory ahead. An hour later, I awoke in a fierce attack of the enemy. I continued to rebuke the adversary with the authority of the Blood and Name of Jesus. There was no fear in my heart. I was not about to let the enemy get the upper hand now! I quoted favorite verses I know Satan hates to hear, and the evil darkness departed. He never sticks around for the whole sermon!

I thought back to the dream I had the year before when the darkness pushed in against the heavenly kaleidoscope, causing pain in my body, and did not back off until I rebuked it in the authority of Jesus’ Name. I knew I had to maintain a strong stance against it. The wrestling match Paul said we are in “against principalities, and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual wickedness in the heavens” is real (Eph.6:12).

Then I thought about my present dream, specifically about the lady with the red suitcase. She was moving forward with her suitcase, one of those older hard side types that are nearly indestructible. It was crimson red, the color of blood, and “we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev.12:11). Also, “The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev.14:11).  This is a medical fact, but the spiritual fact is: We have life in us because of the blood of Jesus. I claim this both now, and eternally, through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Referring to Communion, Jesus stated, “If you drink my blood and eat my flesh, you have life in you, and I will raise you up on the last day” (John 6:54).

When I chose to go with the lady with the red suitcase, I did not know where the sharp turn to the left would take us. I couldn’t see around the bend, but I sensed it was the right path. Then before we made the move to continue down that path, “the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His rays” (Mal.4:2), beamed down on me, and I got zapped with glory!

Back in the Pulpit

I rested the first Sunday after my surgery, but was back in the pulpit the following Sunday. I shared my phenomenal dream and preached on Jacob’s glorious vision of the ladder bridging heaven and earth, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. Oh, what a strengthener the anointing is! The Lord gave me nuggets that blessed me and the people. This vision took place at the lowest point in Jacob’s life till that time. He was in the wilderness, sleeping on the ground with a stone for a pillow. Alone and far from the comfort and familiarity of his parental home, fleeing the wrath of his brother, Jacob met the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac.

When he awoke, he exclaimed: “Surely the Lord was in this place, and I knew it not!” The true meaning is: “I did not expect the Lord to show up here of all places!” He was far from the altars his fathers had built to worship Jehovah. When he did not expect it, but when he needed it most, the heavens opened, and Jacob saw the Lord of glory and the angels God sends forth as ministering spirits and flaming fire to minister to the heirs of salvation (Ps.103:20, 104:4, Heb.1:7,14). In a 24/7 cycle of ministry, the angels climb the celestial staircase between heaven and earth, assisting and protecting all those who trust in God throughout our lives.

In John 1:51, Jesus revealed that He is the ladder Jacob saw. He is the one who has bridged the gap between God and man. In John 14:6, He proclaimed: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes unto the Father but by me.” He could have added: “I am the ladder”!

The Warfare Increases

During the next two weeks of waiting, I encountered warfare at a higher level than all the months before. I did not lose my peace deep in my spirit, but I was besieged with pressure about making the right decisions for treatment. My back pain also increased, which weakened my body and my strength for the battle. By the grace of God, as I cried out to the Lord, He helped me to press through. I preached the next two Sundays staying on the topic of healing. I asked for prayer from the saints, and I know this support enabled me to keep going.

I met first with the radiologist. I told him I had looked into a new type of radiation, proton therapy, which is more targeted and lowers risks of damage to the heart. A new center just opened in Baltimore last year, and I had an appointment for a consultation the following week. He told me to check it out and let him know what I decide. Although medical oncology is not his field, he works in tandem with the oncologist. He told me that she would probably recommend chemotherapy because of the HER-2+, but he said that there is a controversy about this. He advised me that if she did recommend chemotherapy, to ask for a referral for a second opinion when I went to the proton therapy center. I was surprised, but pleased he gave me this helpful advice, and he repeated it, so it made an impact on my thinking.

The next day I met with the oncologist, and sure enough, she said she would prescribe chemotherapy along with another drug that is specifically designed to target HER-2+ receptors. When I asked her about the percentage of benefit I could expect from chemotherapy (as my surgeon had advised), she said that she could not give me that answer, because the database did not include the HER-2+ factor. I was incredulous: “They need to get with the program,” I replied. I asked her about just taking the drug for the HER-2+ receptors without the chemotherapy. She said she has never done this before, and there are no publications of clinical studies to show that it works. The drug for the HER-2+ is not without side effects, but they are less than the chemo drugs.

As our discussion continued, I detected a little relenting on her part, as she saw that I had done my research, and I understood what was at stake. While radiation is for direct treatment of the breast for any stray cells that may have been left behind (since I did not have a mastectomy), chemotherapy is like a trust fund against a future recurrence of the cancer. For me, this means putting my trust in the Lord to keep it from returning. This is another factor that the database would not include! 

When our hour-long consultation came to a close, I was surprised when she gently said that she saw I was not ready to make a decision, and there was no hurry, so to take time to think it over. Because she presented as old school in her approach, and goes strictly by the books (which is what the radiologist had intimated), I would have expected her to be firm in her insistence that I take chemo. She had backed off a little, and this gave me more reason to believe chemo is not absolutely what I needed. My intention was to ask for a referral for a second opinion, as I continued to walk through every door that opened, believing the Lord was holding me by my right hand, just as His Word promises in Isaiah 41:10, 13 & 43:1-2, which were made rhema words to me.

My appointment with the Maryland Proton Therapy Center was October 26th. I had high hopes of getting targeted radiation, but they recommended conventional radiation, because the entire breast must be radiated and not just the site of the tumor bed. This was disappointing, however, they referred me to one of their oncologists for a second opinion regarding the chemotherapy, which was the greater concern for me. My appointment was for the following Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). They said they would have my original tissue slides sent from St. Agnes Hospital where I had surgery, to them, so their pathologists could do their own study.

The rest of the week was tough; by Thursday I was so burdened, around 2:30 PM. I stopped everything and cried out to the Lord. I didn’t see how I could be ready to preach Sunday morning; I was so distracted by everything, and oppression of the enemy was strong. At 3 PM, I laid down to watch the 700 club as I usually do. A few minutes later, Jamie Lash, one of the hosts of the TV program Jewish Jewels, called, saying that the Lord had put me heavy on her heart. Oh, how grateful I am that she obeyed the Lord and called. She took time to minister to me (I’m usually the one ministering to others.) I felt the heaviness lift. When Benny came home from work, we went out to dinner, and I felt so lighthearted.

PSALM 34

The next day, Friday, I knew I had to get my message prepared for Sunday, but I did not have the presence of mind to write new material, so I went to my voluminous box of notes and selected two sermons: One on Psalm 27 and the other on Psalm 34. Eeeny-meeny-miney-moe—I went back and forth between the two. I still had not made up my mind when we went to church that night. On the way home, we were stopped at a red light, and I was looking around at the sights a few moments before I noticed the car in front of us. Actually, I noticed its license plate: PSLM34. I did a double take! Excitedly, I said to Benny: “Look at that license plate! It says PSALM 34!” I explained how I was going back and forth that day about which sermon to preach Sunday. “That’s it! I guess I’m preaching on Psalm 34!”

Later I checked, and there are over 2 l/2 million registered vehicles in the state of Maryland, and only one of them has the license plate PSLM34—Incredibly, it was that very car we happened to be stopped behind on the very day I was trying to decide between Psalm 27 & Psalm 34 to preach on that Sunday!

When I stepped in the pulpit Sunday, the power of God was so palpable, I felt like I was going to implode as we sang: “You are God alone! From before time began, You are on your throne! You are God alone! Unshakable! Unchangeable! Unstoppable! That’s who You are!”

It was a Holy Ghost Implosion! At the top of my lungs the praises rolled out of my spirit: “I trust in You! I will not be afraid! I will not be dismayed!” It was intense. I had not slept well the night before, so I was actually weak in my body. But when I stepped into that power vortex, I was infused with strength. I was trembling, but not with weakness—with the supernatural anointing of God’s manifest Presence! Only God knows how much I needed this. Only He knows the stress that was in my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Many were touched by His anointing in that service, but if anyone desperately needed it, it was me! 

I love to teach and to preach especially when I have liberty (anyone who teaches and preaches knows what I mean by this). And I had liberty! I had to temper myself to keep from preaching at the top of my lungs and upper register the whole time. I share these things, because the only way you can appreciate how faithful and gracious God was in doing this for me is in juxtaposition to how weak and despondent I was that week. I was expecting to drag myself into the pulpit and hope to grit my teeth and get through it without giving away how fiercely I was battling.

But God met me at the point of my weakness! I have always said, “My weakness is a showcase for His strength.” But this day my showcase wasn’t big enough to contain the abundance of power He poured into my being.

“Grace upon grace… from faith to faith… from strength to strength… from glory to glory” I will trust in Him.

When I came home from church, I posted this amazing experience on Facebook. I received many positive replies from friends who were blessed by it. They were still coming in the next day, and that evening I received this response from a dear friend of many years who lives in Georgia:

“Pastor Sharon, I so enjoyed reading how the Lord gave you the confirmation of what to preach and strengthened you in the meantime. God is so awesome and on time! Just before I went to church, you flashed before my face. I began to pray for you before church!!! While the congregation was engaged in worship, my pastor stopped singing and said, ‘God is healing addictions and cancer.’ Immediately, I looked up; as she continued to minister and pray, she told the congregation to receive their healing or begin to intercede on someone else’s behalf. Of course, it was you. The prayers of the righteous went up for you yesterday and it availed much. Stay encouraged, my sister; your family of believers everywhere are decreeing and declaring that the manifestation of your complete healing will be revealed. Remember, in your weakness, He is always strong. Walk in the strength of the Lord, my sister! Love you!”

Is this amazing or what?! I was excited in my spirit!

Second Oncology Opinion

We had to be at the hospital at 8 AM that day, and thankfully, downtown’s unpleasant traffic moved smoothly, and we found easy parking. Before I met with the oncologist, I was told by an assistant doctor that my lumpectomy slides had just been received the night before, and had not been gone over by pathology. Needless to say, this was upsetting to me, and Benny was outright perturbed. After all, the whole point of getting a second opinion was to have my tissue slides interpreted by another source, and not just have the oncologist read the written lab reports.

The oncologist came in very apologetic about the slide situation, and as we discussed my case further, she stated she was on the fence as to whether or not I needed chemotherapy. Because the original tumor was small, and the biopsy had removed most of it, the post-surgical specimen on which HER-2 testing was done was tiny (1.5 mm). She decided she not only wanted the pathology department to go over these slides, but also the previous biopsy slides to determine exactly how much of the original tissue was malignant. Those were done by a lab in New York, so we would have to wait another two weeks to obtain them and have them studied by the pathology department at UMMC.

My aggravation over the slides not being retested in time for my appointment evaporated. This doctor wanted to know more before she made her recommendation whether I should take chemo. Yes, I would have to wait another two weeks, but I knew I had prayed with faith, asking God for direction, and had scores of people around the country praying for me. This delay was in His hands, and I would continue to trust Him and praise Him for His strength and fortitude to see it through to victory.

Decision Day Surprise

The next two weeks of waiting were peaceful, and I almost forgot I had a momentous medical decision facing me. The morning of my appointment with the oncologist I had a sincere heart to heart talk with the Lord and told Him that I was trusting Him to know what to do when I got there and received the pathology report and her recommendation. I was ready to walk through any door that opened to me without fear. I felt a twinge of nerves, but I was not overwhelmed by anxiety.

My appointment was at 2:30, and luckily, we breezed through traffic and found a parking place in the packed garage. Our wait time was longer than I expected, but finally the oncologist came in. She said that the cancerous portion of the biopsy tissue was correct according to the report. It was 6 mm, very small, but generally, 5 mm and under requires no chemotherapy. However, a test that determines how quickly cancer cells multiply came in at 11%, which is very low. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, but once again, she showed reluctance to put me on chemo. The original biopsy had removed most of the tumor (4.5 mm), leaving an even smaller portion to be removed by the lumpectomy. She felt this small amount of tissue was not enough to properly test for the Her-2+ when they had not been able to determine it previously on the larger tissue from the biopsy. She wanted to send my tissue to another lab that specializes in genetic testing. This should be able to tell the percentage of probability for cancer recurrence. This would take another 2-3 weeks.

I was stunned. I fully expected to have to make a decision that day, but now a new door had opened, and I have no problem walking through it, trusting in the Lord. But she was not done. She said that the board at the breast center had held a meeting about my case that morning, and the discussion of radiation treatment had come up. The plan had been to return to St. Agnes to have the radiation treatments, because it’s much closer to home. I had already told the UMMC radiologist this at the prior appointment, and she agreed this made sense. She had said that I would get the same treatment at St. Agnes they would give me. Now the oncologist was saying they were going to offer me one gamma-pod radiation treatment being conducted in a clinical trial at UMMC. She paged the radiologists who were able to meet me right then, saving us another trip downtown. This may seem like a small thing, but when you’ve been on the roller coaster we were on, it was a blessing.

I had been told by the radiologist at St. Agnes that I would have to have 5 to 7 weeks of treatment, every day Monday through Friday. The clinical trial being conducted at UMMC meant I would get a one-time treatment of a large dose of radiation, followed by three weeks of conventional radiation. The procedure requires a specially fitted bra-like cup with holes, through which strong rays would be targeted at just the tumor site. Not everyone is a candidate for this, so I needed a CAT scan first to see if my breast tissue met the criteria.

They did not offer me this option at my first appointment with them three weeks before. This was another open door that I never expected. While it may be more of a hassle to travel downtown to UMMC every day, if it shortened the treatment plan to three weeks, it would be worth it. My CAT scan was scheduled for Friday morning. If this was the way the Lord was directing my path, then I prayed I would meet the requirements, and have His peace to confirm it.

When we left the hospital, I almost could not take in what had just happened. Clearly, this oncologist was leaving no stone unturned before she made her recommendation. She told me that if it was her, she would want to have this additional testing done. This was something I have asked two previous doctors: “What would you do if you were me?” I had not had a chance to ask this oncologist this question as she had not offered me any treatment as yet, so when she said this, I definitely took note.

Three days later I returned for the CAT scan. After a series of scans, including many while holding my breath, I was told that I was not a candidate for the gamma-pod radiology, because the position of my tumor bed was too close to the edge of the cup. This meant I would need four weeks of radiation treatments instead of three, which would have ended a week before Christmas. Now I would have to go until two days after Christmas. I was disappointed, but I had to trust the Lord that this was the better course for me. Perhaps I would not have tolerated the big dose at one time. I would return in 11 days to start treatments. Another short reprieve!

My 65th Birthday

The next day was a Saturday, nine days before my 65th birthday. Benny and I go out to dinner on Saturdays, and we left the house at our usual time. But, at the corner, he made a right turn where he should have gone left. I thought perhaps he changed his mind to go to a different restaurant, so I didn’t say anything. Then he took another wrong turn, and I realized he was heading towards our church. When I asked him where we were going, he replied, “I need to stop by the church.” When I asked him why, he said, “I need to pick up something,” but he snickered a little bit when he said it. I was becoming suspicious, and when we turned the corner to the church, I saw a long line of parked cars, and I noticed one was my son’s, who lives in West Virginia, and he had not said anything about coming up that weekend. I knew at that point something was up, so I just got out of the car and went into the church, heading for the dining hall. I could smell the wonderful aroma of food, and hear the cacophony of conversations that abruptly ended just as I reached for the door knob. Of course, I was greeted with a shout of “SURPRISE!” The place was full, and everyone was glowing and flowing with love.

It was a beautiful time of fellowship, and the warm words and tender tributes that were spoken to me that day filled my heart with joy and a deep knowing that I was not alone in my trial. Many people were praying for me and rooting for my victorious recovery. My daughter Sarah had brought large prayer cloths that were prayed over in a service at church when I was not there. She had asked everyone to take a prayer cloth and write a special Scripture, thought, or prayer on it, so I can read them daily. Truly, the Word of God and prayers of the saints are the most invaluable gifts I can ever receive! My cup was full and running over!

Because my birthday was still over a week away, I continued to receive cards and gifts up to and including my birthday. I felt as though I had been celebrating for an entire week, and I decided that turning 65, which officially made me a senior citizen, wasn’t as bad as I thought. I told the Lord, if He does not return for His church in my lifetime, I am claiming another fourscore or more according to Psalm 90:10.

Radiation Marathon

I arrived for my first radiation therapy appointment on a Tuesday morning bolstered by the saints’ prayers and the peace of God. I also made the decision to take communion that morning and every morning thereafter during treatment. One of the technicians, whose face was bright and friendly, asked me what kind of music I liked. With a slight tee-hee, I replied that she probably didn’t have the kind of music I like. “Oh, here we’re the Burger King of music—you can have it your way!” she quickly replied. I laughed and said, “Contemporary Christian.” Seconds later, the room was filled with the words: “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!” The techs left the room and the scanner started up. I lay there calmly, listening to the songs that followed:

“My Hope is in You, Lord”

“I Will Praise Him in the Storm”

“Walking Like Giants”

Almost an hour later, the scanner stopped. I then expected to have my first radiation treatment, but after re-mapping the parameters of my breast, I was told my first treatment would be the next day. The next day, the treatment began and only lasted about 20 min. I felt nothing during the treatment; nor did I feel anything later that day. The next two days were the same. The doctor said that usually symptoms do not appear until the beginning of the third week. One answer to prayer was that my back had not been irritated by having to lie on my back on the hard table. That Friday, as we were leaving the hospital, I said to Benny, “Three down—seventeen to go!” 

As the weeks passed, we fell into a daily regimen of navigating downtown traffic, snagging a parking place, and getting to the radiation therapy building. I did very well with the treatments. By the third week, I had turned a deep red, but no pain. The other huge answer to prayer was my back tolerated the treatments on the hard table. I was so grateful to the Lord that I did not have to deal with back spasms and pain along with everything else. One time I had a weird episode of vertigo when I got up from the table. I actually walked into the wall going back to the changing room. I could tell my neck had a kink in it when I turned to the right. I laid down when I got home and fell asleep. When I awoke, it was gone. Praise God! Thankfully, it was a Friday, and I had two days to recover, because my neck was still touchy.

The Chemo Quandry

When I had completed two thirds of my radiation treatments, I finally heard back from the oncologist who set me up to see her the Monday before Christmas after my radiation treatment. The last lab test result had come back “inconclusive.”  Here we go again, I thought. She said that there apparently was just not enough tissue for them to get an accurate result. For seven weeks she had been on the fence about my having chemo, but that day she landed on the side of the fence I wanted to avoid and said that she thought I should take it. Not the answer I was wanting!

I had done a lot of thinking and praying about it during those prior weeks and had decided against it, so I told her I didn’t want to take it. She explained that she would put me on a very low dose, and thought I would tolerate it very well. It would be 12 weeks, once a week. She would also add the drug that specifically targets HER-2neu+ receptors (Herceptin), which would have to be continued for a whole year. We discussed the benefit of taking it and the risk of not taking it. It was a lot to take in, and there are no clear cut studies that perfectly match my scenario, as the major catalyst for the cancer I had was driven by estrogen, which is treated orally with pills that suppress estrogen. Based on all these factors, I understood: Without chemo, 97% were cancer-free after 5 years for those who were not HER-2neu + / compared to a 86% cancer-free rate for those who were positive. But the doctor said that because my cancer was 92% driven by estrogen, and this study did not reflect those women who were being treated for estrogen, she would add four points for me. This would increase the 86% to 90%. To me, 7% is not a huge difference in the outcome for those who were positive for HER-2 neu and those who were not.

And I could not forget the phenomenal dream of the glory God gave me in October the Sunday after my surgery. To me, that was a supernatural type of divine radiation that penetrated my whole body; not just my breast. While I could not tell this intelligent, educated, compassionate Jewish doctor this, I did tell her that for me, either way was a matter of faith: If I take chemo, I have to have faith that it will not damage my body, my immune system, and the Herceptin won’t destroy my heart.  If I don’t take it, I have to have faith that the cancer will not recur and take my life. She agreed that faith is a big factor, and she believes in faith as part of the treatment. But not being Holy-Spirit filled, I know she does not have the same perspective of divine healing I have.

She apparently was not ready to accept my decision and printed out papers of statistics and information for me to look over during the Christmas holiday. Then she asked me if she could give me a hug, which she delivered in the warmest, kindest way. “Call me next week,” she said as we walked to the hallway. I knew that unless there was an undeniable sign from God, my answer would be the same: no chemo.

Time to Ring the Bell!

My delight over not having any symptoms from radiation did not last. The final week I developed burning under my arm which was quite painful over the Christmas holidays. When I returned for my last two treatments after being off for three days for Christmas, I was extremely uncomfortable. When I saw the doctor that day, he decided to cancel my last one. Hallelujah! It was over!

Benny was sitting in the waiting area when I came out with all the doctors and techs who had managed my treatment. He was surprised to see us gather around the bell that hangs on the wall waiting to be rung by patients who have completed their treatments. That day, two days after Christmas, it was my turn! Now I had to heal and regain my stamina, and I needed to be ready for our annual Communion Service on New Year’s Eve.  I would be so glad to say goodbye to 2016! “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9).

Your prayers on my behalf as I continue to walk this journey of faith are earnestly desired and tremendously appreciated! 

An audio version of Breast Cancer Chronicles is available FREE with an order of my CD Portal of Glory.