• denise tam

The Cancer Journey : Here & Home

Reposted from denisetam.webs.com September 15, 2012 What a journey. The past 19 days spent in Queen Mary Hospital have been eventful to say the least. Who knew so much of life can happenin just 19 days. It’s like being sent off to summer camp, except this time Inever signed up for it, nor was I at all prepared for it.


When I asked my mom to take me to the emergency room, I was thinking, one or two nights MAX in the hospital, some blood work, some x-rays,certainly nothing invasive or aggressive.


But here I am, back at home, beaten up, but still intact.


My body has gone through countless unsuccessful jabs to my veins, leaving me bruised all over, a bone marrow biopsy, a lymph node biopsy,a puncture into my lungs to drain out fluid (which the surgeon didn’t do a good job at), TWO Hickman procedures because the first one wasn’t done correctly and five days of chemo, two of which were target chemo. 


I haven’t had the time or energy to process it emotionally but I’m pretty tired on that front at as well. All procedures except for my lymph node biopsy I was awake and conscious for so it was a huge stress on mymental well being. I had to ask the nurses to talk me through each step, each jab, each poke, each pull. It was no longer, one day at a time, but one procedure, one jab at a time, asking God for mercy for each puncture into my body.


Today is the first day that I’m strong enough to sit in front of the computer to write this update. My friends have been helping me with my previous updates. Sorry for the silence, I know many of you are worried and wondering.


It’s been great being home. I feel my recovery gaining speed since my return.


This path I’m on is obviously not my choice. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m terrified of chemo and that I’ve always believed in natural healing. My previous posts have explained my choice for more alternative treatments, but I’ve always consulted the big guy up there that’s ultimately in control and I’ve honestly never heard or felt Him asking me to take another route- until now.


I’ll never understand why He had to wait until now to show me which route to take. He could have saved me from a lot of pain and heartache. But it’s not my job to question Him, it’s my job to obey and follow.I continue to trust that God knows all and has a plan.


The biggest encouragement and confirmation that He’s at work is introducing a new friend, sister in Christ (friends who came to visit me the first day I moved into the private ward brought her to know Christ) and fellow cancer fighter into my life. Her name is Wen Ying. A strong, beautiful, resilientyoung woman; 24 years young to be exact, and fighting bone cancer alone in HongKong while her family is back in Xian. She was working in Hong Kong when shewas diagnosed and has been in the hospital for 2 months and will need at leastanother 2 more months of treatment. Her cancer is aggressive and complicated.The tumor that sits on her spine is about half the size of an average orange.She’s already been through one surgery and after 1 more month of chemo tocontain and eliminate the cancer cells that still remain she will go through another major surgery, this time over 20 hours long. This surgery may leave her without the use of her legs and bowels as they will need to scrape part of her nerves to get a clean cut. Despite such news and projections from the doctors,her spirit remains lively and joyful.


So I can’t help but think that, if my condition wasn’t that serious, I would have never had to stay in the hospital for so long and I would have never met Wen Ying, and she may never have had the opportunity to know God and experience His love. As many valleys as there were in the past two and a half weeks, there’s also been many high moments. Friends rallied together to love on us, decorating our room (it looked like a party room with balloons, origamidecorations, posters etc), feeding us, buying us food we craved, singing to us,praying over us, cooking for my parents, cooking for me, even bringing communion to us! Laughter filled our room each day and each time I looked over at Wen Ying from my bed and saw the big smile on her face, I knew that this is where God wanted me to be.


When you think of me and say a prayer for me, I’d also appreciate you saying a prayer for her as well. My prayer is ultimately for her to truly feel and experience His love. It’s what will get her through; it’s what’s getting me through each day and each trial.

When I have energy again I will try to update more on my medical treatments that will follow.


With lots and lots of love,

Denise

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