From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

Cancer, Meet My God!

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I’ve been weaving thoughts in my mind to come up with the right words to describe the joy that I feel, but no words can exactly express it. All I know is that I am BLESSED to have been given a great miracle, the miracle of healing. I should have written about this earlier, but I was reluctant to share this episode in my life with my FKWL readers, because it is something very personal. Thanks to my Mom she was able to persuade me to share my story in hopes of inspiring others who are facing a problem in life that seems almost impossible to overcome.

On my FB page, I would usually ask family and friends to pray for me every time I was scheduled for a biopsy, but I never specified what the biopsy was for. Some of my friends in FB started wondering and asking what was wrong with me, but I wasn’t ready to talk about my condition. What I wanted was all the support I could get through prayers, not sympathy, and certainly not much probing. I would like to apologize for not giving details to those who sent me personal messages, inquiring about my health. I truly appreciate your concern, but THANK YOU and PLEASE PRAY FOR ME were all I could say. The only people who knew about my condition were my family and a few close friends.

Now I am ready to tell my story.

1A few months after coming to Korea, I started consulting an OB gynecologist, because I was advised by my OB/GYN in the Philippines to continue PCOS treatment until I get pregnant. I am one of the “1 in 20 women of childbearing age with PCOS”. I was told by different doctors I have consulted that PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common problem among young women and it doesn’t really pose a health threat if managed properly. Just to give you a bird’s eye view, PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with a woman’s periods and make pregnancy difficult. I have been on PCOS treatment since I was 21. I’ve switched doctors a couple of times, had a few tests and tried different medications. My last OB/GYN in the Philippines had PCOS. It took her 10 years before she got pregnant. When I met her for the first time, she was pregnant with her first child. I have friends who have PCOS, too. We used to talk about our problem as if we were having a typical girl talk. I thought that PCOS was not much of a big deal.

The medicine my OB/GYN in the Philippines gave me seemed to work… at first. I took it for almost a year. My periods started coming as I was taking the med regularly. My OB/GYN was very encouraging. She told me to be patient, because managing PCOS takes time. One of her advise, or shall I say prescriptions, was to get married right away and have sex all the time. I wasn’t in a relationship then, so as a joke, I told her to name a drug store where I could find a sex partner to help me balance my hormones. Funny that over a year after she gave me that “extra” prescription, I was getting married. Just to clarify, I didn’t marry my husband because of PCOS. =)

Later in Korea, the periods stopped coming (again), though I had not stopped taking my medicine, Metformin. I was always dizzy and nauseated. Hubby and I thought that we were going to have a bundle of joy soon, but the pregnancy test came negative. Adjustment to life in another country can be tough, so I was thinking the periods stopped because of stress. A few more months passed and no periods yet, so I decided to see a doctor. I consulted 4 different OB/GYN’s and all of them could barely speak English. I couldn’t speak Korean, so I needed a chaperon every time I went to the clinic. Thanks to my very supportive husband, he never complained every time I asked him to help me go to the doctor. There was one time, though, when he couldn’t help me, because he had to go to work, so Omonim (mother-in-law) took his place. The OB/GYN Omonim and I visited had me injected with something without even explaining to me or to Omonim what I was injected with. I was terrified! I asked the nurse what the injection was for, but she couldn’t explain it to me in English. The doctor explained everything to Omonim, but she was just told that the med was to help me with my period. I wasn’t given further instructions nor was I scheduled to see him again. I came home with a pain in the butt (literally) from the shot and tears I was trying to keep from my mother-in-law. I felt so hopeless that I didn’t know what was going on with my body, apart from the fact that I have PCOS, and no doctor could help me because of language barrier.

I stopped seeing any OB/GYN in Korea. I just gave up and convinced myself that it was probably stress and hormonal imbalance that caused my periods to cease. Anyway, it wasn’t the first time that happened. Because of PCOS, I usually experienced irregular or missed periods before I was on Metformin. That time, my only concern was to have my periods back, but later on, my husband and I decided that it was time to have a baby, so I was searching for a good OB/GYN again.

One of my female co-teachers in the hagwon (academy) suggested I see her OB/GYN from a famous women’s hospital in Guri called Jang’s. I’m glad she mentioned the doctor to me, because that OB/GYN is the kindest, most accommodating and most helpful doctor I have ever had here in SK. He speaks English fluently and he doesn’t mind answering all my questions. I don’t know if it’s because of Korea’s “pali-pali” culture, but most of the doctors I have visited would not even spend more than 10 minutes talking to me. They always seem to be in a hurry and they don’t like answering tons of questions, you could tell from their expression and the tone of their voice… but that OB/GYN in Guri is one of a kind. After talking to me, he would even explain to my husband what we have talked about… in Korean. Also, if not for him, I would not have any idea of my real condition and things could have gotten even worse.

It turns out, it wasn’t just PCOS.

My OB/GYN in Guri advised me to stop taking the med for PCOS and put me on fertility treatment. I had several tests, was given shots and new set of meds. Everything seemed to be working fine. The periods came back, this and that were normal. We were expecting that after every shot, my body would respond well, and it did, according to the tests, but after many failed attempts to conceive, my OB/GYN ordered for HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to check the uterine lining. The HSG was painful. I wasn’t asleep when the doctor was performing it. I got an injection for pain relief, but it wasn’t enough to reduce the pain. I was in tears all through out the procedure. My OB/GYN found my uterine lining to be TOO THICK and the way he described it…”wavy”, which is the result of problems with my periods and what makes pregnancy difficult. He did a D&C (dilation and curettage procedure) to remove the excess lining tissue of my uterus. I was expecting that after the D&C, the periods would be normal and I would be ready or pregnancy, but my OB/GYN wanted to make sure, so he referred me to a bigger woman’s hospital in Seoul that specializes in my condition. Maria is the hospital’s name. The new OB/GYN did not waste any time. He scheduled me for a biopsy right away to take a tissue sample from my endometrium (the lining of the uterus) and have it thoroughly checked under a microscope for any abnormalities.

When I heard that I was going to have a biopsy, I was scared… very scared. I thought that I would be cut open. I must have looked as pale as a ghost, and my husband noticed it, so he kept saying, “Don’t worry. Everything will be all right.” The more he said that, the more I was frightened. I was thinking to myself, “What if it won’t?”

The first biopsy gave me such a fright! 

scared childBefore the biopsy, I was lying on the operating table, trying so hard to empty my thoughts, as they were all negative. I closed my eyes every now and then, pretending I wasn’t lying on the operating table… that I was lying in my bed beside my husband, and he was embracing me like he always does when we sleep… but then I could hear the nurses talking and walking in and out of the room. Each time I opened my eyes, I saw these huge bright lights over the operating table, and they scared me even more, so I kept my eyes closed. When one of the nurses strapped my hands and feet, I was shaking. The movie “Dead Man Walking” came to mind. I started praying. Finally, the doctor arrived. He must have noticed that I was shaking. That doctor doesn’t say much during the consultation, but before he started the biopsy, he told me to relax  and that the procedure won’t hurt. I appreciate his trying to calm me down, because if he hadn’t done that, I swear I would have peed in my hospital gown. The last thing I recall from the operating room was the nurse giving me an anesthetic shot. When I opened my eyes, I was in another room, and my husband was standing beside me. The first thing I asked him was, “How big is my incision?” I don’t remember his answer, because I was still drowsy that time… but I remember him smiling at me as he ran his fingers through my hair. He told me to go back to sleep and he’ll be there when I wake up. 

What the doctor did is called an endometrial biopsy. I was silly to think I’d be cut open. I wasn’t. I got cramps and bled a lot after the procedure, but I was fine after a few days of taking some pain reliever and antibiotics.

After a week, my husband and I returned to the hospital for the result of the biopsy.

We weren’t prepared for what the OB/GYN was about to tell us. There was so much information, most of them negative, that I felt like my brain was going to explode! The biopsy showed that I had complex endometrial hyperplasia with atypia, abnormal thickening or excessive cell growth in the endometriumAbout 25-30% of hyperplasia in this category leads to endometrial cancer. I had so many questions running through my mind, but I couldn’t open my mouth to speak. The OB/GYN said that in my condition, the best treatment is hysterectomy, a surgery to have my womb removed, a surgery that will rob me of my dream to become pregnant and be a mother. I was trying to hold my tears while the doctor was explaining this to me. My husband doesn’t usually ask many questions to the doctor, but that day, it seemed as if his questions were endless, mostly regarding that “25-30% of my condition leading to cancer”.

On the way home, I just burst into tears.

When I am sad, my husband usually knows what to say to make me feel better, but that day, he was at a loss for words. All he could do was to wipe my tears and pat my head. He did whisper something, though, “I’m here,” and yes, he was with me through it all.

The OB/GYN wanted to confirm his diagnosis, so he sent me to Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), one of the leading hospitals in South Korea. The day my husband and I were told of my diagnosisI called my Mom right away. I am not as strong as my Mom; I needed a bit of her strength to pull me together. She told me the disease is yet to be confirmed, so there is still hope that it was just a misdiagnosis. “Pray,” Mom said, “Keep praying.”

Doctors don’t tell you everything, so it helps to do some research. 

docI wanted to know more about endometrial hyperplasia, so I searched the internet, and found tons of information about other treatment for my condition, besides hysterectomy. I joined forums on-line and found stories of women all over the world who have the same disease. From my research, I have learned that endometrial hyperplasia is most common among women who are nearing menopause or have reached menopause, but I was surprised to find out from the forums that there are also A LOT of women my age who have endometrial hyperplasia. Most of them found out they have the disease when they started fertility treatment. Some of them have it as a result of PCOS. In the forums, women support and console one another, share stories and talk about what treatment they undergo. One alternative treatment, HRT or hormone replacement therapy, seemed promising. I had this little notebook where I wrote every useful information I got from my research and from the forums, and I promised myself that whatever happens, I will not give up my womb. Hysterectomy is not the only way. I’m going to get better and get pregnant. I will not lose my womb; my baby will grow there, healthy and normal. I will become a mother… the kindest, most responsible, most loving mother I can ever be!

After meeting my new doctor for the first time, I was in a lot of stress. He would not talk to me in English. He talked to my husband in Korean. My husband was more stressed than I was, because he had to translate to me most of what the doctor discussed. I thought that my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) could not speak English well, so I wanted to go to another hospital. My husband advised me not to greet the doctor in Korean the next time we visit him, because he was probably thinking that I’m Korean. Our next visit, I greeted him in English, and that’s when he realized I am a 외국인 (foreigner). He asked me if I could understand Korean; I said no, and asked him to explain everything to me in English. He was kind enough to oblige, but fate was not kind to me that day, because my diagnosis was confirmed and he also mentioned hysterectomy, which I have learned to loathe from the moment the first doctor suggested it. I immediately took out my notebook and proposed HRT to my RE. He did not favor it. He told me that HRT is too risky, because it is still considered as an experimental treatment, but I insisted. He brought up the possibility of cancer, but I was not daunted. No hyperplasia nor cancer is going to take away my dream of being a mother, of having my own child.

My RE prescribed me Megace for three months and scheduled me for another biopsy after one month of rest. I was told about the side effects of Megace. One of them is weight gain and edema. I had always been slim, and I like to keep my figure that way. I never had to go on a diet just to lose weight. I fancy figure hugging dresses, mini skirts, tight jeans… anything sexy, but all of these things didn’t matter. I just wanted to get better. Gaining weight because of the medicine I had to take was the least of my concerns, and yet it hurt every time a friend or an acquaintance made comments about me getting fat. When they read this, they will know why, and I hope they stop saying the word “fat” to my face.

Most women in the forum went on a strict diet after their diagnosis. Their doctors instructed them what to eat and what food to avoid. Some of the women even got a nutritionist. I asked my RE about this, but he told me that I could eat anything. My husband said that Koreans don’t really like being told what to do, so most Korean doctors won’t tell their patients what NOT to eat unless it’s between life and death. Right after my RE spoke with us, I told my husband I wanted to eat something new. We stopped by a restaurant in Hyewadong and I ate 부대찌개 (camp stew) for the first time. Maybe my husband thought that I would lose my appetite, but I ate a lot that day. Maybe he thought that I would ask to go home right away, but I told him I wanted to go some place. Maybe he was expecting me to cry, but I didn’t. I saved my tears for prayer. After lunch, we went to Hyewadong church. Usually, my husband would wait outside while I pray, but that day, he sat beside me in church. He doesn’t pray, but he gave me his hand. I held it tightly… and maybe he felt how I felt as I closed my eyes, murmured a prayer and wept silently to God.

“My husband says no to HRT and yes to hysterectomy.” =(

He has always been supportive, but one thing he didn’t agree with was my refusing surgery. He was trying to convince me to have the operation done to prevent cancer and save my life from further risk. Oh, those many long talks we had were so draining and heartbreaking, but I didn’t break nor cry. I wanted to show my husband that I was strong, that I was not afraid, though sometimes I asked myself, “What if the medicine won’t work and in a few months, the hyperplasia develops into cancer?”

I needed to be strong, but was I really strong? 

cryFor a while, I succeeded in hiding my fears. I have locked up everything inside me since my last visit to church… but one night, I just could not hold the tears anymore. I cried and cried like a little child. I was so selfish to let myself cry like that when my husband was lying beside me, tired from work, trying to get some sleep. He tried to console me with words, but when words couldn’t muffle my cries, he pulled me towards him, wrapped his arms around me, and cried with me. I remember him telling me before that he will never cry, (because real men don’t cry) but he did that night… and his sobs would not cease even after mine subsided. He told me to stop fighting for my womb and just give up the baby. He said I am more important to him than having a child. I could have been persuaded by the words of a loving husband who does not want to lose his wife if her condition worsens, but something inside me was not willing to give up. No, not now, not tomorrow, not ever… as long as I have that bit of a chance that HRT might work.

Finally, it was the day of my second biopsy.

prayerIn the operating room, I anxiously waited for my RE for more than 30 minutes while the nurses prepped me up for the procedure. It wasn’t the first time I was having a biopsy, but I was more scared… not of the pain or discomfort I might feel, but of the result. My Mom sent me a cross prayer which I pinned on my hospital gown. Sometimes I read that prayer, and I kept playing it in my head until the doctor arrived and he instructed the nurse to give me anesthesia.

After one week, we were to find out the result of the second biopsy.

I have waited for many things in my life, and I wasn’t always the patient one. Most of the time, I complained and asked God why the waiting was taking so long, but that day, I didn’t want the waiting to be over no matter how many hours had already passed, because I was so afraid of what the doctor would say. My husband tried to while away time by playing cellphone games. I wonder if he was nervous. Maybe he was, but he was just so good at hiding it. I kept praying, “Lord, please let it be good news… please, please, please.”

But it was not good news, it was a nightmare. 

emoWhen the nurse called my name, I wasn’t paying attention. My husband motioned me to get in the room. We were both quiet, but our eyes spoke the same feeling: we were like cats in a strange garret. The doctor was silent for a minute, and after reviewing the result of the biopsy, he hit us with the news that my condition “isn’t good”… and I “have CANCER”. “ENDOMETRIAL ADENOCARCINOMA,” he explained, “is cancer that starts in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. I suggest you have hysterectomy (done) as soon as possible.”

“Cancer? Hysterectomy? A few months ago, it was only hyperplasia. Now it’s cancer? Are you telling me to have my uterus removed when I haven’t given birth yet, and I desire to have a child? Is that all you can do? How about raising the dose on my medication? How about giving me a new set of medicine? Please, please, there has got to be another way besides hysterectomy.” I was complaining, begging… but there was no voice coming out of my mouth. It was just my mind talking. There were so many things I wanted to say in anger and frustration and questions I needed to ask. There were a number of suggestions I have jotted down in my notebook even before the bad news came… but I could not bring myself to tell them. My husband did most of the asking. His only concern was how to get rid of the tumor. I was more concern of how to save my womb. Somehow I was able to compose myself. Thank God, I managed not to cry in front of my RE.

I knew from my research that women with endometrial cancer who desire pregnancy in the future may still try HRT, so I insisted on medication instead of surgery. I was fully aware of the risk I was taking. The doctor made it clear to me that the best treatment is hysterectomy, but no one, not even my husband and my parents-in-law, could persuade me to undergo surgery without trying alternative treatment first.

My RE referred me to an oncologist who specializes in gynecological cancers. She set me for an MRI exam to see if or how far the tumor has spread. If the tumor has not penetrated the uterine wall, I could still try HRT.

Hope was back. I prayed for a chance, and God gave me that chance. The MRI exam showed no invasion of the uterine wall, so I was given permission by both my RE and the oncologist to try HRT for the second time. Since the first medicine did not improve my condition, the oncologist prescribed me another med called Medroxy progesterone. I had to take it for three months, stop taking any medication for one month, and have biopsy done again.

On the way home, my husband told me that he did not support my decision. My safety was all that mattered to him. His parents were not that supportive, too. They wanted me to go for the surgery. My husband had an aunt who died from cancer, and from what they had witnessed, they think that nothing can cure cancer. One day, my Abonim (father-in-law) asked me to sit beside him. Abonim is a quiet man, but he just could not keep silent about my refusing hysterectomy. He tried to talk me into getting it done before my condition gets worse. I was nodding my head to show respect and gratefulness for his concern, but no matter what he said, I could not be swayed on my decision.

My husband said that he did not support my decision, but he was with me all throughout my battle. He once told me, “We can be happy, just you and me, even without a baby. We will travel around the world. We can do many things.” Tears rolled down my face as he held me in his arms, “Don’t be selfish. Think about me. I don’t want to lose you. ” I knew even before we exchanged marriage vows that my husband truly loves me, but now I know how much. He loves me so much that he is willing to give up the promise of a child just to be with me.

I told him, “Give me three months, just three months. If the medicine does not work, I will have the surgery done.” In my mind, I was saying, “The medicine is going to work. God will make it work.”

“How do I tell Mom that I have cancer?”

dreamThere is no easy way to tell your family that you have cancer. I knew that my Mom and the rest of the family would be devastated as my husband and I had been. I wanted to keep it from them, but they deserved to know. I called my Mom. I didn’t want to Skype her, because I knew we would both end up crying when we talk face to face. It took all the courage I have to try not to cry as I was telling her about it. I don’t know how I did it. I just did not cry even when Mom was crying. We were consoling each other, giving each other strength, and that is difficult to do when you are far from each other. When we hang up, I broke down. It was so hard to pretend that I was strong when I really wasn’t. My sister did not talk to me on the phone for a few days, because she did not want to cry and make me cry. My uncles who live with Mom knew, and even the toughest of them cried when they found out. Nobody told Grandma about my cancer diagnosis for fear that she would not be able to take it.

My husband felt my need for the family’s comfort, so he immediately booked tickets to the Philippines. It wasn’t like the vacation we used to have every year. We were all hiding our sadness over the news of my cancer diagnosis. Still, we managed to laugh, joke around and show opitimism. My uncles suggested some supplements that may help fight tumor growth. A famous singer and a former actress from the Philippines who were diagnosed with cancer had been promoting green barley. They said it helped heal them from cancer. Both are now in complete remission. I found more information about it and testimonies from people with cancer who had been taking it and got well. I bought green barley in powder and capsule form, and my, were they expensive! I didn’t believe in supplements before. The only time I took supplemental multivitamins was when I was in grade school. I took them because they tasted like candy and were shaped like Flintstones characters. I guess when you’re told that you have cancer, you’d be willing to try all the medicine in this world and really believe that they can work miracles for you. If someone had told me that drinking snake blood would cure my cancer and there were real stories or testimonies from people it cured, I would have drunk that blood. That’s how desperate I was for a cure.

My mom advised me to get a second opinion from a gynecological cancer specialist in a reputable hospital in Manila, but it would have been better if I had not gone there. I found out that the treatment of endometrial cancer in my country is more aggressive. The two doctors I consulted were saying that hysterectomy is the only way. They were strongly against HRT. One of the doctors almost broke my spirit. She said, “Cancer is cancer. Unless you have that surgery, you won’t get rid of it.” I never went back to that doctor.

I should have told her this verse from Matthew (19:26):

“With men, it is impossible; but with God, all things are possible.”

Jesus_heals%20_womanIn the Bible, there is a story about a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot under the care of many doctors and had spent all the money she had, but the doctors could not cure her, and she became worse.

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, thinking that  if she could just touch his cloak, she will be healed… and because of her faith, her bleeding stopped and she was freed from her suffering.

I kept reading this story almost every night to remind me that I should keep my faith strong.

I am not a pious person, but I grew up believing in a God who never abandons His peopl. When something in my life goes wrong, I call to Him. I don’t often go to church… but I have FAITH THAT REMAINS UNSHAKEN no matter what I go through in this life. I never realized that I have this kind of faith until I was diagnosed with cancer. Yes, I was scared. At times I cried. It was the toughest moment of my life… but the will to carry on was stronger.

Before I had cancer, I cried over petty problems. I complained about little things. When I had cancer, I didn’t cry much. I didn’t complain and ask God, “Why?” My Mom would always tell me to keep trusting in God and not be angry with Him for letting cancer into my life. I was never angry with God. The truth is, I was grateful for Him, because the cancer was found at an early stage which means it can be cured. Endometrial Adenocarcinoma or endometrial cancer stage 1, according to my oncologist in SNUH, carries a good prognosis. When I was getting anxious, I’d tell myself, “There is nothing that God can’t fix. I’m sure the good Lord will fix me.”

Every Friday, I would go to church with my Mom, my sister and her husband. We prayed together for my healing. My family did not only give me the moral support that I needed, they also gave me spiritual support. My husband is not a believer, but when I pray before I go to bed, he gives me his hand, a simple gesture that means he is with me in prayer though he doesn’t actually pray. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had prayed for me or with me. Thank you for nourishing my spirit with hope.

“There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

1

I stayed in the Philippines for a month, but my husband had to go back to Korea after a week. Every night he would call me to say, “Good night” and “I love you.” Cancer may change many things, but it can never change two people’s love for each other.

I did not have to face cancer alone and that gave me more strength.

When I came back to Korea, I was a different person. I was stronger, more optimistic. I wasn’t afraid anymore. As the day of my third biopsy was drawing closer, I prayed even more… not because I was scared, but because I was hopeful.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and has made the Lord his hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7) 

I wanted to stay in the Philippines until Christmas, but I had to go back to Korea for my third biopsy. My family took me to the airport. They held back their tears when we said goodbye. They didn’t want me to leave with a heavy heart. I was expecting Mom to cry, but she didn’t. She embraced and kissed me and before I left, she said, “I believe with all my heart that the result of your third biopsy will bring good news.”

When I had my third biopsy, I was not afraid… not even a bit. There was serenity in my heart. I was reciting my favorite psalm in my head until the doctor arrived and I was put to sleep:

Alas, it was deliberation day! To be honest, I was nervous, but not like before, when I kept fidgeting on my seat and murmuring the same prayers. I prayed that day, of course… but I prayed to tell God, “I give everything unto Your hands, for I know You will not abandon me whatever happens.”

And yes, He did not abandon me. 

The result of my third biopsy showed NO TRACE OF CANCER. I was overjoyed when my RE told me the good news that all I could say was, “Really?” Though there was no sign of cancer, hyperplasia was still present, so I could not stop medication yet and try to conceive. It would be dangerous for me and my baby. My RE and oncologist deemed it necessary to continue medication for three more months and have a repeat biopsy to confirm that there really is no cancer. Besides, I should be cleared of hyperplasia, too. I was thinking to myself, “If God made it possible to cure cancer, I’m sure that getting rid of hyperplasia will be a piece of cake to Him.”

When my husband and I left the doctor’s office, I was overwhelmed with joy. In three months time, the medicine worked! I was celebrating the good news, but my husband looked worried. He asked me, “Does this mean we have to wait again for four months?” He was thinking of the remaining culprit, hyperplasia. I wasn’t thinking about it at all. My husband has always been the optimistic one, but since I was diagnosed with cancer, he seemed to have lost all that optimism. He said waiting for the result to come after every biopsy was like killing him softly. I took his hand and kissed it gently, “Oh, honey, how could you have very little faith?” Then I looked into his eyes to show him such confidence I’ve never had before, hoping that maybe it would help ease his worries, “I have faith that I will be completely healed. Let me keep that faith. Please try not to break it.”

From then on, I stopped thinking about “what if’s”. My husband rarely talked about them, too.

We spent summer in the Philippines. It was a one-week vacation filled with happiness, laughter and celebration. My Mom, my sister, her husband and I went to the same church where we used to pray to God for my healing, and we thanked Him and praised Him for the good news.

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 9:10) 

One night, I had this dream. I was holding a baby in my arms. She was so beautiful. For the first time since I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and told that I needed to give up my womb, I dreamt of being a mother.

On May 20th, my birthday, I had my fourth biopsy.

My husband was thinking of buying me an expensive watch, and he wanted to buy it with me. He didn’t go to work, so we could go shopping together. I told him that I didn’t want a watch. (I don’t like wearing watches.) He asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him, “There’s only one thing I want now. I’m pretty sure it’s already being wrapped.” He didn’t ask me anymore. He knew what I really wanted… a MIRACLE.

After one week, my husband and I came back to the hospital for the result of my fourth biopsy. It was the most crucial among all the biopsies I’ve had, because it would tell whether or not HRT regressed the cancer. If cancer and hyperplasia were found in my endometrium after 6 months of medication, I would have had no choice but to have hysterectomy done as soon as possible. Delaying surgery would be too risky.

As I sat outside the doctor’s office, waiting for the nurse to call my name, I recalled all those times in my life when I was troubled and God helped me. I remembered my family and friends who have prayed for me and encouraged me, the support my husband has given me even when he didn’t agree with the treatment I chose. God didn’t take away anything from me when I was diagnosed with cancer, He gave me more… strength, faith, wisdom, appreciation, love. I was thinking to myself, maybe God wanted me to learn something, so He gave me a test, and tests don’t last long. They have to end, so that the teacher knows the result, and find out whether or not the student has learned what he is supposed to learn.

When my RE spoke to me, I knew that my test was over, “The fourth biopsy confirmed that there is no trace of cancer in your endometrium and also no hyperplasia. You can try to get pregnant when the oncologists approves it.” I was speechless, but my heart was praising God and thanking Him for the miracle.

Now I am on fertility treatment. My oncologist approved it. “You are in complete remission. Do you know what that means?” she asked me. “Yes,” I replied, “I am free from cancer and hyperplasia.”

I am free from cancer and hyperlasia. God has lifted my burden. I am free to dream of motherhood again. God has given me the chance to conceive. I am free! I am blessed! I am healed!

My healing is the best birthday gift I have ever received.

A few days ago, I was telling my husband, “If I had given up my womb so easily, I would have missed the chance to get pregnant. I would have blamed myself for the rest of my life, knowing that I could have tried another way, but I didn’t. I told you, I will be completely healed.”

What made me so sure? I followed my heart, and it was telling me, “Don’t give up the fight. Don’t you dare give up!”

I prayed to God and found strength. “O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise Him for all that He will do. He is my help! He is my God!” (Psalm 42:11)

Fear tried to break my faith, but I held on to God’s promise. “I will give you back your health again and heal your wounds.” (Jeremiah 30:17)

I may have to pass some trials before I conceive. Pregnancy may not be that easy considering my previous diagnosis, but I believe, with all my heart, that God will fulfill my dream of motherhood. I will be a mother. My husband and I will be parents, the best parents we can ever be.

1

If you are ill, troubled, confused, in grief, desperate, and you think that nothing or no one can help you with what you are going through, try praying… try talking to God… and I guarantee you 100 % that you will be heard.

Nothing, not even a man’s worst affliction, is greater than God and what He can do for you. Have faith, my friend, have faith… “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

33 thoughts on “Cancer, Meet My God!

  1. wow…. God really never leaves those who love and believes in Him and in all He can do. I grew up as a Christian and He had done miracles in my life and our family🙂 God Bless, Stay Strong po🙂 if ever i had the chance to go there, i would like to meet you po ^^. hihi

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  2. Hi! I know this post is years ago but I just wanna say thank you for writing this. I was inspired and encouraged by your testimony. Like you, I’m also living here in Korea for a few years (as a church worker) and was diagnosed with PCOS around 2009. I’ve stopped any hormonal medication before coming here and decided to find natural solutions to manage this. So far I have no idea of the extent of my condition as I haven’t seen an OB for years… but I am strongly holding on to my dream of raising my own children someday despite the PCOS threat. God bless and hope to meet you in the future if ever!🙂

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  3. After I came out with the news last June that a cancer doctor told me I had prostrate cancer and suggested a high frequency treatment that is not approved in America and could only be done in Mexico at the cost of $25,000, I immediately looked at alternatives. I contacted my nephew in Vancouver, who was about to become a doctor, and he suggested I meet with a Dr. Rick in Victoria, BC. That doctor changed my diet and put me on supplements, and within a year I brought my PSA numbers down drastically and eliminated the cancer threat. I also treated the condition with hemp oil (hash oil). With the diet, the supplements and the hash oil, plus a session with a world-renowned healer, Adam Dream-healer, I’m cancer-free. That’s right, I kicked cancer’s ass! So the magic plant does cure cancer with the right diet and supplements. I’m due for another blood test, MRI, etc., but I feel the best I’ve felt in years. And now for a celebration joint of the finest Kush
    for all cancer patient that live in Europe, America and Canada region, get your Hemp oil from: ricksimpsoncannabisoils@gmail.com or ricksimpsoncancer@outlook.com

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  4. Hello everyone am happy and glad to tell you about the cancer hemp oil that cured me of my cancer.Rick Simpsons oil is very effective and i advice everyone to get this legalized oil for quick recovery and can be delivered to you just in 48 hours anywhere in the world via ricksimpsonoilfoundation@gmail.com Help those in need of this cure and save the world..

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  5. Yeah i really hope so..i’ll be there during chuseok,actually for 8 days.hehe..ill message u before i go there to plan our meet-up and i hope this will push through..see u soon ms chris!

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  6. Thank you so much. You are very thoughtful, 예솔. ^^ I’m blessed by your kind words. Take care and may God always be with you and your husband.

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  7. Praise God for that, Florianne. ^^

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  8. Thank you Ms. Chris for the prayer🙂 she is doing okay now, still recovering her strength but thankfully wala na pong lumabas na complications. And yung recent biopsy po niya nag-negative na po sa cancer cells ^_^

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  9. Hi!
    I found your blog just through google. I’m getting married next year with my Korean boyfriend. So I tried searching the net form some more information about Korean culture. And I found yours. These past few weeks, I read your blog entries whenever I have time. Your blog is really quite informative… and funny, too.
    I already read something you read before about biopsy and I didn’t take much thought about it. Actually, I had no idea what it was exactly. Yet earlier this day, I was thinking about that and thought of searching about it. Well, I had some free time at work now, I opened your blog and noticed this entry of yours.
    I understand how hard it must have been to talk about this experience of yours. You are really brave and have a generous soul to share it to others. My heart was touched with your story.
    I think you’re lucky to have your husband, family and in-laws.
    I don’t know you personally but I am praying for you… more happiness and hopefully a bundle of joy for you and your husband soon. It’s true nothing is impossible with God we just need to always keep our faith on Him.
    God Bless you!!!!

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ronica! ^^ I am blessed by your words. Take care and I hope to see you in Korea. =)

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  12. Hi, Stephanie. ^^ Thank you. =) How are you and the hottie bf? =)

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  13. Salamat madakal, Regy. ^^ Pangadi daka rin. Istu ka, “Jesus is our great healer”… andyang nanu agyu na ulwan, ali mu sakit king katawan, nung ali pati heartaches and egana-ganang pagsubuk king biye tamu. God bless and take care. =)

    (Mig-nose-bleed ku keng Capampangan. ^^)

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  14. During the procedure, the biopsy doesn’t hurt, but after the procedure, masakit nga, lalo na kung sobra ang bleeding… but thank God, you are now all right. =) I hope to meet you again. Take care, Cher.

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  15. How is your mom now? I just offered a prayer for her.

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  16. Thank you, Tukusigal. I haven’t heard from you in a while. Thank you for dropping by. =)

    I’m looking forward to your post about the VBA. I will surely check out the blogs you recommend. =)

    Take care. ^^

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  17. Hi, Chrissantosura – You have had really hard time, haven’t you! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s very touching and also inspiring.
    By the way, I am finally working on the Versatile Blogger Award you nominated me a long time ago (6 months ago) (do you remember it? lo) I will let you know when I finish it and post it. I wish you and your family the best!

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  18. I had very abnormal bleeding a week after my period and after going to my obgyne he found a cyst/polyps…he brought me straight to the operating room removed the polyps and submitted it for biopsy(that procedure did hurt because even with anaesthesia i was still felt all the pain the very moment they woke me up i left the operating room hysterically crying which alarmed my husband waiting outside the waiting area)..waiting for the results was the longest week of my life.

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  19. Hi Ms. Chris, it’s me again..=)..I admire you for having the strength and courage to share your story despite the adversities u and your whole family have undergone. Honestly, when I first read ur post about the big C word, I already had my theories on what kind or the course of illness you have been afflicted with since your condition is what I encounter,deal with and render services on being a nurse specializing in oncology cases but of course I never wanted to sound to assertive or presumptuous of the overall scenario. You were victorious in dealing with this disease through prayers, strong faith and will power and determined not to let it dictate your life. And for that I salute you! Honestly, while reading ur blog, tears were literally running down my eyes and I can relate to u, especially in the aspects of ranting about petty things or frustrations without realizing that I am luckier compared to others and the strong love and support u get from ur husband, his family and ur family in the Phils.I even asked my own 남자친구 to read your story and he as well admired your strength, strong faith and confidence with the whole ordeal you were faced with. Thanks Ms Chris and ur posts are really life-changing and inspiring! I will include in my prayers that you continue to triumph in this battle with the big C and for you and ur husband to be blessed with ur own bundle of joy! God bless!

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  20. I greatly admire your courage and faith. May God shower you with more blessings in your life and a bouncing baby soon🙂

    I’ve been a silent reader of your blog and i love how you write candidly about your life with your husband. I stumbled upon your blog searching for information on korean customs since I have plans of getting married with my korean boyfriend. Since then, I’ve read almost all posts on your blog and I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

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  21. ❤ I'm so glad you're better and that you shared this story with everyone. Best wishes to a baby soon!!🙂

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  22. Hi sis.. good thing I didn’t cry while I was reading this instead nasabi ko agad “praise God at napakabuti talaga niya” you were always on my prayers kahit na hindi ko alam ang tunay na kondisyon mo kaya kung naging okay ka alam kung magiging ok din ako kniclaim ko palagi Jesus is our great healer! I’m just so happy for you! I know that God will grant your desire and alam ko din na you and your hubby will be great parents🙂 mimingat ka parati neh…

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  23. Your story just hits close home po kasi. Just recently, dumaan din yung family po namin sa breast cancer battle with my mom. Lahat po ng emotions na naranasan niyo, lahat ng upheavals, sleepless nights, pagkapit kay God through prayers, naranasan ko din po, kaya tagos sa puso habang binabasa ko po yung post niyo =’) God bless din po😀

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  24. Thank you. God and family are the main source of my strength. I am blessed to have them. God bless you. =)

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  25. Thank you, Wordweaver. ^^ God is our refuge, our strength, hope and salvation indeed. God bless you. =)

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  26. Hi, Cher. ^^ Praise God at nalampasan natin ang trials na ito. Are you totally free from PCOS now?

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  27. Salamat, Deym. =) I didn’t mean to make you cry. Sabi nga nila, you will know your true friends in times of trouble. Salamat sa prayers. TAKE CARE. ^^ Enjoy the weekend. ^^

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  28. Thank you, Florianne. =) I become stronger because of the goodness of people around me, and the support I get from readers of my blog who pray for me and wish me good health and the fulfillment of my dream. ^^ God bless you. ^^

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  29. long time reader of your blog but I cannot help but comment po this time around. I admire your courage Ms. Chris and I also hope that God will grant your greatest wish po. You and your husband will be great parents🙂

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  30. sorry sis, I was just crying that I couldnt finish reading it.😦 I admire your courage. I prayed for you everytime kahit hindi ko alam ang tunay na kondisyon mo. God is really good. Im so proud of you at nalapagpasan mo ito.

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  31. I cried buckets i felt every emotion you’ve been through….i had a problem similar to pcos just recently and also had biopsy…the only prayer i made was lord i lift up everything to you please dont let my sons grow up without a mom…and when the biopsy results came back it was negative for cancer…thank god for healing us good luck with the baby

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  32. Thank you for sharing your story – and your faith. It makes your readers, like me, strong in the face of trials we face everyday. God is our refuge, our strength, hope and salvation. Your story validated it. My best wishes for your good health and the forthcoming baby!

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  33. while reading this i cry…
    you’re very strong.
    i wish that your greatest desire be granted.

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