By Wu Yi, Italy
One day two years ago, I unintentionally touched a lump on my chest during a bath. I couldn’t help thinking: How come I suddenly got a lump? Associating this with my getting thinner for no reason recently, I began to guess if I got any serious illness. But then I thought: How is it possible? I’m so young. Don’t scare myself. There should be nothing serious. However, during the following two months, I lost ten kilos. Sometimes when I stood up quickly, my eyes couldn’t work until after a minute or two. When I returned home from going shopping or dealing with something outside, I could regain energy after resting for an hour or two. Besides, from time to time I felt an ache in my chest and had difficulty in breathing. Then I couldn’t help guessing: Do I really get any diseases?
Later, just in case, I went to a hospital for a checkup. The doctor said, “The lump on your chest is a tumor and it’s very active. You have to go to a specialized hospital for mastectomy.” With an uneasy heart, I went to a cancer specialist hospital. After receiving all the examination, the doctor told me I had breast cancer and must get treated as soon as possible; otherwise, my life would be in danger once the cancer cells spread. Then after discussing about the treatment option with other oncologists, he told me that I needed to receive chemotherapy first and once I got chemo, I would lose my hair and have sores in my month; besides, there might be some other symptoms like inflammation of the eyes and vomiting. At his words, my mind went blank and I couldn’t listen to anything he said. I fell into despair sitting on the chair, and thought: Now I’m just twenty four, but I had the cancer. Will I die at such a young age? Several relatives of my husband had gotten cancer, and none of them survived their cancers. Also, my husband’s aunt died of breast cancer. Will I die like them?
On my way home, watching the people passing by and hearing others’ laughter in the park, I felt so blue and desperate, helplessness and pain welling up in my heart. At the thought of my having cancer, I couldn’t hold back my tears. After going back home, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! I feel as if the diagnosis were a death sentence. Now I’m so frightened and upset. God! What should I do? May you guide me through the tough time.” In my, I remembered God’s words, “Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God.” God’s words gave me great consolation and faith. As I was moved by God’s words, I also understood that it is God who commands the fate of humanity and the universe. My fate is also in God’s hands. Without God’s permission, I wouldn’t die even if I had cancer. With God’s support I have nothing to fear. I ought to hand myself over to God, rely on Him, obey His sovereignty and arrangement and face the cancer bravely. Having understood this, I gradually calmed down and felt less pain.
Afterward, as I received treatment, I prayed and relied on God. However, when I returned home after having the first chemo, due to drug reactions, I began to feel dizziness and have a ringing in my ears; I kept vomited, didn’t feel like eating anything and had no strength. When thinking of the later twenty one chemo treatments, I didn’t know when I could be free from the pain. Tears failed me and flowed down again. In the following four days, I felt so uncomfortable and didn’t eat anything. In pain, I felt I would rather die than live in this agony, so I wanted to quit treatment. Seeing me in pain, my roommate initiatively looked after and comforted me. Also, she read God’s word to me, “The preciousness of Job lay in how, when he was tempted, and even when his whole body was covered with sore boils, when he endured the utmost torment, and when his wife and kinfolk advised him, he still uttered such words. To put it in another way, in his heart he believed that, no matter what temptations, or however grievous the tribulations or torment, even if death was to come upon him, he would not renounce God or spurn the way of fearing God and shunning evil.”
After reading these words, I thought about Job. When he lost his fortune and children and even his whole body was covered with sore boils, he could abide by the way of fearing God and shunning evil, hold his faith in God and willingly obey His taking away. Moreover, he clearly knew that God is sovereign over all things and whatever happens, he must stand witness for God. For this reason, he could say, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Even though he moaned with pain, he still bore resounding testimony to God. Encouraged by Job’s resolution and perseverance in trial, I had the determination to stand witness to God. Then I knelt down and prayed to God, “O God! I desire to stand witness for You and satisfy You like Job. However, my statue and faith are too small. May You give me faith.”
From then on, every time I went to hospital for chemo, I would pray to God and ask Him to give me faith so that I could revere God and stand testimony for Him like Job. After my prayer, I would feel much calmer and no longer fear the chemo. This made me come to understand that when I was weak, I gained my faith by praying to God and relying on His words so that I could become strong in illness. When I had faith in God, I recovered well. Once, when I received re-examination in the hospital, I met a patient friend who had received chemo together with me before. I noticed that she got very skinny and feeble. When talking to me, she even couldn’t stand straight and she kept gasping. I thought: We had received treatment together, but now I gained five kilos in weight. My blood value got back to normal, and I was in good health. At that moment, deeply moved by God’s love, I couldn’t hold back my tears.