My Battles With CancerHave you or a loved one ever faced the difficult trials of cancer? Here is a story of a woman who went through it twice, but through it all, she is able to say, “I am closer to God.”This is a story of a sister’s realization and acceptance of God’s will in her battle with liver cancer. In her suffering, she has learned the deeper lesson of submitting to God, and she has been overwhelmed by the love shown her from those around her.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I testify.
I’m originally from Sabah, which is in North Borneo, Malaysia. Now, I live in California, USA, with my husband and children. Growing up and being the energetic person that I am, I have always enjoyed good health.
Sixteen years ago, when I was in my forties, my life changed.
THE FIRST TIME
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on one of my breasts. When the doctor told me over the phone, it was pretty straightforward and matter-of-fact. He told me I must have my breast removed the following week and he would be the scheduled surgeon.
All along, even after the biopsy, it was in my mind that I was a very healthy person. When the doctor told me I was devastated, shocked, and I couldn’t accept the reality. I couldn’t work for a few days because I was just so angry and disappointed. I went for second and third opinions, and the doctors confirmed that it was breast cancer.
I had a hard time accepting that because I didn’t feel I could be a complete person without one breast. In those days, the only option was to have a mastectomy. I prayed to God and even though I dared not ask for a miracle to happen right away, I didn’t want a mastectomy either.
For me, it was like the end of the world, so I prayed to God to open a way. When I slowly regained myself I was able to accept reality. I prayed and the family prayed with me, and all we could do was entrust this matter to God.
In those days, I was involved heavily in the publication work for the church, including other administrative works for Sabah GA and the Southeast Asia evangelical department, which could be very stressful. My own profession was also demanding. When everything added up I guess my engine broke down.
TREATMENT IN SINGAPORE
My husband and I knew a lot of members from working for the church, and news about my condition spread and many people prayed for me. I wanted to be treated in Singapore where the technology was well-advanced. I also knew this was not a possible solution because of the expenses and I wasn’t being rational.
Thank God, I eventually received everything I asked for. I managed to get to Singapore for treatment, and it was all arranged by the local general hospital, which wasn’t a possibility, as most people would be turned down. I managed to get the senior consultant to sign my papers without much hassle. He even arranged everything with the Singapore General Hospital for my treatment.
When I arrived at Singapore, the specialist said I could opt out of a mastectomy and choose to have a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy instead. Somehow, God made everything fall into place.
The treatment was relatively painless and the radiotherapy took about fifteen minutes everyday on weekdays. After treatment, I would go visit the parks and do some window-shopping.
While I was in Singapore, I did not forget about doing holy work and was able to collect many articles from brothers and sisters there for our Southeast Asia evangelical publications.
In the end, we had an enjoyable time in Singapore for about two months. My husband accompanied me for a few weeks and had to return to work. Then my brother came, and my children came after he left. I guess God gave me a lovely vacation.
THE MOST RECENT BATTLE
Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with liver cancer, but this time I’m not as devastated. This doctor also told me over the phone. I don’t know why he did that, but I wasn’t shocked or surprised.
When I saw him earlier, I told him I had pains. I got tired easily and had lost my appetite, so he touched my side and felt a bulging, hard liver. He said, “Oh, this is not good.” He told me to arrange for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, he called me and confirmed the diagnosis to be liver cancer. My response was really calm, thank God.
I came home and prayed to God. I’m in my sixties now and, if I’m to go now, I’m ready to go. I told God I would be submissive to His will—whatever it may be. Sixteen years ago, I wasn’t ready to go because my children were still young.
Now, my children are grown, and the only thing I’m sad is that I’ll have to leave my husband behind because we have really become one over thirty-eight years of marriage.
I ask God to give me courage, faith, and a peace of mind. That’s all I need. It’s now two months since the diagnosis, and I’m keeping a peace about me, and I still have my faith.
CLOSER TO GOD
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who has been called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28)
This was a passage a sister in Sabah quoted for me while I was experiencing breast cancer, and recently she emailed me and quoted the same verse to comfort me.
I don’t know what God has in store for me, but brothers and sisters from many churches are praying very hard for me, and local members come to visit me. I’m very touched and thankful to God for this wonderful expression of love.
All these are good things. Now I can understand and appreciate others’ sufferings more deeply. I’m also more educated on being health-conscious, and I experience the warmth and care of brothers and sisters near and far.
Most of all, I am closer to God.
My story does not end here; it is to be continued. I am now crossing the “valley of darkness.” I don’t know what is God’s will for me, but I know He works in wondrous ways. I hope to be able to bear the conclusion of this testimony someday.
I pray that God will bless all those who continually show love and concern over me. In my suffering and infirmity, I believe God has a purpose. And I won’t know that purpose until I get to the end of this affliction.
Thank you for all your comfort, support, and prayer. May God bless you all and may glory be unto the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Editor’s note: Sis. Betty Pang went to Taiwan seeking alternative Chinese medicine to treat the liver cancer. She stayed at Taipei Church, and her condition improved—under a special diet of vegetables and organic food. She recently returned to Southern California after a month-long stay in Taiwan. She expresses much gratitude to everyone that is continually praying for her, and she is very touched by the love and care shown her in these difficult times. We pray for her quick recovery.