In July 2009 I was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. The doctor explained this is terminal because it had spread to another organ in the body, it had spread to my lungs.
I was trying to comprehend what I was being told. I didn’t feel sick but it was a big shock to me. It didn’t look good.
I had an operation to remove the left kidney and was told it would give me a better chance of survival.
I started to think about God. I knew there was a higher power as such, but I didn't know the God of the Bible.
So I had the left kidney removed. It was a big operation. Recovery time was four weeks. Then I started on treatment; chemo would not work on me. So I started on a targeted therapy, I was taking One tablet a day and there were side effects and was told there was only a 50 percent chance that the drug will work, not very good odds at all.
One of the side effects of the drug as my feet. When I would get up to walk around, I would be in a lot of pain.
It was like walking on broken glass or hot coals, and it was much worse in summer, the heat would make my feet swell. I can remember one year it was so bad that for two weeks I could only get around with a walking Stick. Although this would take some pressure of my feet I was still in pain.
But I was determined this was not going to beat me. The fear could have taken over, but I never gave up.
I received treatments monthly which gave me a 2-week break. I knew some people did not get relief from the treatments, so I was thankful. In my case, it worked quite well and I was stable for a number of years.
At this time I had discovered Joel Osteen the evangelist from America, you probably know him.
I would watch him on tv, he inspired me so much, and that’s what would get me through the struggle.
I would always say to my self, whatever I was going through, "tomorrow is going to be better." I would watch Joel every Sunday.
I was hooked and started to believe every word he was saying. God’s word was sinking into my soul.
I kept saying, "my God has a bigger plan for my life, and what I am going through is only temporary."
This January will be 9 and a half years since I was diagnosed. I have had a lot of setbacks over the years.
Last year was extremely tough. I had a brain scan, and seven lesions were found, one near the optical lobe. The doctors said I could lose my vision in the right eye. So I had a procedure called the Gamma knife, it is a radiation machine, it had only been in Australia for six years.
I went to Sydney for the procedure in March last year, and it was successful. What I have MRI scans every three months. And each time I go to see the neurosurgeon he is happy because there are no new spots and I thank God for that.
Then, two months later the caused the left lung to collapse, but they couldn’t do anything about it. The doctors told me afterward I could have died.
The cancer was progressing and I had to change treatments. And then, in December last year, I had a reaction to the new drug & my right lung flared up, it caused an infection. And it was an effort to walk around, so I was out of breath.
The Doctors at ICU kept saying, "you are a very sick man, do you have all your affairs in order?"
I surrendered everything to God, this isn’t in my hands I was saying . Eventually I was on the correct antibiotics, and everything had cleared up.
Last year I started coming to the Charismatic Mass and received lots of healing prayer. And I noticed my health was improving. As the team was praying over me, I could feel the peace all over me.
There was talk during the year from ken fish the evangelist. (He was here from America).
I had received prayer out in the front for healing. A lady came up to me later and said she saw Jesus placing his hand on mine as I was receiving prayer. And that was so reassuring.
The next day I said No, who is he to determine my destiny. God knows the beginning and the end of me and He has the last say.
Jesus Christ is our example. We may be knocked down, but we are not out. Just like Jesus, he was knocked down but rose again on the third day.
I can remember watching a sermon by Joel Osteen on TV a few years ago. I had major surgery and was recovering at home, and healed very quickly. Joel said, "We may not understand why we get pushed back sometimes, but our God will push you out in front when you least expect it."
I resonated with that and just kept on trusting. I wasn’t trying to look at my circumstances, only to focus on Jesus. I was trusting in what God has done in the past. And what He will keep doing. The storms of life will come to all of us.
Matthew 8:26 reads:
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Another scripture a friend of mine would bring up for encouragement:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.