Six Years Ago Today – Return from hiatus, Cancer, and other such things

With apologies to my friend Bill Hamilton: I don’t like Florida. Good people there but it is just too darn hot and steamy – and the mosquitos… a biblical plague. Enough about that.  This is a long post and I hope no one will be offended by it.  I hope you will please read all of it.

This is one of those rambling posts and eventually, I’ll get to the points about the kindness of unstrangers (one of my favorite topics) and to tell you all, God’s not dead. Please don’t stop reading because this is an important post and concerns a diagnosis of cancer. I know many of you do not believe in the existence of a supreme being for whatever reason. And that is cool. I neither condemn nor attempt to convert. I just want you all to know: God’s not dead.

Six years ago, I should have died from uterine cancer, but I did not. Six years ago, I was not feeling well, was constantly tired, in pain, troublesome symptoms. I had scheduled an appointment with my MD and based on things I had told her, she determined I needed more of an exam rather than just the usual. It happens on that day, she was not able to come into the office so her PA (physicians assistant) took her calls. Being a bit hypervigilant, he examined me and took the procedure a little further than usual. A week later, my PAP smear came back with an abnormal reading. I was sent to a specialist who biopsied and then two weeks later, I found out I had uterine cancer.

Uterine cancer is normally a killer. It mimics other diseases and symptoms and because PAP smears usually are not taken from higher up than normal but this one time, the PA went higher. Because of his vigilance, the cancer was caught at virtually ground zero. Women usually die from this cancer because it is usually found and diagnosed too late.

The week before this diagnosis, I was teaching my adult Sunday School about acceptance and God’s timing. Tuesday, I was told about the cancer. I’ll be honest; I felt like I was sucker punched. I sat in my car and wept and shivered and wept some more. I kept hugging to myself that God would take care of me. I told myself over and over that what God brings me to, He will carry me through by His grace. I assured myself that the oncologist I was referred to, would take care of me. I went to him that afternoon because of the diagnosis. He told me it was nothing short of miraculous the uterine cancer had been found so early. That there was hope for my recovery. I then went home and told my family.

Telling my family was the hardest part. My mother was angry. She said that I didn’t deserve this, that I was a good person and God had no right to do this to me. My husband looked like I had kicked him in the family jewels and just stared. I was calm. I told them it would be okay that I believed, however it turned out, that it would be okay. The oncologist (one of THE best in Richmond for women’s cancers) would be taking care of me and was optimistic about my recovery. I had faith in the love of God and His plans for me.

I told myself this over and over and over. People at my church prayed for me and my family. People who didn’t know me prayed, sent their positive thoughts, vibrations, wishes…I was so surrounded by love and light from so many people, many of them strangers.

The day came for my surgery. I would be in hospital on my birthday – I took note of the irony of that. Now this is the really hard part. I know people are going to scoff at this but that’s okay too. My family and some friends were sitting in the waiting room, waiting to hear how things went and would go in the future. My husband said the doctor, when he came out was very still and had an odd look on his face. He thought to himself, he’s going to tell us she died, that she will die, that it is hopeless. My mother began crying.

The doctor then said, the surgery went well. When I opened her up, the parts that had shown up on the MRI and PET were clean. There was no cancer – everything was as clean as when I was born, no lymphatic problems, no cancer. He went ahead and performed the surgery to be on the safe side. He shook his head and told them, “This is a first for me. Your wife, your daughter is fine.” He then shook hands with everyone there and went back to perform another surgery. My mother said people began to cheer and hug each other. When my family was allowed to see me, they told me what had happened. Truly, it turned out okay. So again I say, God’s not dead.

For some reason, I was given this incredible miracle. No, it was not a mistaken diagnosis. I saw the results of the tests showing the infected parts of my body. I got a second opinion and went back to my oncologist.

I have been in Florida with my mother. She is currently in a rehab health center. She had decided to give up and starve herself to death and came really close. the week before I went down, every time the phone rang, I expected it. She asked me to please bring her some good juicy tangy Southern tomatoes. I made her tomato sandwiches twice a day while I was there and she ate every bite. I spoke to the Doctor and dietician about what she was being fed (pureed food that looked like a combo of pig puke and cow poop and smelled about the same) and why? So now she is being fed regular food and doing okay with it. We all know hospital food ain’t the best, but she is eating some of the food off her tray every day and drinking her nutritional supplement. She has gained four pounds. From being at death’s door, she is now waiting to be transitioned to assisted living.

I told Mama about all the amazing people and especially those of you in the blogosphere who sent prayers to her, who sent positive vibes and feelings of light and love. She was so encouraged by your kindness. I was as well. We still have some tough times to go through, but I feel better about some things regarding her.

And again I say, as long as there are people who care, even about strangers, no matter their belief or unbelief, that God’s Not Dead. I am proof of this. The way my mother was encouraged and lifted up is proof. I never cease to be amazed by the goodness and caring of my fellow humans on this earth.

So however you feel or believe, that is fine.  Just don’t ever stop believing in the goodness of our fellow travelers on this journey of life.  Never stop caring, never stop letting people know you care, always accept that care and love from others.

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. seeker
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:19:36

    Thank you for sharing the Gift of Faith. Thanks to God for giving you life and extend the same grace to your Mother. Thank you for our community at WP to pray for one another whether we don’t know each other. Yes, God is Alive, God is good, all the time.


  2. huntmode
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:20:49

    Oh, my dear heart, I am so glad to read of this, so glad you went on at length- I could have, with pleasure, read so much more. I know God will continue to bless you, Kanzen, and your Mama. The power of Love to heal is without peer. My heart overflows. Love HuntMode


  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:21:26

    This is such great news, for you and your mother. A big wow and how happy I am for you both. A lovely thing to read in this day strewn with so much bad news happening all around. Very bless you are! ❤


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:46:29

      I thank you so much. I am glad you had something hopeful to read on a day of grim news from around the world. I think of how you nurture and care for helpless animals and am encouraged by that goodness. I know Lady certainly has been blessed by you! Still tough times, but more hopeful than not. She is back to being her feisty self. I learn so much from her – bravery and the importance of love and regardless, advocating for those we love.


  4. huntmode
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:22:07

    Reblogged this on Chasing Rabbit Holes and commented:
    Kanzen reports in from the field. God has blessed Kanzen and her Mama. As she affirms and asserts, “God Is NOT Dead.” Ooorraaah!


  5. M-R
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:26:35

    I wish you joy of your belief, and know that you feel that. Good for you, Kanzen !
    I’m THRILLED about your mum !!! 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:47:25

      Thank you M-R! When I told mama about all the good wishes and such and that one even came all the way from Austrailia, she was amazed. I told her, it was a small world and made even smaller by the sharing of love and hope. I do thank you for your positive vibes sent our way.


  6. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:32:47

    I am bursting with emotion. Life is like a bingo game, isn’t it? I am not making light of your life or your mother’s, but I am beaming with happiness progress in our mother’s case has occurred. Great you are moving forward. We will talk. ❤


  7. FlaHam
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 21:36:44

    Kanzen, Soft smile, You mentioned me in a good news Post, I couldn’t be happier, until I read just how good a post, this story is, Happy Anniversity! God is not dead, I found him again after searching for 50 years, his ways are sometimes a mystery, but he is always there, always present, aways a breathe away. I have no way to measure how happy, relieved , full of joy when the Dr gave them the news. But I do know I am glad to be here to help you celebrate. Take care sweet friend. — Bill


  8. de Wets Wild
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 22:02:51

    Quite a testimony Kanzen Sakura, thank you. God will continue to bless you and your family. Best wishes to your Mom!


  9. Tina Blackledge
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 22:59:11

    My Dear, never apologize for voicing your opinion or sharing your faith. You have a wonderful story to tell and you pen it with beauty. I took care of my mom for 37 years and watched her deteriorate, it is not an easy thing to do. I applaud you for battling the medical system. When my mom was alive, I was doing battle all the time to get her proper care. There are great people in the medical field who truly love the people with whose care they are charged but there are others who should not be allowed near a corpse. Sadly, my mom seemed to encounter too many of the latter. I felt like I was always fighting someone or some entity to obtain proper care for Mom.

    You are certainly correct, God is not dead and he holds us carefully in his loving embrace. People often forget that if you believe in God then there must also be a belief in Evil (Satan), who is responsible for the misery of mankind. Either of their existences do not depend upon human belief; therefore, if someone doesn’t believe in their existence that will not stop either entity from affecting the person. Sadly, we humans are weak and fall for Satan’s tricks and temptations bringing further brokenness to creation. This results in sickness, tragedies, horrors of war and great suffering. God is often blamed for these things but that is only because humans are terrible at interpreting scripture and living their faith so when bad things happen people blame God instead of Satan. Your story is a shining example of God’s wonderful hand in his creation and I thank you for sharing it.

    I am not a very trusting person and held little hope for humanity when I began this blog journey but I have met beautiful hearts and souls here, such as yours, that are changing my perspective. Blessings upon you.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 21, 2014 @ 23:26:25

      And blessings upon you. You did a good work taking care of your mom and I know how many times, it was so hard for you and how these things make us weep. It is sad the way we must fight for our loved ones but on the other hand, what lessons we learn in patience and faith. I am glad you are finding people who are restoring your hope. I pray you will continue to blessed with hope and that good people are led to you to learn from you and to strengthen you as well.


      • Tina Blackledge
        Aug 21, 2014 @ 23:54:50

        You are very kind. You have a wonderful testimony and I praise God for it. My testimony is lengthy as there have been many, many obstacles but that is the reason I started my blog to help encourage others to keep going in face of odds that appear and feel insurmountable. Thank you again for sharing your walk of faith.


  10. Franz
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 23:03:32

    Amen. God’s Not Dead. You are living proof. But Man that’s a great testimony.


  11. BloomLisa
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 01:00:04

    What an amazing and inspiring story. Thank you for taking the time to spread your love, it is greatly appreciated.


  12. Sue Vincent
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 02:53:30

    The prayers from all faiths that were offered when my son was stabbed made so much difference to us; nor will I forge a jubilant bear hug from the doctor who said ‘You have a miracle on your hands’.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:39:31

      Indeed. Those prayers from others do work miracles. I know many people wished for me positive vibes and thoughts because while they do not believe in prayers, they do believe in positivity and hope. And that is good enough for me 🙂 I know you have spoken of your son before and I agree, you truly have a miracle on your hands. I will continue to lift your family in my daily prayers and may the miracles continue!


  13. Trini
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 03:38:17

    I am almost crying now, but I am holding it back, This was such a powerful story of faith and courage!! You are so brave!! I am in awe of you! I love God with all my heart and soul, God is my soul’s parents, and I feel God loving me back every day. You know what you said about your mother starving herself, my granny is also doing that, she wants to die now and be with my grandfather in heaven. It is very sad, she is so thin, like a shadow of herself. I will keep praying for you and your mother and light a candle for you. You are brave and strong, and I admire you! Lots and lots of Love to both of you! ❤ ❤ ❤


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:37:28

      My dear Trini. ❤ I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother and I truly know how sad it is. I will definitely add your grandmother to my prayers (you are already in them). I am not brave. I just do what has to be done and when it is done for someone you love, it is easier to move forward. Love gives us strength and hope as well. I have noticed that sometimes, the elderly reach a point where they are just so tired of keeping on, of feeling badly, of being sad and so, they give up. Sometimes hope is given and it revives them and other times, it does not. I was blessed in that my mother regained her hope and consider it a true miracle. I think what really helped her was me being with her and telling her how much I love her, all she has taught me, how grateful I am that God sent me to her. I know she needs some heart surgery to help her live longer, but the surgery would be so very hard on her. She has elected to not do the surgery and die in God's time. She is tired of procedures, and medical mucking about. it is just more pain and trouble. But, she has not given up as she did a few weeks ago. I know our God does love us and as much as I love my mama and you love your granny, He loves them so much more. I am praying for His presence to surround you both and for you and your precious Granny to feel that love, that He will hold your Granny close to Him and that she and you be surrounded by love, light, hope. I think you are brave as well. Your sweetness is always a joy to me. Much love to you and your Granny. Let her know people are praying for her, who even though they don't know her, love her.


      • Trini
        Aug 22, 2014 @ 16:02:33

        I think my granny will not understand if I said people were praying for her 😦 But I know that regardless of what she thinks, prayers help!! So I will thank you from the bottom of my heart. I tried getting my granny to talk about the good old days, and she did, and she laughed!!! And I felt happy!! She says I am a postive force, and I like to hear that! 🙂 But if I can be totally honest with you….I understand her….I have not said this to anyone…..but I understand that she wants to go home to her husband…..she is 83, she feels that she has lived her days, and she misses him. But I, in my selfihsness, hopes she will live for anoter 10 years!! ❤ I'm so sorry if this comment became little selfish! I didn't mean for it to be, I just could relate som much to what you were saying!! 🙂 I understand you and I am with you in heart, always here! With Love from your little sister! 🙂 ❤


  14. T Ibara Photo
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 04:25:16

    Thank you very much for sharing your story, and of course the news of your mother.
    Thank you also, for reminding us to never give up hope.
    God bless you, and all your family ❤
    Best wishes always,


  15. Bernice
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:40:53

    A beautiful story that shows there is hope even in the darkest moments. Blessings!


  16. joannesisco
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 15:58:38

    I feel this very strong urge to give you a huge hug right now. Your story and your strength and both amazing. The line – never stop caring, never stop letting people know you care, always accept that care and love from others – pretty well says it all.
    Best wishes to you and your mom! You’re both fighters and winners!


  17. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 14:55:33

    Your post is full of thanksgiving and hope for millions of people suffering each day through the trials their medical situation places them in. This is an amazing blog and I wish we could place it in every medical office in the country to offer hope instead of despair. May God Bless you for writing your story for us. Thank you. Sheri


  18. Beni
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 20:29:37

    He offers stars in the sky to let us know that we are not alone–He is with us.


  19. kanzensakura
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 20:43:54

    Indeed He is, Beni. Indeed.


  20. el34ax7
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 19:52:07

    Excellent post, Mrs. Sakura. As someone who has a somewhat “fickle” relationship with religion, it’s always wonderful to see its positive effects in action. I also hope your mother is doing well. It’s awfully scary when the abyss stares back, drawing you in, enticing you to free-fall. While I no longer pray, the both of you are in my thoughts. m(_ _)m


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:44:54

      My dear friend, thoughts are fine. Good vibes, positive energy, all of those along with prayers help and helped mama and I tremendously. The sharing of each person’s light shone to use from the darkness of that abyss. It’s all good!


  21. caseyalexanderblog
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 23:22:50

    Thanks for sharing! I have Lupus (also difficult to diagnose), so understand a little of what you went through. SO glad you are okay. I prayed just now for your mama as well. Keep us in your prayers, please; we’re two days from the first day of school for our two adopted children. i know God’s got it under control, but…still anxious.


  22. charlypriest
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 04:03:01

    Yes it was a long read but one worthy of spending time on it. First off I´m glad everything turned out well for you and your mother. And second I´m certain God is not dead since I´m still standing on this earth. I should be dead by now, got away with being in the army and deployed two times, got away cheating death that is. And then at age 30 entered into the hospital in “shock” which is the second step the next is going into a comma and the next is death. So I survived that too. Who knows why he wants me roaming around still, and being the bad Christian that I am, since I only look up to HIM when I´m in screwed up situations I´m not sure if HE is starting to get worn off. I should do more praying not only for me but for other people.

    A very inspiring post. Thank´s and I will say a prayer today for you.


    • Toni Spencer
      Sep 16, 2014 @ 04:23:10

      Charly, first of all, thank you for your service to our country, for putting your life on the line. You don’t sound like a “bad” Christian to me. One thing I do know from long hard experience, is how forgiving and loving Jesus is. Like you, because He loves us so much, He put Himself on the line for us, so I think He understands hard duty and danger and how hard and scary it is. Like you and others like you, He knows and accepts you just as you are, just as I am. Prayer is really just talking to Him, nothing fancy just honest and from the heart. Sometime if you have the time, read the book of John, preferably one of the new translations that read how we talk today. John was Jesus’ first cousin and understood truly how He was about love and non-judgement. If you don’t, that’cool too. Just talk to Him more. Thank you so much for being glad my mama is better and thank you for that prayer. Please pray for me everyday as I will pray for you. All of us need all the prayers we can get. And again, thank you. God bless and keep you and smile upon you.

      kanzen sakura wrote:

      > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */


      • charlypriest
        Sep 16, 2014 @ 04:47:04

        I was in the Spanish army, so don´t thank me for service to the U.S, sorry I should have specified more. I lived in the U.S as a young kid up until I was 19 so I love that country.

        I will do more praying, and thank´s for your prayers, God bless you too and have a great day!


  23. kanzensakura
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 12:55:27

    You still served and regardless of where, you served. So I still say thank you! And you still love the US and are loyal to the country where you live. That says a lot of good things.


  24. lorriebowden
    Sep 19, 2014 @ 23:21:05

    I believe!! And I am thankful for you ❤


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