"Giddy with Faith", a Story of Courage and Faith by a Cancer Survivor

Written by  Georgette Lebitty, LA, USA Thursday, 10 January 2013 20:01

Hi my name is Georgette and after six months of chemo treatments, I am a cancer survivor!  Eight months after surgery I am back to work and receiving very positive results that my cancer is in remission – The GLORY belongs to GOD.  Please allow me to share a little of my journey...

First, I want to thank ALL the disciples and my family for praying for me.  I felt their prayers by the way of strength and calm that the Holy Spirit brought over me.     JAMES 5:16  SAYS "... PRAY FOR EACH OTHER SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED. THE PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS PERSON IS POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE" and in my case I believe it worked.

Last February a minor Dr. visit resulted in an unexpected mass revealed by a CT Scan.  It was decided I should have surgery to remove the mass and I was scheduled for a total hysterectomy, but it was never diagnosed as a tumor or cancer.

Before the surgery, I had to prepare a Living Will which dictates your wishes should something go wrong in surgery.  It's my decision if I want to be kept alive by artificial support and for how long - days, weeks, months?  I also had to prepare a will and discuss my wishes for what kind of funeral I wanted.  That was sobering and it shook me to my core.  I had not had to think about my death or if I wanted to be on life support before.  The only thought I had as a Christian had to do with my salvation and knowing I would go to heaven. 

I was grateful to my physical sister, Jeannette for flying out of state to be with me throughout the week of surgery and recovery.  She made me feel loved and taken care of.   She is my best friend.  The surgery was successful, but I woke up to a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer.  That was not expected nor discussed in any of my conversations with my Dr. or surgeon, so I was stunned.  It sounded like a death sentence.

Immediately I had a surge of faith that lifted my spirits and brought me a confidence that I can only attribute to GOD and the Holy Spirit.  I chose to pray and face this with a positive attitude.  I encouraged all those who came to visit me to do the same.  I was giddy with faith. 

My mantra became, John 14:14 - "YOU MAY ASK ME FOR ANYTHING IN MY NAME, AND I WILL DO IT".  As far as I was concerned it was a done deal, I prayed in the name of Jesus and he would do it. 
And I felt peace. 

A little while later, I had to face the possibility what if GOD's answer to my prayer was no?  What if I wasn't to be healed?   What if it was my time to go to Heaven?   My prayers changed, that my will would surrender to GOD's will - whatever that would be. That took some time and it was not easy.  It was scary.  In my heart I wanted to be healed.

I really don’t know how I worked through it for I know there were some hours of fear, yet, the Holy Spirit brought me complete peace and my doubt and fears would be lifted, until I only felt peace and the presence of GOD.  I would take it one day at a time.  I can't explain this other than it had to be GOD because my nature is to be in control, and I wasn't in control of anything.

I wasn't in control of my body, the cancer or the outcome.  What I was in control of was my faith and how I would lean on my faith to strengthen me during the challenging days ahead of me.  And the Scriptures - I found solace in the Bible, especially the Psalms.  There was always a scripture that would console me.

The chemo treatments were not the easiest to get through.  I would have chemo every other week.  I would be sick for several days, feel a little better and stronger before I had to go have another treatment.   The chemo left me with nausea and terrible headaches.  All I could do was sleep or lay still.  Toward the end of the treatments it became more difficult because I just didn’t want to be sick any longer, but before I knew it, I had completed twelve treatments.

And of course I watched my hair fall out until there wasn’t any left.  That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, considering I’ve always had a lush full head of hair.  I was blessed by the American Cancer Society with a free wig that is beautiful and I still wear it while I wait for my hair to grown out.  Being bald was freeing and I liked it, although I always wore a wig out.  Today my hair is growing back and although very short, it is growing quickly. 

During the 8 months off work, I continued my evening courses at UCLA University in Drug and Alcohol Counseling.  I went twice a week in the evenings.  Toward the end of the chemo treatments, I would miss a few classes, but my professors worked with me and I passed both classes with A’s.  I also worked a 12-hour a week internship at a Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center to coincide with my course work and by the time I finished my chemo I had graduated from an 18-month course with my certification.   

I also continued to go to midweek and Sunday services.  I would not always feel great, but being home all day on my own, it was imperative that I be around the body for support and encouragement.  It may have used up all my energy for a day, but I only had time to rest on my hands so it was worth the effort to go to services.

God lavished me with His love thru this entire journey.  I felt safe.  I appreciate just all the ways that GOD encouraged me.  From little things like having fresh flowers every week to enjoy,  to bigger things like the company I work for keeping my job open for me and paying their % share of my health insurance for almost 8 months.   Being eligible for disability payments that financially carried me through the time off was another way I felt taken care of my GOD.  And the church helped with some benevolence so that I could cover my health insurance premiums while I was out of work.  I had excellent health insurance which is another blessing that I acknowledge.  I had excellent doctors, a great oncology center to go to for chemo treatments.  Every medical appointment was near home.

I am blessed with my own family who are Christians. They have been awesome and as supportive as they could be as they all live out of state.

Another way I thank GOD for taking care of me was through my friends - they know who they are and I love you very much.  They would call and text me to encourage me.  My Women’s Ministry Leader, Trae arranged for me to have a ride to all of my 12 chemo appointments and twice she went with me herself.  I had some meals prepared and brought over.  I received texts and phone calls and emails to keep me encouraged.  I thank all my friends, from the depth of my heart for their support and encouragement - I wasn't alone. 

At the same time, I was alone (except for GOD).  I was home most days on my own.  I had to find peace and gratitude with every little blessing GOD gave me.  I truly believe it was the Holy Spirit because I was in good spirits most of the time.  I also am diagnosed with depression and it never really took over, as long as I kept to my regime of medication, I never got depressed.   I know that was GOD. 

And the amazing support I received from my Turning Point Church Family, who wrapped their arms around me.   I realize this experience would have been totally different without them, and how blessed I have been by them!

I hope my story is a message of faith, GOD's healing, the Holy Spirit working in my life and of the relationships that helped me through my fight with cancer.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

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