Article: My Mother, The Cancer Survivor

cancerSeveral months, ago, I received news that hit like lightning out of a clear, blue sky. Only those who have received such news can understand the numb shock of being told that you – or someone you love – has cancer. My mother had gone for her annual check-up and mammogram. The X-rays revealed that in a short twelve month time-span, a cancerous tumor had developed. After several nerve-wracking days, we learned that her situation was the best one possible. She was diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer for a woman her age (sixties) and could be treated. However, if my mother had not gone in for her annual check-up, this tumor would have gone undetected until it spread throughout the body and passed the point of healing. Because they were able to discover it early on, they were able to quickly schedule a lumpectomy, which removed the tumor.

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This was followed by five weeks of radiation treatment. Though we were thankful that chemotherapy was not necessary, the radiation treatment was no walk in the park. We are thankful for the skilled doctors and nurses who ministered to my mother day after day as she underwent her treatments. The radiation center has a special bell that may only be rung on the final day of treatment. This last Tuesday, my mother got to “ring the bell.” Though she still has many tests to go through, she is a CANCER SURVIVOR. Because of the fact that the tumor was discovered early, combined with the great skill of her doctor, and, of course, the grace of God and the prayers of God’s people, she will enjoy many more years of life.

With Mom before her surgery.

With Mom before her surgery.

Some will ask, “Where does disease come from? Why does God allow people to die from such terrible diseases as cancer?” The Bible’s answer is that disease came because of the sin of Adam:

  • Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

God created a perfect world and perfect people – but Adam and Eve sinned against God and brought death into the world. Their human natures became “corruptible” and “mortal.” As their children, we are also “corruptible” and “mortal.” “Corruptible” means “subject to decay.” “Mortal” simply means “destined to die.” We are born into dying bodies. Death is the certainty. Disease is evidence of the corruptible and mortal natures that we inherited from Adam and Eve.

The radiation machine.

The radiation machine.

Some disease is caused by bad habits or sinful behavior. Some is genetic. Some is caught from others who are sick. Some is caused by external conditions, germs, bacteria, etc. Disease is ALWAYS tragic. Thank God for the many advances in medicine! Thank God for the doctors, nurses, and scientists who study, treat, and perfect medicines that save so many countless lives.

However, there are limits to what can be accomplished by medicine. Medicine cannot make us “immortal.” We are still mortal, and therefore “destined to die.” HOWEVER, God has, in His infinite mercy, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world. Jesus, Who is God the Son, became a Man. He lived a perfect and sinless life on this earth for 33 1/2 years. The Bible says:

  • 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Ringing the bell on the final day of treatment.

Ringing the bell on the final day of treatment.

Contrary to what many “faith healers” preach, the healing referred to here is NOT a temporary healing from disease (though God has, at times, healed people), but a permanent healing from our own corruption and mortality. Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and then rose again the third day, glorified. One day He will return and catch away those who have been born again. This is called the “Rapture” and will include the resurrection of those who died but were saved. In the resurrection, these saints will be raised and glorified in incorruptible and immortal bodies. This is described in:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

This ultimate and final victory over sickness and death only comes through personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Though sickness covers this earth, there is a world to come where sickness, pain, and death are unheard of:

  • Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Friend, perhaps you found this blog entry while researching cancer. Perhaps you have been diagnosed with this terrible disease. One thing that buoyed my mother through her ordeal was the knowledge that she knows that she is a child of God. She knows that she has been saved by the grace of God. About twenty years ago, she heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, bowed her head, and received Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. I did not say that she joined a religion, or was baptized, or turned over a new leaf, or went through a confirmation. She turned to God as a sinner in need of salvation, and opened her heart to Jesus Christ as her Saviour, and was “born again” (John 3). Her sins were forgiven and washed away by God, and she was made new.

Throughout the ordeal, she wanted to LIVE. And she fought. And she overcame! And so should you! But we always knew that if the worst came to worst, she was ready to leave this world, confident that heaven would be her home.

  • 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

man-praying1Dear Reader, do you have this confidence? The Bible teaches that we are all sinners by choice (Romans 3:10, 23), that the price for our sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that this death will lead to hell (Rev. 20:14-15). But the good news of the gospel is that God loves us, and Jesus died to pay for our sins IN FULL, and that He rose again from the dead, and is now willing to save anyone who calls upon Him with heart-faith for salvation.

  • Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Though there is no “standardized” prayer for calling upon the Lord, perhaps these words will help you. If you would like to receive Christ as your Saviour, perhaps you would turn your heart to God and pray something like this:

  • “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I need to be saved. I believe with all my heart that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins and rose again, and the best I know how, I receive Him as my personal Saviour. Please forgive me of all my sins for Jesus’ sake. I believe based on your promise that I am now and forever saved. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”

If you have more questions, please read this salvation presentation, or write me at lbcwylie@gmail.com. Thank you for reading. God bless.

About James Rasbeary

I am the pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas. Check out my blog at www.broraz.com.
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3 Responses to Article: My Mother, The Cancer Survivor

  1. Larry Sellers says:

    I am very glad for your and your mom. My mom died of pancreatic cancer and it was very hard and sad. Most of my family has been taken by cancer. I’m glad that you will have your mom for more time and I pray you will treat her with a new found reverence and appreciation knowing that she could have just as easily been gone. I will never eat those favorite meals that only she could fix the way I loved. I can never again take her a card or a gift to her. I can’t call or talk to her in person or on the phone again. I can’t do anything but remember and wish I had not taken spending time with her for granted or all the things she had done for me. I am happy and glad the Lord has had mercy and allowed you to think on these things and be able to do what I can not; to find better ways to be a better son and show her I love and respect her. “Miss” her while she’s here so it won’t be regret when the time for her to depart has come. This is true for all those whom we love should be treated.

  2. Pat Rasbeary says:

    Thank you James…this was very nicely written and a testimony of my faith in God…People would ask me why I was so calm throughout the entire ordeal. I just know that my belief in God helped me go through this with the confidence that all would be well.

    • God bless you ma’am. Thankful for your testimony. A great proof to lost sinners that God is real is when His children go through something devastating with grace and peace. Glad you’ll have more time to serve God and encourage your son (who has been a great encouragement to me!)

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