A letter to a stranger with cancer

Almost 10 years ago, my husband, David, had cancer. And I’ve always marvelled at how he tells the story of how God had healed him – as if, at the time, he knew He always would.

Recently, he got asked to write a letter to a woman who was just diagnosed with cancer and in need of real encouragement. Below is the letter he sent.

Dear friend,

I know you don’t know me, and we might not have much in common, but the struggle you’re currently facing is one I’ve already overcome with God at my side, and I wanted to write this letter to encourage you.

In 2009, I got diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was 18 years old. However, after further testing, doctors realised that the cancer had spread to my abdomen and lungs. After all my chemo treatments, my reports showed that there was no progress. I wasn’t getting any better and the doctors were considering more sessions.

But, God. 

As the months passed, I continued my chemo treatment with sessions just about every 3 weeks. But still, nothing changed. Fortunately, neither did my attitude. I was still convinced that I had much to do on earth, and I never doubted that I wouldn’t survive. During the very last chemo session scheduled, the doctors watched as my tumour markers dropped entirely.

From having absolutely no progress at all over the months of chemo, I was suddenly healed all at once.

Almost 10 years later, 4 operations later, and with one and a half lungs left, I’m still cancer free. And I want you to encourage you: have a faith that is unrealistic. God can do things that stand way outside the box of what looks possible. Cling onto hope with all your heart, even when that hope isn’t tangible or conveniently packaged in a good health report. The hope that Jesus brings is enough to keep you joyful even when your circumstances say otherwise. Praying for you. Here’s Psalm 91 – a verse that kept me going.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”


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