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 Rebecca's Story

 

       
                                              

 

   

                                                          Nov 2011       Dec 2011        Jan 2012               Nov 2012                                              

 

In the spring of 2011, I began to have trouble with my ears with progressive ear infections.  By early May, the infections progressed to a bulging eardrum.  Since I was becoming fatigued, blood tests were done but revealed normal thyroid function and no anemia.  By early summer I began to notice swollen lymph glands in my neck and throat area.  As the ear infections continued, the doctors noticed that my actual ear canals were narrowing, not just from swelling but due to a suspected change in the physical bony structure inside my ear canals. 

During the summer months, the fatigue progressed and I began to lose weight.  By Labor Day weekend, a grape-sized lymph node emerged in front of my right ear which dislocated my jaw resulting in an Emergency Room visit.  An MRI was ordered and confirmed extensive severe lymph node swelling in all of the lymph nodes in the neck and throat area.  I also had enlarged lymph nodes on my blood vessels, including a grape-sized node on my right carotid artery.  The MRI also revealed abnormal bone metabolic activity as the bone behind both ears was showing up as solid instead of porous and it was confirmed that the ear canals were narrowed by the thickening of bone there as well. 

By early fall, I had developed frequent hiccups, intense throat pain from cold sensitivity and a permanent hoarseness of my voice, all of which are danger signs of throat cancer.  Due to these symptoms, the MRI results, and my continued weight loss and fatigue, a PET scan was ordered to identify a primary tumor and any secondary areas of abnormal metabolic activity.  On November 1, 2011, I was escorted out from the special mobile PET scan truck hand in hand with the nurse who wished me luck and gave me a long hug.  Other patients that day that were being scanned to track the spread of their already diagnosed cancer were not given this special extra attention, so I knew that my results would be difficult to receive.  If you are not familiar with PET scans, radioactive glucose is injected after a long fast and any cancer cells “light up” as hot spots since these abnormal cells steal the nutrients from the rest of the body.  The resulting image for my scan looked like an octopus with an egg-sized area behind the base of my nose behind where the throat begins with the appearance of tentacles descending down my throat and neck region.  Surgery was scheduled for December 2, 2011 but for diagnostic biopsies only to confirm my advanced stage of disease since treatment options were looking grim.  In the weeks prior to surgery, my fatigue progressed to the point that standing and walking became quite labored and I had to sit propped up with pillows.  My physical appearance was also changing as I continued to lose weight and my neck and throat area began to look puffy. 

During the month prior to surgery, I continued to have the peace that surpasses all understanding.  As the Bible states in Romans 14:8, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord.  So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”  As a result of this peace, I continued to play violin at church even though I had to steady myself against the rail before and after playing.  I also continued to work as a Clinical Research Monitor visiting research sites that ironically happened to be Oncology centers.  As I shared my results with these physicians, they marveled at my perseverance since they were all well aware of my condition and prognosis which was rapidly exceeding the severity of the patients in the cancer research studies that we were working on together.

On the night of November 30, 2011 while propped up in bed, I was pondering the days to come with an open heart.  While I leaned my head back against the pillow with my eyes closed, I grabbed the sheet firmly and simply said, “Jesus, I’m grabbing your robe.”  I immediately was aware of a strong beam of energy coming down onto my throat area.  I could not see it, but I could feel that the beam of energy was wider than a dinner plate.  As I felt the strong rays of energy flood my throat and neck area, I kept my head back and remained completely motionless knowing that I was receiving God’s radiation therapy.  After about a minute, I could feel the flooding energy quickly transform into a tingling sensation that began to move around my throat area with intricate variations.  This second phase continued for an additional nine minutes.  Then as suddenly as it began, the room became still.  I immediately texted those that I love and told them that I had just received God’s radiation therapy.  Since I was also filled with an abundance of peace, I quickly fell into a deep sleep.  In the morning, I awoke full of energy with my throat still warm and tingly.  As I walked into the bathroom I immediately noticed my reflection glowing and already looking two years younger. 

Surgery proceeded as planned 24 hours later, and while I knew in my heart that I had been changed, the expected 8 biopsies became 36 as the surgeon feared the worst due to the extensive overgrowth of tissues found.  Due to the large number of biopsies taken from the delicate throat area, I was not able to talk for a week.  For those of you that know me, that in itself was a miracle!  I also developed a staph infection in my ear causing my eardrum to rupture.  So during the week of waiting for my biopsy results, I could neither talk nor hear and could only communicate by using a wipe-off board and reading lips.  Despite all this, I continued to praise the Lord with joy and thanksgiving by holding my hands up in the air.  The following week the doctor shared his amazement that all my biopsies were negative.  When I told him what had happened, he teased me by saying, “People like you that pray right before surgery waste my time” and that while he believed I was healed, he stated with a smile that he still needed to confirm that I was ok since a famous lawyer lived down the street.  That examination and subsequent follow up appointments confirmed that the overgrowth of tissues receded despite no treatment of any kind. 

Meanwhile, I was able to immediately return to work the week after surgery to monitor my research sites.  The first research oncology doctor immediately believed the miracle and welcomed me with open arms and a warm smile saying, “My dear Rebecca, you know you shouldn’t even be here” and shared that he had only given me two weeks to live based on my results.  The nursing staff at a second research site the following week also welcomed me with open arms.  However, that research doctor immediately reacted with fear and actually left the room refusing to see me for the rest of the monitoring visit.  When I questioned the nurses, they told me that the doctor was saying that it could not be me, that I died and that they sent someone else in my place.  He kept repeating himself, “That can’t be her, she didn’t even look like her, that’s not her!” since by this third week I had already begun to look ten years younger and was glowing with health. 

While I continued to notice renewal in my appearance, I was also becoming aware of a beautiful sound coming from my voice that I had never experienced before.  Since I was 46 years old at the time of this healing and had extensive acid reflux damage to my vocal chords that occurred many years prior to my illness, I was amazed to hear the lovely melodies coming from my voice as I began to sing lullabies to my young girls and sing along to the radio.  I was amazed that I could physically sing at all and marveled that while God’s radiation therapy was free of any negative side effects, it also seemed to have a positive side effect.

As the Christmas season ended and I continued to rejoice in my new life and voice, God kept nudging me to attend an upcoming contemporary Christian praise concert.  So on the night of February 10, 2012, I went to my first concert in many years and arrived with an open heart since I was eager to see why God was leading me to this particular event.  The evening began with glorious praise songs and I was overjoyed that I could share in making a joyful noise to the Lord.  The music began to be more reflective and the artist began to testify about the tragic loss of his wife to cancer and how much he missed her as his singing and worship partner.  These events happened several years ago but the artist said he was led that evening to share how that incredible loss inspired his recent song.  As over 2000 voices joined in softy to sing “We shall overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony,” I instantly realized that my new voice was not just an added bonus or a nice side effect, but rather it was a second miracle.  As the tears of joy poured down my face drenching my shirt, I realized that I was saved for a purpose.  I realized the significance of the extra nine minutes of my healing when the spark of creation was moving around my throat.  I was literally re-created, customized if you will, to serve God through singing and testimony.  I knew that evening who I truly am in the eyes of God - that my old self died on November 30, 2011 and that I was re-made into a new creation.  I said “Yes!” to God and my calling and since that sacred evening I have been using my new voice to make a joyful noise to the Lord and to testify about the double miracle.

So in conclusion, as you hear a story like this from me or anyone else, you also have a choice to make just like the two research doctors.  You can either be fearful or rationalize away the miracles, or you can turn your eyes upon Jesus and believe.