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Did You Know? Cancer is a general term for more than 200 diseases. It is the uncontrolled growth of cells that can invade and destroy healthy tissues.
 
 
 
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God placed his healing hands on me PDF Print E-mail
By Maria Odete Marques   »   I am 36 and this is my story how the diagnosis of cancer turned me to prayer and put me back on the right spiritual track - a link I had been missing for years.

CrossOn April 12, 2005, I was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer called mesenchymoma, a type of sarcoma, which is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that forms in the soft tissue.

I had noticed a lump in the middle of my right thigh but experienced no pain, so thought nothing of it. Then at some point, I started to feel extreme pain in my lower thigh and in my knee, to the extent that it would inhibit my walking. I decided it was time to get it checked out. The small lump that I had noticed a little while back had grown, it was now the size of an orange.

After many ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, MUGA scans, bone scans and several visits to the doctor, it was determined that I had mesenchymoma with up to six types of sarcoma in the one tumor. Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer in itself but to have six types in one tumor was rarer still. The prevalent type was called osteosarcoma which is what Canadian icon Terry Fox had in his bone; the difference is that it had formed as part of the tumor in my soft tissue.

The doctors and I had a decision to make; osteosarcoma is treated with chemotherapy and the other types that were present throughout the tumor are treated with radiation.

I started to pray to God to give me an answer to this, as drugs were not my preferred way of treatment but the cancer was rated a Stage 3 which meant there was not much time to experiment. It was decided that I would undergo three months of chemotherapy prior to the operation to remove the tumor and three months afterwards, radiation might also be required – that would be determined as time went by.

I would spend three days in the hospital during my treatments and have the deadly chemotherapy drugs drip into my body for about 40 hours straight. The side effects of the “chemo cocktail”, as the combination of chemotherapy drugs is popularly called, had numerous side effects to various internal organs, but I felt this is what had to be done.

Although I had been brought up with Christian beliefs, I had “forgotten” how important it is to allow God into my heart and let him guide me. Well, once I was diagnosed I quickly turned to prayer.

I reached out to my family and friends across North America to let them know what had happened and everyone started to pray for me. My family in various parts of the world, France, Portugal, Switzerland, and Australia, all started to pray for me. People I didn’t even know were praying for me, churches that I had never visited were lifting my name and situation up in prayer. I started to feel the strength and the courage that I needed to overcome this.

I underwent three months of very aggressive chemotherapy, lost all of my hair after the first treatment but with little to no other side effects during the treatments.

On July 21, 2005 I had my operation to remove the tumor which had hardened but continued to grow; it had almost doubled in size since my diagnosis. I continued to pray and receive well wishes from family and friends who were also informing me of the number of people that were praying for me.

Surgery went well but more muscle than expected had to be removed with the tumor. Now the wait. I had to wait for the pathology report to come back – three weeks. I prayed that I would be cancer free and require no more treatments. I expressed my desires to people I knew that were praying for me to pray for the same outcome.

The results were in - on August 16, 2005 my doctor informed me that all the margins were CLEAN – the cancer was GONE and that I would NOT need any additional treatments. God's healing hands cured me of cancer.
 
I gave - and continue to give - thanks to God and remembered all the people who prayed for me. Never again will I underestimate the power of prayer.

Now I face up to six months of physiotherapy. I do not have enough strength in my leg to lift it off the ground. The power of prayer that helped me overcome cancer will help me get my strength back in my leg.

Periodical checkups to ensure I remain cancer-free will be part of my life for the next several years but I will never steer from my faith in God and the power that prayer can result in.

I hope that this will be an inspiration to those who feel they face some dark times ahead.

Finally a big thank you to all my family and dear friends that prayed for me and continue to include me in their prayers. Their support and care has made my journey more tolerable.

To the “Angels on Earth” that came into my life at just the right time – you know who you are – I’m glad you are by my side. God gave you strength and you shared it with me.

Thank you too, to the doctors and nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario that allowed God to work through them to make my recovery possible. Especially Dr. Wunder who removed the tumor starting my path to recovery and his office assistant Barbara who demonstrated extreme patience, empathy and care. Also, Dr. Blackstein who took the time to ensure I understood what I was facing with chemotherapy.

Also, my appreciation goes out to all the people and congregations that prayed for me, a person they did not know or had ever met but were asked to pray for a fellow Christian in time of need.

And, last but not least, a special thank-you to Pastor Mills, Pastor Clarke and the congregation of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton, Ontario for their support and prayers.

May God bless you all!

 
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