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Letters to my Family, #1 April 5, 2009

Posted by mygiftofcancer in breast cancer, cancer, faith, Letters, Letters to my Family, medical procedures, prayer, traditional herbal medicine.
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Before I continue with my challenge of how to adjust my diet to defeat the cancer, I thought I’d include some of the communications I sent to my family and friends. It’s personal, but summarizes how I was feeling and thinking at the time. Here’s the first letter written when I first knew I had cancer.


21 September 2008

Dear Mom and Dad,

God bless you! How are you? How’s your rib, Mom? Pain gone yet? I hope and pray you’re both well and happy!

Do you remember that I had a lump removed from my breast just before leaving Thailand for Vietnam? That was diagnosed as an abscessed cyst and was benign. I had another breast lump checked these past 2 weeks and just got the results on Tuesday. After all the tests were done, the doctor said that it is cancerous. I knew that was a possibility and had come to grips with that, but it was still a bit of a shock.

Frankly, I was thinking skin cancer would be more likely after all the sunbathing I’d done, but I kind of thought I’d done “everything right” to protect against breast cancer. Ha! Anyway, that’s what it is. My lifestyle has become extremely healthy lately, but obviously too late to prevent this cancer. It has probably been growing for several years already (the doctor estimated around 3-7, but it could be much longer.) The tumor is still small; about 2 cm.

I’ve been to what is said to be the best hospital in Vietnam, although I didn’t know it when I decided to go there. It was just where the Lord showed me to go when I prayed about it. I was happy to be able to communicate in English and to have all the testing done at the same place. It turned out to be a good choice as even though it is more expensive than other places, the atmosphere was calm and as close to “friendly” as one would want in a hospital! It’s French and quite new.

However, I’m not convinced I want to go with the whole Western procedure of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy (aka “slash/burn/poison”!) I’ve been researching the subject and praying about it and when J. gets back from his fundraising (for our charity projects)  on Wednesday, we’ll talk and pray together then about what the next step should be.

Yesterday, I went to a Vietnamese herbal doctor and have started drinking a specially prepared herbal tea to help strengthen my kidneys and liver so that my body’s own system will be as strong as possible for the battle. He says it is also possible that the cancer can be defeated this way and the tumor shrunk, but he doesn’t promise anything. We’ll see. Whatever route one takes, takes faith. I haven’t ruled out surgery, but from what I’ve read regarding radiation and chemo: the cure is often worse than the disease!

I’ve already done a lot of research on the Internet and have a copy of the book “A Cancer Battle Plan” that helped D.  overcome his “hopeless situation”  with lung cancer and that L. referred to at the luncheon we had in the U.S. when I was there. (I borrowed S.’s copy and have read it through a few times, including once in Canada, as I knew then that there was the possibility.) I’ve also been gradually improving my diet ever since the bout with gastritis December 2006 and just a few days ago, I found a good source of at least a few organic foods and supplements. Many farmers here use banned pesticides and other chemicals on their crops and as most people know, there are still tons of Agent Orange dioxins in the soil here and undoubtedly in the food chain, so it is a relief to find that someone is trying to provide the population with healthy alternatives!

That’s my news. Sorry that it isn’t exactly good news, but please don’t worry about me. I won’t be a passive victim. I’ve already begun to fight. I like the logo written on the T-shirts of some cancer patients who regularly exercised together: “Kick Cancer’s Butt!” That’s my plan, too!

My biggest challenge right now is my long-standing battle with not getting enough sleep. It’s really hard to turn off my mind! This is all very new and I’m still adjusting to it, but soon it won’t be news anymore and I’ll sleep better, I’m sure.

So, here are some prayer requests:

1. for my healing and that this doesn’t metastasize

2. for wisdom about what treatments to use

3. to find the right team of health professionals to advise me

4. for good sleep

5. for peace of mind

Here are some of the verses I’m claiming:

Acts 9:34a “Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.”

Psa. 103:3 “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases.”

Psa. 107:20 “He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

So, I’ll stop here. Since I’ve taken so long to write this letter, I’m planning to send it, (all or parts of it) , as my explanation to others. I haven’t written anyone else, although I’ve talked with my kids and of course J. knows. I’ll write the others after I’ve heard from you. Iwant you to be informed first, so you don’t hear it through the grapevine! But you can mention it to whomever you want whenever you want. That’s up to you. I’ll be very grateful for any extra prayer power I can get!

I love you both so much! Again, please don’t worry about me. I’m in the best hands–the hands of the Great Physician! I’ll keep you posted.

Much love, Me



1. hl - April 5, 2009

your brave

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