Linda's Heart: Faith, Hope, & Love
Organized by: Linda Longe
Linda’s Heart: Faith, Hope & Love
Cancer……..…it’s a fear filled term no matter what the type. It’s a physically destructive predator; a challenge faced by and tasked to some of the very best medical professionals in the world. Equally destructive however is the emotional toll it takes on the patient and the family. So many are lost thru fear, and a lack of faith and hope.
I want to share my story of victory, and shine a light on the role that faith, hope and love play.
In addition to the diagnosis,treatment and prognosis, patients and their families are significantly burdened by the astronomical cost of ongoing medical expenses. Yet another destructive force for families.
"Crowdrise" affords a means for all in need to share their story so that others will have opportunity to be a blessing. Any such contributions will be equally shared with the awesome organization - Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN).
My battle for the last 6 years has been with Stage II pancreatic cancer. My early stage diagnosis was nothing short of a miracle, as I had presented no prior symptoms, connected to the diagnosis. I thank God for his presence in my life to that point, and for sustaining me as I embarked on this journey. I was led to an extraordinary surgeon—both in skill, and in compassion; who during an initial surgery successfully completed a laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy.
When I was diagnosed in 2008, pancreatic cancer was continuously in the news due to announcements of the dreaded diagnosis by a number of celebrities. They all seemed moderately to extremely resigned to the fate of dire statistics. At that time, the American Cancer Society estimated that 37,680 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, of which 91% were projected to succumb to the disease.
I’m so grateful for my faith. After my diagnosis, I had a very short “pity party,” and then together with family, our vision was transformed to line up with the Word of God - that this “sickness was not unto death” (John 11:4). We continued to stand even after the further diagnosis of liver metastases, requiring two additional surgeries.
God has been so good to me during this life-changing journey. He directed my path at every step, every turn, and with each decision. He’s placed the right medical facilities, (Karmanos Cancer Institute and the top rated Beaumont Hospitals) physicians, surgeons, oncologists, neurologists, physical therapists and a host of other specialists, as well as generic staff set in place to care for, uplift and encourage during the battle.
There’s an essential message not to be overlooked here, for all those dealing with this attack as well as their loved ones.
There is an absolute relationship between faith, hope, trust, overall attitude and the physical body’s ability to recover. It’s well acknowledged scientifically, and greatly impacts the ability to be sustained until recovery.
The course of my battle has brought surgically induced diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, OAB, dramatic weight loss, medication allergies, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and more. Yet, my faith and hope remain my rock.
During my second surgery, my surgeon laid out a plan that she was confident would “extend my life.” She didn’t understand that I had no plans to leave this life, the result of this dreaded disease. My response then, and to this day was, “I’m not going.” Besides, my husband and I were blessed with 4 daughters (aged 18 to 32), and we had not one grandchild at the time. She smiled and promised to do everything they could do. That’s all I could ask as I explained that God had already set the stage.
Well, my 1st grandson has arrived as you can see. I thanked my doctors and promptly told them I needed 4 or 5 more. Now they began to understand, my position and my faith. I thanked all for their part and all that they knew, explaining however that they didn’t know “Who” I knew – Jesus the Christ.
Cancer, regardless the type, is too often a long road. Even when told that you’re in remission (…an announcement I recently received – Praise God!!), it’s still a journey.
Here’s the latest update:
• I'm no longer able to work and recieving moderate support due to associated disabilities. Ironically, some of that support was only available for a year in anticipation of my death. It has been withdrawn because God has sustained and healed me.
• 12 - 15 daily medications are taken twice a day, in addition to now being insulin dependent. One addresses the cancer, and the others address a multitude of side effects. The cost per drug / per month ranges from $5.00 to $8000.00.
• In addition to medications, there are those never ending labs and quarterly monitoring at a minimum via EGD’s Gastric Scans, MRI’s and PET Scans. The blessing in all the moitoring activities is that everytime I show up, the doctors and technicians are amazed to see me. Yet another opportunity to witness God's power when faith is maintained.
During a recent 60 minutes expose’, report, 2 doctors boldly brought to light, the shame of the pharmaceutical industry regarding prescription drug prices, particularly regarding the elderly. Prices that are so far out of reach that the unspoken truth actually equates to “bankruptcy or die”.
“The Lord is My Rock” and I will not be a statistic. Faith during good and bad days has remained unshakable. That absolute faith in His word exclaims: ”But my God shall supply all my needs…” (Phil 4:19). He has already begun to move on the hearts of His people.
Holding tight to our faith in His word, some burdens have begun lifting and glimpses of a return to a life unburdened has been seen.
And oh...what a pleasure to fully embrace the joy of our first grandchild.
“Paying it Forward”
While medical intervention is acknowledged as vital, my personal testimony is confirmation that victory in this battle is achievable with consistent, loving, faith filled patient support. They work hand in hand. They are the hope of more tomorrows.
Should God move on your heart to be a blessing and provide a donation, please know that all such received will be equally shared with (PCAN), targeting patient support and creating and maintaining hope.
Thanks is offered, in advance to everyone providing donations and / or prayers.
Consider if you will, sharing the link with family and friends. I believe the message of faith; hope and love can impact their lives. Share the good news by letting them know that “God is not a respecter of persons…”(Acts 10:34).
If there is a need, please know that "Faith is the Key".