Photo by Nicole Tarpoff
I have been healthy all my life—until August 2015. It started with cold-like symptoms. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, but after a few days I got worse. I went to the ER and the doctor said I had a virus and to let it run its course.
I continued to feel worse but made myself go to work. My symptoms began to change. I broke out in a rash on my arms, and my lymph nodes in my armpits and on the back of my head swelled to the size of golf balls. I went back to the doctor the next day, and he did bloodwork. That night he called me and told me that my white blood cell count was over 100,000 and that normal is 10,000. He told me that I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately and that I would be getting a call from the admissions office of the cancer center shortly because I had leukemia.
I didn’t panic like I thought I would. In one ear I could hear what the doctor was saying, but in the other ear, I heard a small voice say, “It’s okay.” I had peace. I started packing my bags and heard that voice again, “It’s okay.”
The first thing they did was a bone marrow biopsy, but something went very wrong. I was in terrible pain. They had to call in the chief of staff to take over. They had wanted to start the chemo as soon as possible but had to wait because of the complications from the bone marrow biopsy. I developed a serious infection that raged through my entire body. The infection even filled my stomach and I had to have a tube inserted through my nose into my stomach to pump out the infection. I had a dangerously high fever, which was destroying the cells in my body. They gave me ice baths and antibiotics but couldn’t get the fevers down.
Finally God brought the fever down and they were able to start the chemo one week after I was admitted. But then another problem…they placed a line in my arm to give me the chemo drugs and I developed blood clots, which started to travel through my bloodstream. This was life-threatening, as the clot could lodge in the heart, lung, or brain. They started me on blood thinner injections three times a day in my stomach. The chemo drugs were given to me continuously, 24 hours a day for seven days. This made me so sick. I had a reaction to the chemo and more high fevers with nearly constant vomiting.
Through this all I had a peace. I was praying and kept hearing, “It’s going to be okay.” Many people were praying for me. My father is a pastor as was his father before him, so I had a close relationship with God and knew how to pray. My sister was documenting what was happening with me on Facebook and thousands of people were following what was going on and were praying for me. People from all over the country were sending me messages of encouragement and praying for my healing, telling me how they were inspired and their faith had increased because of my story.
I was supposed to have four rounds of chemo, and after the first round, they did a bone marrow biopsy to see if the chemo had any effect. Miraculously, there was no sign of leukemia in the bone marrow! None! The doctors said the results were astounding to them. It is very rare for a person with my type of leukemia to be cured after only one round of chemo. It was so unexpected that the doctors said, “It wasn’t us. It had to be a greater power.”
Even though there was no sign of leukemia, the doctors wanted to make sure everything was gone, so I went through more chemo. My immune system was wiped out and I had to wear a mask all the time. I got a bad infection in my thumb and arm and had to have multiple blood transfusions, but I stayed positive, kept a smile on my face, and praised God through it all.
After two more biopsies and still no leukemia, my doctor gave me a clean bill of health and said I didn’t need the last round of chemo because my results were so good. God delivered me not only from the mental anguish and physical pain and disease, but also from financial struggle. I was unable to work for 10½ months and my medical leave had run out. I was down to my last penny and my coworkers came to my house and gave me $2,000 they had raised through a fundraiser at work for me—where people paid five dollars to wear jeans for a week. This program is continuing today and my coworkers now vote on different people to benefit from this money in my honor every month.
I now have a whole new outlook on life. Little things that would have stressed me out or made me angry don’t bother me anymore. I have become a more grateful person. And I have learned that there is nothing too hard for God. He is a God of the impossible. No matter how dark it may seem, no matter how bad the diagnosis, God is able to change the prognosis.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.