Life Trials and Tribulations

Scripture
"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27 NIV

Thoughts for Today
When we are facing difficult times, sometimes we begin to feel as though our situation is hopeless. If friends and family try to encourage us, we might respond with, "But you don’t understand."

Our loved ones might or might not understand. But the Lord always understands. He always cares. And he assures us that nothing is too hard for him.

Even when we’ve prayed about a problem, we tend to continue trying to figure things out. Somewhere in our minds we seem to think that God needs our help. If we can’t see any possible solution, we despair. We lose all hope. But when we do this, we are making God so small. He is the LORD, the God of all mankind. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is too hard for him.

Consider this…
What challenges are you and I is facing? An illness? A rebellious child? Marriage problems? Financial challenges? Whatever it is, remember that God is bigger.

As you and I turn our problem over to God, remember that his answer might not be what you are expecting. And his timing might seem ever so slow. But he will be with us throughout the process. And God’s plan … and God’s time … are always the best plan and the best time. No matter how things appear right now, God will work all things together for good. He loves us … and nothing is too hard for him.

Prayer…
Father, thank you for your promise that nothing is too hard for you. Thank you for your faithfulness … your understanding … your love … your grace. Thank you for the plan you have for us. In Jesus’ name I pray AMEN.

 

OUR FIGHT WITH CANCER

 

      It was early in September 30, 2001, when Dr. Amaya revealed Iris dreaded diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. Iris broke down in sobs and tears of the bad news while tears run down my face. Because of its very aggressive nature Iris had total abdominal hysterectomy on October 5, 2001. The doctor prognosis was 10% chance of cure. Our first thought was our Lord Jesus Christ raised his friend Lazarus – four days dead – from death. It’s our faith in God that kept us going day to day.

     Iris went through six rounds of Taxol and Carboplatin chemotherapy successfully and put her cancer into remission. Life went on with its usual ups and downs, with God’s blessing mostly ups. 

 

OUR PERSONAL LIFE JOURNEY 2007

Our life journey in 2007 is choke full of contrasting ironies of good and bad events – hard testing of our faith through all kinds of temptations; success and failures; and many others to mention.

Looking back – rear view mirror – the 2007 New Year started with a bang! After working hard in 2006, we closed a good real estate transaction and got paid handsomely. Then we received a couple of fat tax refund checks. While this was happening, my wife was having fun vacationing in the Philippines. Life is going GREAT!!!!!

Promotion in my profession came with a handsome pay raised. Our son became permanent in his job potentially making a good living. Our daughter is doing very good in college and graduated, passed the nursing board exam, hence became a registered nurse and got a very good job.

While on vacation, my wife called and told me about a bothersome lump in her right armpit. Suddenly I realized that maybe her cancer came back. Upon her arrival, shortly thereafter, all her doctor’s appointments fell into place confirming our suspicion. Her cancer came back after 6 years of remission. Quickly surgical intervention followed. Lymphedema complicated her recovery and delayed her chemotherapy. Six sessions of chemo was extended to eight each twenty one days apart. During the first five days after each session, excruciating body aches and pains; nausea and vomiting; poor appetite that zapped her immune systems is a very heavy cross to bear.

Seeing a loved one and a lifelong partner suffer is painful enough. Even more painful, as a healthcare professional, is I’m powerless to take away her sufferings. As of this writing, based on last check up, her doctor decided to postpone her next one until a Cat Scan is done. There is a tremendous unknown hanging over our heads as to what the status of her cancer only God knows.

Aside from these trials, there were many more little ones that sting our psyche the equivalent of aftershocks following a powerful earthquake. The Christmas Holidays were joyous despite of it all. The birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the unconditional love of God the Father and the Holy Spirit make us feel all well and on our way toward a new beginning. On to the New Year 2008, our life journey will continue.

Each of us must go through life journeys with different kinds of trials, temptations and sufferings, some less severe, some more.  The questions that many of us ask start like “why is this happening? We are good Christians, we’re this, we’re that, etc.” We question God.

January 15, 2008

Back in February 2007 while vacationing in the Philippines she felt a lump in her right armpit and called me. I reassured her that it was probably nothing to worry about and enjoy her vacation. I felt bad lying to her because I had a gut feeling the cancer came back. Conservative antibiotic treatment didn’t worked. Biopsy of her lump and right breast confirmed my suspicion – Ovarian Cancer with metastasis to her right armpit lymph node and right breast. Another seven rounds of Taxol and Carboplatin was started. Tumor marker Ca125 was 49 versus less than 35 as normal value. MRI confirmed aggressive growth of the cancer. Modified Radical Mastectomy was performed on March 8, 2008. Our Oncologist recommended Radiation and seven rounds of chemotherapy for palliative purposes. Iris and I declined as this was a sure prescription for death.

 

Today, we met with Dr. Kim our oncologist. Dr. Kim reviewed the result of Iris CT Scan – discovered the following:        new nodule in Iris left armpit; small nodes along the lining Iris lungs; fluid sac in the lung is without significant change. In view of my wife CA 125 still abnormal despite seven sessions of chemotherapy, Dr. Kim ordered CBC w/ differential and CA125, plus Mammogram of her breast tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.; on January 21 with the breast clinic for biopsy of her left armpit lymph node. Results of these tests will help Dr. Kim the best course of actions and treatment.

After our appointment with Dr. Kim, we met with Dr. Cervantes – ENT who reviewed Iris thyroid status. He said her thyroid is better.  Due to the latest development, if we rely on our human intellect and abilities, without God the cross – cancer and the brutal aches and pains of chemotherapy is a very heavy cross to bear.

     God is our ultimate physician. On May 10, 2008 Mother’s Day, I found Iris laying in bed complaining of having shortness of breath, feeling tired, and pale. A trip to the emergency room lead to Kaiser Sunset for heart surgery – Pericardial Window to drain more than 850 cc of bloody fluid. Thank God!!!! Iris along with families and friends were scheduled to fly to New York on that day. The surgeon told us had she flown, she could have had a fatal cardiac arrest on the plane. Thank God, Iris was given a second chance.

     God lead us to Perth, Australia on August 17, 2008 for a Radiowave Therapy. Once more another bump, tests, disappointment, etc whatever one may want to call it Iris therapy was complicated with TIA (Trans Ischemic Attack) confirmed by MRI – her cancer tumor in right neck impeding blood flow into the brain during therapy. The doctor terminated Iris therapy due to high risk of stroke. I could see the disappointment and frustration of my wife in her beautiful face. Trying her best to hide it, to not let me worry was of no use as I could see deeper.

     Expenses, disappointments, pain and sufferings didn’t change our faith and trust in God. After a few days of rest at brother Nilo’s residence in the Philippines, back to Carson and three days rest God lead us to An Oasis Of Healing in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Thomas Lodi and a staff of God-fearing professionals first words are: Remember Iris, God is healing you. I am just a messenger. In our lifetime, we have met many doctors, Dr. Lodi is the first and only doctor to tell us the truth.

     After just three days of treatment, promising shrinkage of Iris tumors is proof of God’s healing power.  Our journey will continue………………  

 

 

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