In October of 2000 I was taking a Spiritual Gifts workshop. The results showed that the gift of Faith was coming into play. I wondered what that was all about. I was soon to find out. In December, after a fall on the ice, it was discovered that I had a rare, aggressive and often fatal type of cancer in my left knee. I was thankful for the workshop and the awareness of the gift of faith.
By this time in my life, I had completed all of the Personal Development portion of the licensed Unity teacher (LUT) program, so I had great resources to pull from as I walked down this path. Having a personal relationship with the Spirit within is essential, so I went there first. I remember my first Unity minister saying, “First to God and then to man under God’s direction.” God and I had long talks in which I came to understand that no matter what the physicians around me said, if I put my faith in that divine energy and did my work, everything would be just fine. I came to see that divine power, which most call God, as the Ultimate Physician.
I went through five stays in the hospital, three surgeries and two weeks in a rehab center. The last stay in the hospital was because gangrene had set in. A plastic surgeon and my oncologist came in before surgery to tell me they were going to have to take my leg. I told them that was not going to happen. And I understood what all of their tests were telling them, but they were not the ultimate physician. I would not agree to amputation. The surgeons did what they could.
Right after the surgery, one of them came to talk with my sister. He shared with her that what they did would probably not work. He went on to tell her that even if it did, the leg would not be functional. The knee will never bend, she will drag it the rest of her life and she will wish that we had taken it.
Well it is now 14 years later, and I still not only have my leg, but I sit in chairs with both feet on the floor. Except for a slight limp when I have been on my feet all day, I get around quite well for a 60-year-old.
Now anyone who has ever had any form of cancer or any other life-threating disease will tell you that it takes strength, determination, attitude, support of others and a lot of prayer. But it also takes a faith in the Ultimate Physician, no matter what the doctors say.
When I Was Diagnosed With Cancer
by Linda Mae Richardson
My first friend came and expressed his shock by saying,
“I can’t believe that you have cancer.
I always thought you were so active and healthy.”
He left and I felt alienated and somehow very different.
My second friend came and brought me information about different treatments being used for cancer. He said,
“Whatever you do, don’t take chemotherapy. It’s a poison!”
He left and I felt scared and confused.
My third friend came and tried to answer my “whys?” with the statement,
“Perhaps God is disciplining you for some sin in your life?”
He left and I felt guilty.
My fourth friend came and told me,
“If your faith is just great enough, God will heal you.”
He left and I felt my faith must be inadequate.
My fifth friend came and told me to remember that,
“All things work together for good.”
He left and I felt angry.
My sixth friend never came at all.
I felt sad and alone.
My seventh friend came and held my hand and said,
“I care, I’m here, I want to help you through this.”
He left and I felt LOVED!
© 1988 Linda Mae Richardson
Victory in the Valley, Inc. ~ www.victoryinthevalley.org