Welcome to my life! My name is Tricia, and I have truly "lived with cancer." I have produced this web site to show you how my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has sustained me through it all. My hope is that it might be an encouragement to you and anyone who is going through this trial. I have lived with cancer going on 47 years (all abdominal) and God prepared me for each trial through His Word. I know that God is sovereign over my life. Anything that comes my way has first been filtered through His hands, therefore I realize that I have a choice as to how I react to each trial. I can either grumble or glorify. I choose to glorify God in all that I say and do!
1 Peter 1:6-9, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."
Psalm 139:14-15 says, "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and
in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was not one of them.
So I know that I am on God's timetable! I will not be on this earth one day more or less than He has had planned from the beginning.
1973 - Let me start by bringing you up to date. My cancer started when I was a teenager in 1973. I was diagnosed with ovarian dysgerminoma. I had a nine inch tumor attached to my left ovary, and both were removed in surgery. The cure for this cancer at that time was Cobalt-60 therapy, and I received 43 treatments (today, only seven treatments are given).
1976 - In between the first and second bouts of cancer, I was blessed to meet and marry the man of my dreams.
1993 - Due to unusual spotting, my doctor performed a D&C. The results showed a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma of the endometrium Grade 1. Therefore, the decision was made to perform a complete hysterectomy. No further treatment was decided at this time.
2000 - I had an unusual pain in the left part of my abdomen and went to see my general practitioner (GP). It was decided to do a CT Scan with contrast on the pelvic area.
I received a call from my GP to come to his office and bring someone with me! My response was, "Oh, oh, it's that bad?"
The radiologist (who had no idea of my medical history) did not like what he saw in the CT. However, I made several copies and sent them to a trusted friend (also a radiologist) and my gynecologist in another state who had been with me since 1973. Both saw nothing out of the ordinary - but then, they also knew my medical history.
I was referred to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy, but nothing out of the ordinary was found. Here's where I made a mistake, though. I did not request a report from the colonoscopy! Had I received the report, I would have read that there was no diverticular disease.
For over a year, my GP treated me for diverticulitus! Three times, due to pain on the left side of my pelvis, I received antibiotics for one week intervals.
2002 - In February, I started having pain once again on the left side. Rather than go to my GP, I decided to go back to the gastroenterologist who had performed the colonoscopy in 2000. He put me on antibiotics for one week; but when I returned still having pain, but in another place, he scheduled me for another lower CT scan.
Without any comment, he told me that I needed to see a gynecologist immediately. Once again I made copies of the xrays and sent them to the same two people I trusted. MUCH different results! My friend told me to contact my gynecologist right away. He told me that a large tumor was evident on the left side, and a needle biopsy needed to be done immediately.
The biopsy indicated that yet a third cancer had invaded my body. This time, it was metastatic papillary adenocarcinoma. Another definition of my cancer was primary peritoneal serous carcinoma, and I was told that I needed chemotherapy immediately.
At the end of February, I was "debulked." During a four hour surgery, my omentum was removed (a layer of fat which lies in between the skin and pelvic organs) because it was full of malignancies. Also, many other masses and adhesions (from past surgeries) were removed.
2008 - At the end of 2007, it was time to do my annual CT Scan with contrast on the pelvic area. My oncologist waited over a week until after Christmas to call me and let me know that two very small spots (one about the size of a lima bean) were new on the scan, thus I was scheduled for a Pet Scan in the middle of January 2008. One of the spots was "hot" indicating malignancy. The small mass next to my liver was removed in the middle of March.
2011 - Removal of 4.2 cm soft tissue mass located between the stomach and pancreas. Now, let's look at my recent history continued below...
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Cancer! A Fifth Time! Two Different Cancers!
What is going on?
Yes, it looked bleak - lots of "ifs" and lots of questions! One night as I lay in bed, I got to thinking about all the incredible miracles God has done throughout time. I thought about those who followed Jesus hoping to be healed. One example was a woman who had hemorrhaged for 12 years and just by touching His garment was healed (Luke 8:43-48)! I thought to myself, "Yeah, I'd do that...Oh, to touch His garment and have this cancer leave my body for good!"
Because this is the fifth time cancer has intruded on my life, I have learned...IT IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE -- IT IS A TRIAL. Therefore, I am excited to see what He will do AGAIN in my life!! It is through "trials" that God refines and conforms us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. (James 1:2-4)
I also know that even though I cannot see into the future, that God is working this trial out for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28).
Think of all the people I'm going to be able to touch with the Good News that I would NEVER have the opportunity to do so if I were healthy! Therefore, please know that I am excited about the road ahead. I am NOT alone...I have the most wonderful, supportive husband; a loving family; many, many sisters and brothers in Christ; and an awesome, awesome God, My Great Physician!! My prayer is that He will receive the glory NO MATTER WHAT COMES.
Where do I find my Hope in the midst of trials?
The first three chapters of the Word of God have been under great attack in the last century. After God created in six days, He said, "It is good." There was no death.
But, Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." It was not so good anymore.
But in the midst of Adam's great fall, God gave the promise of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15 as He told the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."
God promised the Messiah who would destroy the works of Satan (Rev 12:9, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world) by delivering a fatal head wound... but first, the Messiah would be "bruised on the heel."
There is only one death that causes a bruised heel and that's crucifixion. Psalm 22 gives a very graphic description of crucifixion 400 years before its inception by the Romans!! Note particularly Psalm 22:16-18 "For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."
This all came to pass as the Son of Man, Jesus, hung on the cross. Note also Isaiah 53:4-5, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed." Romans 5:8 tell us, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
But...Jesus did not stay in the tomb!
Listen to what Paul (a learned Jew from the tribe of Benjamin) said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve (apostles). After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also."
And in Acts 2:23-38, this is what Peter (a Jewish fisherman who followed Christ as one of His apostles) said, "This Jesus, God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'The Lord (God) said to my Lord (Jesus), "Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.' Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' "
John 3:16-18, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
If today, your hope is in anything but Jesus Christ, it is in vain and will lead to eternal death. Twice in Proverbs (14:12 and 16:25) we are told, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." However Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."
I pray that you will make the right choice today, then no matter what comes your way in the future...cancer, car accident, plane crash, terrorism...you will know that you are secure in His love and you have a future hope.
Philippians 1:20-21, "according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
2 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord -- for we walk by faith, not by sight -- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."
What gives me strength in trials?
The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous. I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord.
Do you realize that when you READ from the Bible, God is speaking to you with His Words?!! 2 Timothy 2:16-17 reads, "All Scripture is inspired by God (literal interpretation: "God breathed") and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Therefore, it is important that you meditate on His promises! Read back to Him what He has promised to you and believe in faith that it will come to pass! Don't be double minded (James 1:6-8) "But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."