I expect this might be my most interesting blog post yet. Or at least, it’s gonna have pictures 🙂
Back in September last year I was diagnosed with cancer.
But let’s backtrack a bit…
Seven years earlier, in September 2010, I was inspired to start drawing a photo that my friend had posted on his Facebook page. I made good headway for a while but then got discouraged by how much detail I’d put in it and so it sat unfinished in a drawer until March 2017, when I finally finished it. And here it is below:
Hold that thought.
In August, I discovered the lump on my neck and wondered whether it might be serious. I was due to fly to Portugal on a study year abroad in September so I didn’t want to hold up my trip for something that wasn’t serious, but equally didn’t want to go flying off if it was. So I prayed.
“God, would you just let me know if I need to do something about this?”
And then I went to bed.
That night I had a dream. A friend of mine who was a doctor came up to me, looked at the lump on my neck and then looked me straight in the eye and said, “You need to go and see a doctor straight away.”
Well, it couldn’t have been clearer than that!
In a previous blog post, I described how God gave me the promise from Isaiah 43:1-4: that when I walked through deep waters, I would not be drowned; that He would give others in exchange for my life. And true to His word, cancellations were made on my behalf. The NHS were beyond marvellous in getting me seen and diagnosed as quickly as possible. It was cancer. It was stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; cancer of the blood.
I won’t go into the emotional rollercoaster of that time.
As you might expect, the treatment plan I was placed on was 6 months’ chemotherapy. I was going to have poison pumped into my blood for a good couple of hours every fortnight… and I prayed.
Because I know God can heal, instantly. It doesn’t take a second thought for Him to be able to do it. And I was scared.
But strangely, every time I prayed, I simply felt His assurance that He would be with me and He would hold me through it all. And then, one day, this drawing that had taken me 7 years to finish suddenly caught my eye. The writing on my friend’s hand refers to Mark 16:18. I didn’t remember the whole verse but I remembered this bit:
“…if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them…”
Somehow, it felt like assurance.
(To be continued…)