Monday, September 2, 2013

Baffling the Doctors

             My son Samuel went from being treated for parasites to having major intestinal surgery in just a few days. It was so quick: we discovered the tumor on Monday; on Friday we were in the hospital in São Paulo, waiting for one of the best surgical teams in Brazil to operate on him.
            They removed a five inch adenocarcinoma and several swollen lymph nodes with it. This is extremely rare in a child who hasn't had a lifetime to harm his colon with bad diet, alcohol, and cigarettes. Though our surgeon has decades of experience, having done this same surgery thousands of times, we could tell by how she told us how big the tumor was that it caught her by surprise.

            She said that they got it all, but because of the lymph nodes, Samuel would have to do at least six months of chemotherapy. Edda asked if he would be able to have a normal life, but she didn't give much hope, saying that it depends on each person's organism. The five year survival rate of children with this type of cancer was probably going through her head.

            I happened on the anesthesiologist and I asked him about the surgery, hoping for more details. He looked disturbed, "Hasn't anybody come to talk to you?" "Yes, the surgeon came." "Then I don't have anything else to add." And he was gone.

            Then came the long wait for the biopsy. Edda had been reading over and over Philippians 4:6, and she proposed that we pray and fast that God change this situation. We decided, of course, to give glory to God no matter what He chose to do in our son's life, but our plea was for Him to baffle the doctors, so people wouldn't just see our son being saved by a great surgeon in a great hospital, but would look to the Great Physician for an explanation. During our wait, the peace of God took hold on Edda's heart.

            Only God knows how many people around the world were talking to Him on Samuel's behalf, and He took control of our son's health. Though the tumor was scary, the biopsy showed that the lymph nodes were clean. Hurray! The second sign was Samuel's CEA test - came back zero - no antigens in his blood! Wow! The last hurdle required by the oncologist was the immunohistochemistry testing for microsatellite instability – what in the world? If stable, Samuel would have to go through five months of chemo. The doctor called from Sao Paulo with the results, and his first words were "Your prayers worked!" Of course, doctor, our prayers always work, because we serve a living God who is constantly hearing his children and acting according to His will! Praise be to the Father, who cares for us always and no matter what!

            We have committed to tell this story of how God changed Samuel's prognosis. How can a surgeon who has spent forty plus years taking cancer out of people's intestines see things one way, but the tests show another? It’s God - He made the difference! All praise to Him! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!

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