In Dec 2003 I was facing a biopsy for a suspicion of cancer. It was a Friday, and on Monday I would have a core biopsy. That night I dreamt of this little girl. I thought she was so cute and sooo familiar. I was asking “who is she?” I would name my nieces and ask if it was them. Each name I called I was told no it wasn’t them. Finally, the closer I got to the little girl she was so familiar. I asked “Is it me?” I was told “no, it is Hope Ward.” I said, “Hope Ward? Do you mean she is mine???”“Yes she is yours!” I was told
I awoke from my dream... it was so real!! I told my husband I feel like I should get a pregnancy test just to be sure since I’ll be exposed to radiation on Monday. Well sure enough it was positive and no one had to tell me if I would have a boy or girl. I knew it would be a girl, and I knew her name would be Hope. Wait a minute! Why is God giving me Hope?? That scared me in itself, but on Monday I had the biopsy and it came back negative for cancer. Wow! I was so relieved to get the good report and also thrilled that I was going to have a little girl! Still, in the back of my mind I would wonder why was God giving me Hope?
In August 2004 our little Hope was born. What a cutie with a head full of hair!! We were thrilled and life was awesome getting to experience having a baby in the house again. In March of 2007 I started having pain in the same spot that was suspicious 4 yrs earlier. I could feel a distinctive “marble“ in my breast. I was going to have to have it removed. They told me they would take out the lump and the surrounding tissue. When the procedure was over we went home to wait on results. The next day the surgeon called with the results, “it was all cancer”, he said. Whew! I can’t even begin to tell you how being diagnosed with cancer and “all cancer” makes you feel. I would think about what that meant and I would cry. I would quit crying, think about what that meant, and cry all over again. My husband and I both in shock. Then it dawned on me... wait!! All my life I’ve been taught of the healing power of God; either I believe it or I don’t... this is where the rubber meets the road.
We put my next surgery off for two weeks so that we could pray and get others to pray. Beginning that same day, it was Wednesday and church was that night. In the Bible, in James chapter 5 it says to have the elders anoint you and pray the prayer of faith and that you will recover. And that’s exactly what we did. We had the elders pray for me that night.
I started eating healthier and taking dandelion as a supplement. My husband made a recording of all the healing scriptures with my name inserted. Wow, that was the best thing! It was so encouraging to hear the promises of God and with my name inserted!! Example: “No weapon formed against Brenda shall prosper.” My husband fasted and prayed for me over the Easter holiday. How humbling, to have someone fast in prayer for you.
It came time for the next surgery. Time to get the rest of the cancer and take lymph nodes to see if it had spread into the rest of my body. They wheeled me away from my husband... It’s at that point you are reminded that when it comes down to it, the only person that you really have with you always is the Lord!
I was taken to an area just outside of the operating room and left there for over an hour. My goodness that’s too long to lay by yourself wondering what lies ahead. I was so very very thankful for all of my years I had been in church, in reading the Bible and having scripture instilled in my heart, because I laid there and every negative thought that would come into my mind I would cancel it with the scriptures. Then something else would creep into my mind and I would claim another scripture. Moment by moment God would bring His Word to my remembrance and it carried me through. After the surgery I was allowed to go home the next day. I opted for the conservative route for the surgery thinking they can always take more if they had to later, but I didn’t want to face the radical surgery till there was absolutely no other choice. Two surgeries took more of me away than I wanted. Sometimes even the best option is not so great. Once again we waited for results. The doctor called. He said “there were zero cancer cells this time.” I said “God is so good “ and the doctor said “yes ma’am He is.“ Friends, you don’t go from all cancer to zero cancer without God! He had given us a miracle! Unfortunately, the Oncologist insisted that I have chemotherapy, and radiation due to the initial size of the cancer. I tried to talk my way out of it, and she reminded me that I had a three-year-old; and given that , we should do everything possible to ensure that I was around to raise her. So we began to prepare Hope for what was ahead, and one day before my treatment began we realized she had been paying close attention to what we were telling her! I was crying and she said “listen, you’re going to have strong medicine, you’re going to lose your hair, but you’re going to be OK. Now come downstairs and we’ll talk about it.” Talk about a child who was so wise for a three-year-old! I knew God was giving me Hope through Hope. :)
Well, don’t you know I started praying dear Lord please don’t let me lose my hair! My hair was long and I sure didn’t want to lose it . So I kept praying and I did not cut my hair as was recommended to me. I was holding out, praying for a miracle with my hair as well. :-)
One night about a week after I started my chemo, I woke up feeling like I had a ponytail and I didn’t. My hair was releasing and it was in a matted type knot. It was the middle of the night when I realized that my hair was falling out, so I sat up the rest of the night and waited on my family to get up the next morning. My first born, Bethany, already had her cosmetology license and I called her to come shave my head. I don’t know who cried harder, me or her. She knew I loved long hair😢. My three-year-old, Hope, was with me the first time I washed my bald head. I was crying, and my sweety pulled a hand mirror out of the drawer and said “Look, you're still our mommy!” So true... it was still me :)
Oh Mercy, the weeks and months ahead were so long. It’s a terrible feeling having something like chemo put into your body and radiation where everybody leaves the room and you’re left behind to be radiated. I can’t begin to tell you how important it was to have the Scriptures on that recording... in the middle of the night, with fear about what the future might hold, I would play those scriptures and it would encourage me. When I would feel nervous about heading for a treatment, I could play the Scriptures in the car anytime day or night. I could use this source of strength. The strength that can only come from God and His Word!!
There was a lot that happened during that time. I had five surgeries in five months, Chemo, and 32 radiation treatments. With my husband‘s work schedule, who do you think would go with me every day. That’s right, Hope Ward! Let me tell you friends, we serve a God who is more than able to take care of us. He can and will do exceedingly more than you could ever think or imagine! He bore the stripes for our healing, so that we could live in health. It is our job to receive that wonderful gift from Him. The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue and I believe that 100%. I wouldn’t even say I have cancer. I would say I was diagnosed with cancer. Don’t you give the enemy one inch. If you are going through a trial, line your words up with what God has to say in his word, and don’t waiver. And, do not speak sickness and death over yourself! Speak healing and Life!! Amen?!
Be encouraged, God is more than able to take care of you... I’m living proof!