“Sharing Part 1”

In December 2016, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. The positron scan revealed that there were multiple lymphoid tumors in my lower abdomen, the largest being over six centimeters long. They squeezed my intestines, apex of stomach, and lower back and lower back nerves, making it difficult for me to sleep well at night. I decided to go to a public hospital for treatment. Unexpectedly, the doctor saw my examination report for the first time, and I was admitted to the hospital on the same day. I was caught off guard. It was December 22nd, and there will be a few Christmas holidays in the next few days. “Is it okay to enter the hospital after the holidays?” I asked. “There is a room today.” The doctor said, staring at the computer screen. At the time, I didn’t know what she meant by “room”. “It’s really hard to say what will happen after the holiday. Think about it yourself!” I decided to go home first. The elderly mother lives with her sister. My sister has to go to work, and my mother’s daily living and eating are mostly taken care of by me. In recent years, I have also hired an hourly maid to help. Once I am admitted to the hospital, I should not be able to go to my mother’s house as usual, and I must find a substitute immediately. When the long weekend came to the last day, the staff to look after my mother was roughly arranged, and I began to seriously think about my admission to the hospital. I was unexpectedly uneasy. Can I not live in a big room? In the face of treatment, everyone fears different things. Some people are afraid of pain, some people are afraid of death, and some people are afraid of side effects… I am not afraid of pain, but I can also laugh about life and death, but I am afraid of living in a large hospital room and afraid of going to public toilets that are not hygienic. “Isn’t it okay if I don’t live in a big room?” I said to God. As soon as the words were spoken, I felt embarrassed. I must be ill and confused, and I can’t figure out Yuji. The current priority is to cure the disease. How can we bargain with God on such trivial matters? My son Jialong is a retired civil servant. I can probably apply for a second-class room, but there are so many people waiting, I am afraid that I will still be in line when I am discharged from the hospital. I remembered an old Cantonese saying: “A horse will die.” I changed my words and asked God to say, “If I really want to live in a big room, please help me to adapt.”

The next morning, after completing the admission procedures, I first went to the day clinic of the Department of Hematology for an examination. A young doctor came. He drilled a needle on the left and right behind my disk bones, and took the bone marrow for testing to see if my bone marrow had also been affected. I lay in the day clinic for several hours. In the afternoon, the nurse pushed me up to the 11th floor. Jialong went out to look at the water card and came back to tell me that the water card was not marked, and I didn’t know what ward was on the 11th floor. Both of us were suspicious. On the 11th floor, it was discovered that this floor was a newly established hematology specialist ward. There are only eight rooms in total: two single rooms, two double rooms, two triple rooms, and two five-person rooms. Soon after the renovation was completed, the water sign was too late to be marked. I pushed into the first room. Live in bed 1, no one lives in bed 2. That night, I was alone in a double room and slept as peacefully as at home. I always thought that I only had two choices: either live in a big room or live in a second-class room. It turns out that God’s provision is beyond my scope! Who would have expected that I would catch up with the “new residence” in the hematology specialist ward. Woke up the next day and did another check. I am ready to start the treatment at any time. The doctor came to tell me that my blood vessels are weaker than ordinary people. She suggested that a catheter should be put in my arm first, so that I can draw blood and inject drugs in the future. Since I have to wait a few days before I can perform this procedure, the doctor asked me to go home to spend my years old. I am also happy to go back to the church with Jia Long on the day following New Year’s Day to attend the worship service on the first Sunday of the New Year. Before I was discharged from the hospital, the nutritionist at the hospital sent me a booklet, which listed the diets and taboos of chemotherapy patients, and a lot of foods not to eat, including my favorite bread. During my hospital stay, I ate “cleaning meals,” which is gruel mixed with minced meat. Do I have to eat porridge every day after chemotherapy? I’m sick, who will take care of me? I spend most of my life taking care of others. When the two children were young, they took care of the children; the husband was sick and took care of the husband; the parents were old and weak, and took care of the parents. Now that I am sick, who will take care of me? After retirement, we no longer hire domestic helpers who live with us. Jialong himself is also a patient (he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998 and has been taking medication to control his condition). Besides, we have been married for more than 40 years, and he has never made a meal of porridge. Although he patted his chest and said, “There is always a first time in everything.” How can I bear him going in and out of the kitchen to work. On the eve of entering the hospital, I was worried about the meal after chemotherapy. I imagine myself dragging my weak body and reluctantly cooking porridge for myself. Feeling for a while, my thoughts flowed wildly, and instantly flew to the dusty corner of memories, re-revealing pages of old past.

In early January 2017, I started treatment for lymphoma. Each course of treatment includes taking steroids, as well as injections of target drugs and chemotherapy drugs, with a cycle every 21 days. After chemotherapy, people will feel tired and weakened. Other side effects such as dizziness and loss of appetite are also inevitable. I lost weight suddenly, and the clothes on my body looked wide and loose. After the first chemotherapy, the hair began to fall out, and I simply shaved it off. In addition, I have never vomited, my mouth has not been ulcerated, and my nails and toenails have always been translucent and not blackened. After putting on the wig and taking pictures, it doesn’t look like a patient from left to right. Several patients told me that they only did three or four rounds of chemotherapy, and the lymphoma in the body has disappeared, and two more treatments (a total of six courses) are used to consolidate, that is, you are done and you can wave goodbye to the days of chemotherapy. I think that Heavenly Father loves me so much, and there are so many people praying for me. Six treatment sessions should be enough. What should I do if the medical treatment is not good?

After completing four chemotherapy sessions, the hospital arranged a computer scan according to the procedure. I hope to hear the report. “Most of your lymphoma has shrunk, but there is a tumor that is still more than 1 cm in diameter.” The doctor told me truthfully. I felt cold. “You have to do four more chemotherapy sessions,” the doctor continued. My heart is colder again. “Thirty percent of the patients had their tumors still after eight chemotherapy sessions. Some did not shrink, but increased.” The doctor felt obliged to tell me the data. My heart fell to the bottom of the ice cellar. Going home to be quiet, I can’t help but feel ashamed of my arrogance. Who am I thinking that I can see through God’s will and understand his way of doing things? But I am still depressed. I have always thought that as long as you go through the rugged and quiet path of the treatment process, you can set foot on the smooth road of rehabilitation. The doctor reminded me that out of ten patients, three out of ten patients would probably not get better. If I’m on a road of no return (no matter what it is called “anti-cancer journey” or “walking with the disease”), how should I face it? God did not waste time. The next day, He solved my confusion through a seemingly irrelevant passage. The day I read was Genesis 21 22-24, which described Abimelech’s request to make a covenant with Abraham. There is a sentence in the spiritual material that touched me: “Because of the presence of God, people are envious.” I always wish others to see the presence of God in me. On the way to the treatment, the hand of God’s grace can be seen everywhere helping me; the ultimate effect of the treatment is not a decisive condition. If a disease is cured well, it can certainly testify to God’s power and favor; if a disease is not cured, can it not be possible to reflect the presence and grace of God in every day’s life? Why am I obsessed with the results of treatment? I suddenly became enlightened and cheered up again. First come to the “post-match review” in order to remedy the deficiencies in the first round and do our best to do our part. It has long been reported that chicken meat can promote the growth of cancer cells; it has also been said that lymphoma cancer cells are especially sweet. I love to eat chicken, and I also prefer a sweet taste, and there is no total abstinence after illness. I decided to bear my mouth for some time in the future, which may help the effect. In addition, exercise is also indispensable. I intend to take a walk in the park every day. The doctor said that the side effects of chemotherapy are cumulative. In other words, the good show is yet to come. After the sixth, seventh, and eighth chemotherapy, the test really began!

Homework I Haven’t Learned
In May 2017, I was preparing for the seventh chemotherapy, and suddenly I heard my son say that something went wrong in the process of submitting his graduation thesis. The son is studying for a doctoral degree in the UK and has successfully passed the oral defense of his graduation thesis in December 2016. The professors in charge of the examination also gave Shangjia a comment and asked him to submit the final revised text within three months after making a small revision. Somehow, the son misunderstood that three months was just a rough deadline. After returning to Hong Kong, my son was busy with public and private affairs: I was seriously ill, and he was invited to compose for several concerts. He waited until he had time to sort out the paper, and then uploaded the revised text to the designated website, only to find that the submission time was delayed. It turned out that three months is an insurmountable period. The institute has always been strict in law enforcement. If the reason for pleading is not accepted, the consequences can be very serious. If the son can’t finish his career, wouldn’t it be worth all the hard work for many years? I am worried. After many prayers, I still couldn’t let go. As early as the beginning of my illness, my best friend who moved to Australia reminded me in an email to give all my worries to God. I sighed, it turns out I haven’t learned this lesson yet. I deliberately opened the Bible and read this familiar verse again: “You should have nothing to worry about, as long as you tell God what you want through prayer, petition, and thanks in everything.” (Philippians 4:6) I asked God: ” What do you want me to thank for? This is obviously not a good thing.” On Sunday, Jialong met Ms. Li Feiwu at the church. Ms. Li also encountered something that made her sad. She asked Jialong to give me three golden sentences that gave her great comfort. Back home, Jialong quickly took out the Bible, and read Jeremiah Lamentations 3:31-33 with me: “…The Lord will not abandon people forever. Although the Lord makes people sad, he still has to show mercy according to his love. He is not willing to make people suffer and make people sorrow.” I read these verses, together with the upper and lower verses, many times, and once again confirmed my belief: God is not a man who builds happiness on human suffering. God; He has salvation in discipline and mercy in discipline. My heart settled down like an anchored ship, and no longer swayed up and down. I immediately realized why I was in a difficult situation and I could still give thanks. Even if I cannot thank the disaster, I can still thank God who cares about people, and thank God for his kind words. God will never sit idly by, I just have hope in my heart and just wait to see what he does. After a few weeks, the matter was resolved smoothly. In January 2018, Jia Long flew to the UK to attend his son’s graduation ceremony. My daughter and I sit at home and watch the live broadcast in front of the computer. This degree, which was supposed to be a matter of course, became a sign of God’s grace due to the last twists and turns. Discovering the truth, discovering God, discovering love Last October, the doctor told me that my condition was under control. Eight sessions of treatment before and after completion, almost a year ago. Look in the mirror: a few inches of weak hair grows on the top of the head that was previously infertile; the two-curved eyebrows that have disappeared regain the outline; the eyelashes left in the last stage of chemotherapy are also sparsely dropped on the eye sockets. Revitalize. I replied to the old look. But I will not deceive myself. At my age, with such a serious illness, there is no way to completely restore the old view inside and out. I only hope that I will learn to be humble, to be considerate, and to be grateful.

The healing process is a series of rediscoveries. I discovered my true situation time and time again: I was so strong that I was vulnerable; my cleverness was just self-righteous; I often boasted of being generous, and to put it bluntly, it was just fifty steps and a hundred steps. Then, I found God’s unexpected mercy time and time again: He did not despise me, nor did he speak harshly to me; He just gently led me, comforted me, and let me know what kind of person He wanted me to be. Healing is to be embraced, shaken, and reshaped by this love beyond imagination, so as to be more able to accept one’s own flaws, and thus to accept the flaws of others. God loves me, never because I am worthy.

22 The love of the Lord never ceases, and his mercy never ceases.
23 Every morning is new; how vast is your faithfulness!
24 I said in my heart: “The Lord is my heritage, so I will look to him.”
Jeremiah Three Lamentations 22-24 “New Translation”