18 December 2016

When My Husband Overcame Cancer - by Erica Vetsch


Overcoming With God – Guest Post

July 29th, 2016.
That’s a day I will never forget. Heading to the hospital with my husband whom we thought might be suffering from appendicitis or a hernia.

The tests. The waiting. Then the doctor returning with a sober expression. She said a word I never wanted to hear again as related to one of my loved ones.

She said…cancer.

Time stopped, my mind went blank, inside somewhere a voice was shouting, NO! Inside I was shaking my head, handing back that word and saying, “no, thank you.” But there was no going back.
That moment became a continental divide in my life. There were times before we knew. There are times after we knew.

Surgery, recovery, doctors, scans, blood tests. Chemo pills, insurance, appointments. We are blessed to live in the same town as the world famous Mayo Clinic with the best oncologists and surgeons on the planet. God sent us a surgeon who is not only the best in the world at GI Oncology surgery, but he’s also a Kansas University grad and big-time Jayhawk fan. (Anyone who knows me knows I am crazy about Jayhawks basketball.) God gave us a wonderful oncologist who specializes in sarcomas, and a nurse practitioner who knows Jesus and is such an encouragement to us!

Through all of this, our church stepped up in a huge way, loving on us with meals and prayer and encouragement through the surgery and recovery time, and they continue to bless us in lots of ways. Peter said it was like seeing the Love of God in action. People not just ‘doing’ church but ‘being’ The Church.

When people online and in person asked how they could pray for us, my answer was always for peace and strength. The Peace of God that passes all understanding and the strength that comes from the Everlasting Arms.
I remember, a couple of days after Peter’ surgery, when we received the initial pathology confirming what the doctors thought, that my husband had a massive tumor that was replicating at an incredible rate, that I felt peace. A peace that had nothing to do with me. I knew that had to come from God. God was using the prayers of His people and the faith that He had begun in my life decades ago to bring peace in the midst of our storm.

There have been tears, there has been a lot of prayer, and surprisingly, there has been laughter. We feel things more deeply, and we express those feelings more readily. We know the reality of not being promised tomorrow, and we are learning to trust and lean on God’s strength for today. Our hope rests in the promises of our forever future, and our eyes are fixed on that eternal goal.

This journey through cancer will, I hope, be a long one. I hope we have a lot of routine CT scans and blood tests ahead of us. As of now, the doctors are declaring my husband cancer-free, and the chemo he is taking is to assure that no cancer will return. And because God has proven His faithfulness over and over, we rest in the assurance that no matter what the coming days and years bring, He is strong enough to carry us through.


Bio: Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

Giveaway: A paperback copy of Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection.

43 comments:

  1. ERICA, thanks so much for being with us on OWG, and for sharing your inspiring testimony of you and your husband's battle with cancer. I can't imagine going through this nor do I ever want to. I get upset when hubby gets the flu. It's so wonderful to hear how supportive your church was during this time and continue to be. Bless you and your writing, Erica!

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    1. Thank you so much, Diana. My husband had never really been sick before, hand't seen a doctor since 1999! This came as a complete shock, but we are so grateful that God is holding us together. He wasn't surprised by this development, and He is good.

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  2. Thank you Erica for sharing your inspiring testimony. I love your husband's comment "...love of God in action....people not just ‘doing’ church but ‘being’ the Church...", what a gift that was and is for you both. May you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

    I am a retired RN, I worked on the Oncology unit at our local hospital for 13 years and saw how having faith in Jesus made such a huge difference in how they responded to just the word...cancer...and their outlook, everything regarding their care and future. I have had many...far too many...family members who have had or have cancer over the years, it is heartbreaking to see what they go through but as you said, God is faithful and He is strong enough to carry us through.

    blessings, Tina

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    1. Hi, Tina, thank you for your encouragement! Jesus makes all the difference! 13 Years working in oncology...that is such hard work, physically and emotionally I am sure you were a blessing to your patients.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your testimony. You are am inspiration with your love of God and faith. God is definitely good and it's amazing to see him work in our lives. Blessings to you and your family. Merry Christmas!

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  4. What an awesome testimony!God is so good! He never ceases to amaze me at how much loves and cares for us in the smallest details. I've seen Him do miracle in my own life and for Him to work a miracle in your hubby's life isn't unthinkable!

    Yes, the doctor's at Mayo are wonderful! I was there in 2003 for weeks. It was there when a gastroenterologist doctor realized there was something more going on then my simply not being able to swallow or my choking on food. After tons and tons of tests, along with a biopsy it was discovered I had a rare form of muscular dystrophy - multiminicore myopathy. I've had it since birth. Having this explains a lot of things. However, aside from this, I also have a host of other issues. I had a lot of wonderful doctors there. I especially loved the Genetics doctor I had, she was a Christian, and she was very supportive of what I was dealing with at the time. Her first name is Nora (I think). I am long due for a follow-up.

    A warm and blessed Christmas to you and family, Erica! Hugs and love!!

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    1. If you have a follow up, let me know! We'll meet to talk about books and Jesus! :)

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  5. My husband had throat cancer in 1995. He was cancer free. He died this year of a heart attack. His cancer never returned. fishingjan(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you had twenty more years with him. I hope you have lots of good memories to help you through this holiday season.

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    2. Jan, I'm so sorry you lost your husband. I pray your Christmas was filled with peace and comfort, despite this loss. Per random.org you are the winner of this novel, Seven Brides for Seven Texans, which our feature author, Erica Vetsch, contributed to. Blessings and hugs!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a great reminder that God is in control and he often puts the people we need in our path.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Susan, you are so right! God is in control, and He has blessed us with His people at every turn.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, Erica. Just the word 'Cancer' strikes dread in the heart. I heard it, too, and I remember thinking, "No! I can't do this", followed immediately by, "With God, nothing is impossible", and "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Thanks to surgery and lots of prayer, I'm still here to tell of it ten years later. I'm glad your hubby is, too. Blessings to both of you.

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    1. Carol, isn't it a blessing that the Spirit brings to our remembrance all the things we have learned in easier times that we need to support us in the hard times?

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  8. Not a year you will ever forget. So glad that your church family ministered to you in such a loving way. Merry Christmas.

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    1. MRW, You're right. Not a year I will ever forget, but a good one nonetheless. :)

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  9. Thank you for sharing! So thankful you were able to experience His peace! And thankful for good news!

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    1. Thank you, Kim, for stopping by, and Merry Christmas!

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  10. Thanks for sharing. My hubby had bladder cancer and it was very scary. He never had to do chemo, because the surgery was successful in removing the entire cancer spot. He has a scope every 3 months to make sure that the cancer stays gone....he has a scope this Wednesday.
    This was very inspiring. God bless.

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    1. Hi, Debbie, We're in the 3 month scan cycle, too. We have one coming this week, too. Praying for good reports all around!

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    2. His scope was clean. Praise God. Praying your husband has the same results. Merry Christmas!

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  11. Erica, thank you for sharing your story. I'm praying god's blessings upon you and your husband.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this life story Erica, and what an inspirational one! Also, thank you for the chance to win a copy of this collection of stories, I really enjoy these.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi, Wendy! I am glad the story encouraged you. It is an encouragement to me to go back and read it and be reminded again of the Goodness of God! Merry Christmas!

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  13. You are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I covet every single prayer on behalf of my sweet husband. It is a comfort to know that saints are praying!

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  14. Erica, I read your testimony when you shared it on your blog and it never ceases to amaze me how the Lord reveals Himself to us in the little things and then in these BIG miraculous events. Stories like this remind me to seek, ask and trust in God always! I love being a witness (at least through the internet :-) to your authentic and transparent faith. Blessings to you and your family. Merry Christmas, too.

    I want to make sure I mention, as well, that I love literary takes on my absolute favorite musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Congrats on its release and I can't wait to read your inclusion. tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Terrill, thanks so much for your kind comments. God has been and continues to be so good to us!

      I hope you enjoy the 7 Brides collection. :)

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  15. Hello Erica.You gave a very inspiring story. Glads things are good now. I remember well when my 47 year sister was told she had breast cancer. She was the first in our family. I could't believe how strong she was about it.. Her youngest was just 15.but only about 5 when it happened. She was so strong that she worked up to near time of death, She even got her income taxes in order so to be easier on her daughter and husband. And, told me who all of her Christmas gifts were for. Afterward so many in our small town talked about what a big example of faith she was to them. Now we have let many. Even my husband 19 years ago. But, we were raised in a christian, so turned to GOD and each other for strength. But, it is still a very scary thing when you hear the word CANCER. I am so glad we have GOD to see us through . GOD was still good to us for the Doc said maybe 3 years at the most. GOD gave us 9 years. Maxie

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us ,Erica! You and your husband are such an inspiration! I pray that He will remain cancer free. Hope you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas! lynnefeuerstein(at)aol(dot)com

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  17. All of us think the "C" word means death. Yet through your experience you said that both of you "feel things more deeply". That's a blessing in itself. Too many of us never do that nor appreciate God's gift of life. We all take it for granted. You have a gift of writing to use to tell your story and encourage others! God bless you richly! He has plans to use you to shine His light on others!!!!!! You have been chosen! Blessings to your husband and you!

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  18. ...the "C" word...
    When he sat across from me, saying that word, I wanted to hit him.
    "You can say that word to other people, but you can't say that word, the 'C' word, to me!"
    But, reality 'is'.
    My time - everybody's time - is limited.
    How will I use it?
    What - who - is my focus, my goal?
    God bless you,... moving forward.

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing this uplifting testimony Erica! Prayers that your husband continues cancer free and so thankful the Lord had all the doctors and nurses, as well as church members, ready to help you through this and win!

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  20. ERICA thanks for sharing your testimony of GOD's faithfulness and His ministering Spirit being shown through His children. I'm so sorry that the ugly "C" word was spoken over your husband, but it's so encouraging on how you are handling it.

    My dear husband went down the same road back in 1999 and he was cancer-free for 15 years. June of 2014 that "word" was back in his life and on May 7, 2015 he received his ultimate healing and is now in the presence of the King!!

    I will be praying you for strength and for your husband to continue to be cancer-free forever!

    I have also heard that word spoken over me a couple months ago, I am going to radiation treatments through the end of January. GOD has been faithful to me and my sons during this time and I am believing for total and complete healing for me as well! No matter what comes our way we can find comfort in knowing that nothing comes as a surprise to GOD and He has promised that He will work all things out for our good!!

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  21. Too many of us are familiar with that "C" word. One very small blessing is access to the wonderful medical care you have nearby. Wishing you and yours the best. dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

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  22. Thanks for your wonderful post and sharing with us, Erica - I know it will be a comfort to those with health issues and cancer, especially. I'm one of those currently fighting cancer - again - however, as with you and your hubby - I've found joy, peace, a deeper feeling of things and the need to express them more readily. We, at times, don't realize how blessed we are until things, such as good health, are taken from us. I'm so grateful your husband had the availability of care from the best doctors and the encouragement of a Christian nurse. Although my situation is different - putting my trust in God and relying on Him to work all to my good, personal prayer, and the prayers of many friends and family members have given me such strength!! God is faithful - I'm grateful for the added closeness to God and lessons learned through my trials!!

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  23. Thanks so much for sharing, Erica. I know how terrifying it is to have your best friend and soulmate diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully stage 4 prostate cancer was taken care of with surgery and no chemo or radiation was needed. Now we pray and then praise every time his tests come back with no elevated levels. Praying for many more good results in the tests your hubby regularly has!! We are learning to leave things with the Lord - He has everything in control!

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  24. Erica, Thanks so much for sharing your testimony with us. Praying for you husband and for you! I can only imagine how hard that must have been to go through this with him! PTL God brought healing!

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  25. Cancer has a way of overtaking our days doesn't it! I thank you for your story and will pray for you and your husband. God put you two together because He knew you needed to be there for each other!

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  26. I love how we have God's Word to hide in our heart and remind us of where our strength comes from, and the One who is sovereign over all things. May you both have the peace that passes all understanding. Merry Christmas!

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  27. ERICA, thank you so much for sharing your POWERFUL testimony! What a mighy God we serve!

    I have a cousin that has been battling stomach cancer for 3 years now. He is a young man with a young family. He is under hospice care.

    We know that cancer MUST bow it's knee to the name of Yeshua!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! Blessings to you and your family!

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