|Vicki And Jon Marney In Front Of The Leela Palace In India|
Learning to Lean on God—A Survivor's Story
Sunday, November 27, 1994—Church and the Perplexing Message: I stayed home with our oldest teen-age daughter who was going through a rebellious stage and had refused to go to church. However, my husband Jon attended, and he had an experience entirely unique in his life.
Here is what he told me later that day: During the service, our pastor had requested that those who needed prayer should come forward. At that point, Jon had a strong impression that there was someone that had a serious problem, 'like maybe cancer or something' and needed prayer. The impression was very clear that God knew about the problem and that it was going to be okay. In addition, the message was that God would be with them through the problem, not around it. Then Jon saw what he described as a vision of something like an X-ray with a large, uneven-edged dark splotch. He felt like God wanted him to share it, but there was an equal impression that the person did not know they had a problem. So then, there was an obvious dilemma—if someone did not know they had a problem, how would they know they needed to go forward for prayer? With this apparent contradiction, he did not feel he could say anything—it just did not make sense. Meanwhile, among those that had come forward was a woman named Lydia. The pastor told the congregation that Lydia had previously found a lump in her breast and was going in for a biopsy and was requesting prayer that everything would turn out okay. Jon thought, Oh, that is who this message was for. Yet this impression was so strong and so unusual, he still felt he needed to tell someone. So then, after the service ended, Jon told another of our daughters—also a teen—and then told the pastor. After Jon came home, he also told me and expressed his confusion about how strange it was to have a feeling that God had a message for someone, but that the person did not know they needed to hear it.
November 29, 1994—Mammogram and a BB: Our insurance coverage was about to end, so I had scheduled a routine physical exam. During the exam, my doctor performed a breast exam and also suggested that I have my first mammogram: “because you are 40, so you might as well have a baseline done." So there I was, on the 29th, enjoying a ‘smashing’ experience. After doing the initial X-rays, the technician returned and taped a BB on my left breast and took several more X-rays. A little while later, she came back with a radiologist who told me they had found a suspicious spot and asked if he could examine me. After he examined me, he showed me where to feel for a lump. It took a bit—because it was not close to the surface—but when I found it, I realized it was nearly the size of a walnut.
The radiologist advised me to have a biopsy done. I told him that there was a problem—our insurance was ending at the end of the month. He said, "Well, then we better get it done before the end of the month." I didn't realize at that point that the end of the month was the next day! So, all of the planning was rushed: I spent the rest of the afternoon at a surgeon's office, at the hospital having pre-op X-rays and having a full set of blood work done. I was feeling very overwhelmed doing all of this alone. I only had time to make a phone call to my husband alerting him of what was going on, so he could arrange to go with me to the hospital for my surgery. They had me in surgery the next afternoon!
November 30, 1994—A lump in my throat and another in my breast: The morning before my surgery was our ladies Bible Study, so I was able to attend before going to the hospital. I was feeling very nervous because I had never been in the hospital for anything except the birth of my first child—the other four were home births. The ladies at the Bible study prayed over me before I went to the hospital, which helped to calm my nerves a bit. One of the ladies prayed that it would turn out to be nothing, but all along, both Jon and I felt this was going to be one of those times that God was going to ‘carry us through’ not ‘remove’ or ‘help us around’.
After my surgery, Jon was waiting for me to wake from the anesthesia, when he told me what my surgeon had said: "I have been doing this for a long time, and you get so you can recognize when it is cancer, and I am very sure that this IS cancer—of course we will have to wait for the biopsy to come back, but I am pretty sure this is cancer." After Jon told me this, I said, "Jon! That message was not for Lydia, it was for me! Lydia didn't have cancer, but I DO! The message was for us!"
Because of the message that God had given to Jon for us, I never experienced the ‘why me?’ or, ‘oh no—I'm going die!’ But instead, ‘Oh no! We don't have any insurance anymore—how are we going to pay for this?’ God had already told us that He knew, before we even imagined there was a problem, and He had told us that it was going to be okay—we just had to trust Him. My thoughts were occupied with ‘Oh dear, is this going to involve a lot of pain and vomiting?’ (I'm a wimp when it comes to pain and I hate vomiting) and, ‘What am I going to have to go through—to get to the 'other side' of this—to get to being okay again?’ We had a year ahead of us to learn to trust God fully.
Please be sure and return to read my testimony of Overcoming Breast Cancer—Part II, when I will share thoughts about chemotherapy, radiation, and having less hair than my husband! I will also provide a link for meaningful suggestions for friends and family supporting a loved one going through a life-threatening or chronic illness.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:4-6
Vicki’s Bio:I live in the lovely Pacific Northwest (Oregon) with my husband Jon, (when I'm not following him around the world, wherever his job takes us). After 40 years of marriage we now enjoy spending time with our five children, and look forward to our ninth grandchild, due Spring of 2014. I love to read and I am exploring my possible writing skills, looking forward to possibly being published someday. I am currently working on a book for young girls. I am also working on a book of my 'memoirs' from my breast cancer journey, to coincide with my 20 year survivor anniversary at the end of 2014. I look forward to seeing where God's direction takes me from there...
Facebook Writing Page: Victory's Memories - VM
Blog Page: Where in the world is Jon and Vicki? (Still a work in progress)