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  • Debbie Cowles

Our lives changed January 24, 2020

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

We’re on a different road than we ever imagined.…

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My mother was diagnosed with it at 75, valiantly battled it for 3 1/2 years with 5 rounds of chemo, and passed away 1 March, 2019. I am 57, so this has been a huge shock. Especially since I had no symptoms. After much prayer, my husband, Steve, and I had decided to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed prophylactically, to prevent ovarian cancer. Or that was the idea. That surgery was 17 January, 2020. The surgeon thought everything looked great. But a gynaecological pathologist found cancer, only visible microscopically. The original spot on one Fallopian tube was only 0.1 of a millimetre and the other two spots on an ovary were less than 0.2 of a millimetre. Stage 2A. Aggressive. High-grade serous carcinoma. Hysterectomy was 12 February. Yes, it's been a whirlwind. Chemotherapy to follow.

The great news is that there is no remaining visible cancer on the CT scan. (Although what was removed wouldn’t have been visible on a CT scan either, so that doesn’t guarantee there is no more cancer. But it still made us very, very happy.). And yesterday, the surgeon shared with us that there was no more cancer found in anything that was removed/biopsied in the hysterectomy! The places they would expect it, the uterus, omentum, and a lymph gland he removed...all clear.

I must tell you that in the midst of this, God has been so real, so specific in his answers, help, and comfort, so gracious. I can’t begin to tell you all that He has done for us. I have absolutely no doubt as to the validity of my faith and the reality of His presence.

If you’re the kind who wants more details, keep reading… Either way, please pray. Thank you.

For chemo, I have a wonderful professor/specialist doctor at the famous cancer hospital, Christies, in Manchester, England. Everything will be in Manchester, a 1-2 hour drive each way depending on traffic.

It is an aggressive cancer, but they say that kind responds better to chemotherapy, which is a kind of comfort. I will have 6 session of chemo, 1 every 3 weeks. So we should be done with everything by early August or so. And yes, I will lose all of my hair.

I have no doubt in God’s goodness, faithfulness, presence, or sovereignty. No matter what happens. Minutes before the doctor called on 24 January, before I had any idea I had cancer, I finished listening to a Lectio Divina reading of Psalm 40: 1-3 by Summer Joy Gross while I had breakfast. The psalmist talks about the pit and Jesus putting him on the rock. It was like Jesus said to me at that point “I am the rock”. I knew He was the rock but, in that passage, I hadn't thought about it. So He put me on the rock, which was Himself. It talks about a hymn of praise and I wrote in my Bible that praising Him was key. And then it says many will hear and trust in God and I said “yes, God, that is what I want: for people to come to know you through my life”. I have been praying this year that I would be the best version of myself I can be for His honour and glory. So I had just finished with this passage when the surgeon rang with the difficult news. Afterwards I said “Jesus, I still stand by all of this and I still believe it and it is still true”. Looking back on what I've written, I see that God has so done so much to prepare me in the past several months, and I know He won’t leave us now. I feel like I am drinking from a river of His grace and comfort.

I want every bit of my life to count for eternity. I have asked Jesus for more time. I want to grow old with Steve. I want to have an impact on our future grandkids’ lives. But ONLY if that is God’s plan. So I put it completely in God’s hands which, of course, is where it is anyway.

So grateful for your prayers, Debbie

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