Falling ill in a time of crisis is tough. But God’s grace is more than sufficient to meet the challenges we face. Here is a story of a mother who battled a tumor during the pandemic—and got an answered prayer even before the midyear fast.
In December of last year, I noticed a lump in the lower right part of my abdomen. When I went to the doctor to have it checked, I was told that it was nothing to worry about. He assured me that it would eventually be resolved on its own, but it didn’t. After five months, the lump grew and tripled in size. It continued to grow and became painful over time.
I was advised to consult a surgical oncologist, but because of the pandemic, most doctors could only accommodate online consultations at that time. I had no choice but to endure the pain at home and wait. Being sick in a time of crisis was hard.
When our city transitioned to the general community quarantine, I finally had the chance to have it checked and go through a series of tests. To see its extent, I was told that I needed to go through surgery as soon as possible—but it wouldn’t be easy. It would be a complicated operation with no assurance of a good outcome. Knowing the risks involved and the possible cost of the operation, the whole ordeal became a test of faith for us.
Though it was hard to look for a surgeon who is capable of doing a critical procedure, we saw how God moved in our situation. Through the help of my obstetrician, who is also a Christian, I got connected to a doctor who made the operation possible last month.
Because of the nature of the surgery, which required a huge part of my abdomen and surrounding tissues to be removed, we knew it would cost a lot and could even exceed the amount quoted to us. Our insurance coverage had already been exhausted, and we didn’t have the resources to cover the bill—but God, once again, proved that His grace abounds.
Though we weren’t able to get the financial assistance we were hoping to get from charity agencies, offers of help from our relatives and friends poured in. The doctor who performed the surgery unexpectedly gave us a significant discount, too; though we overstayed for a few days, we still ended up paying less than half of the operation’s total cost. We were overwhelmed and amazed at how God provided for us.
The surgery was successful, and I was grateful to be alive, but while waiting for my biopsy results at home, I felt the operation’s impact on my day-to-day life as a full-time mom to my two kids. My eldest is a seven-year-old boy with special needs, while my youngest just turned four. Knowing that I could no longer carry them or take care of them like I used to broke my heart each day. It was painful and hard, but it also strengthened my faith. It made me appreciate the little things in life.
I realized that the simple things that I used to take for granted—like getting up from bed, coughing, sneezing, or laughing without being in so much pain—are actually a blessing. Even the work-from-home arrangement which allows my husband to stay home and be with me is a huge favor from God. Knowing that my family is safe and not battling a disease is already proof of His protection and grace. And that gives me comfort every day.
Just this month, a few days before our midyear prayer and fasting, God already answered my prayer. My biopsy results showed that the tumor was benign, so there was no need for me to go through chemotherapy. My oncologist was so happy to share this good news with me, and we were overjoyed. I cried for an entire day, grateful that the Lord had spared me from cancer and further treatments that could have made it all the more difficult.
Because of what happened, my perspective on so many things has changed. I’ve always known that life is short, but now it’s different. It makes each day special and each moment precious. It will be a long journey of healing for sure, but I find comfort in knowing that God had already seen me on that hospital bed even before He created me and knew the ending way before it happened. I know that He is faithful no matter what—and His grace will always be sufficient.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Diane Angelica Tolentino is one of our Kids Church volunteers; she and her husband are part of Victory Fort.