Jing: The first curve ball came to us in Nov 2018. The doctor diagnosed my father with stage 4 rare cancer, angiosarcoma. The first thing that came to mind was for my father to know Jesus himself and have Jesus walk him through his illness. At that point in time, my father did not show that he was ready for Christ. Yet, when I first brought him to SJSM’s healing service on 29 Nov 2018, much to the surprise of all of us, my father surrendered his life to Christ even before he was prayed for or ministered to.
Ting: Dutifully, and with my simple newfound faith in God, I bravely started 2 months of chemotherapy. After 2 months of chemotherapy, I suddenly fainted in Jan 2019 due to internal bleeding which had no symptoms at all. That was the second curve ball. My fainting happened on the eve of my business trip. The blood loss from the internal bleeding was substantial at the intestine. Had I been on a plane when that happened, it could have ended up disastrous!
The doctors did an emergency
surgery and were surprised to
discover that there were no traces
of angiosarcoma cancer at all in the
intestine and it was tuberculosis!
A steadfast faith to face what comes next
Miraculously, God overturned everything, and left doctors bewildered. They suspended the third round of chemotherapy, consulted Harvard and concurrently took samples of my phlegm and found out that my lungs were infected by tuberculosis which is curable with medication. My body was so tormented by tuberculosis that it took me a year on medication before it cleared. I was not angry or puzzled. Instead, I trusted God to be in control and that He would give me a steadfast faith to face what might come next.
Jing: Three years later in May 2022, another curve ball came - my father suffered from a viral infection and needed to be hospitalized. But God knew better and through the vigilance of one doctor who investigated his sickness, he discovered a badly infected gall bladder in my father’s body. He had to undergo an almost 7-hour surgery to eradicate an unexplainable massive bleeding. The long surgery traumatized the intestine and his stomach was so bloated that his surgeon told me, “Jing, please pray that the intestine will move. If it still refuses to move, I will have no choice but to do another emergency surgery to fix the intestine.” But God had been superintending and by His grace, the intestine came back to its function after a week.
Another bout of shocking news!
We did not understand why after about one month of strong antibiotics, we had to suffer another bout of shocking news from the doctor - “Your father’s blood indicator is strange. There is a 0.01% chance of early blood cancer. But I don’t think so, we’ll monitor.” This meant that a bone marrow test became probable. Eventually, my father had to be admitted for a bone marrow test which showed myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a type of blood cancer. I was almost exhausted from caregiving and was feeling dispirited.
Ting: I trusted that God has sent me the best doctor who knows exactly the best treatment plan for me while I started my chemotherapy. God already had a plan for me. Within one month, my hematologist identified not just one, but a few potentially suitable external bone marrow
donors. The most ideal donor was Singapore-based, and the transplant was to start before 2022 Chinese New Year. I was glad.
Jing: But the journey was complicated by a urinary tract infection and kidney stones. These may cause infection if the doctor proceeded with the high-risk bone marrow transplant. I was anxious because the postponement of kidney stone removal was so close to the bone marrow transplant.
Although I felt dumbfounded by all
these happenings, yet through these
difficulties, I saw how a few doctors
struggled internally to the point
when they took turns to question if
they had supported the right decision
for a high-risk transplant to take place.
I also questioned if I had made the right choice to support the transplant and sought the counsel of one of the Christian doctors. He said, “At one point, I also struggled internally. I prayed and God now tells me, yes, transplant is the answer, and it will be alright.” On hindsight, God had chosen his doctors to hush my overwhelmed thoughts and struggles. One of the Christian doctors told me, “Jing, I don’t know why so many things have happened. I can only tell you that Jesus is still with you.” And another said to me, “Jing, we are all here to support you. If there’s a problem, leave it to us and we will think of ways to solve it.”
God knows every problem and He identified and sent the best doctors one by one without us searching and asking. We are blessed by His provisions – doctors, donors, comprehensive insurance coverage and Christian friends. This is God’s way of journeying with me and my father and encouraging us to run the race with perseverance and to keep our faith. Through it all – the sufferings and joys and the prayers of the saints, we clearly see Him – a God who keeps us with a mighty hand and outstretched arm.
My father is not out of the woods yet, but we know that God is good and faithful, and we can completely trust Him for whatever is to come.
Interviewed: January 2022
Edited by: Ms Alvina Tan