The Rescue

The RescueThe Rescue
They said Pedro was lucky. “If you’re going to get cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is very treatable.” A little CHOP-Rituximab (four chemotherapy drugs, the P stands for Prednisone, and Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody), lots of rest, and presto, the cancer disappears.

And it did. But then it came back after three short weeks of remission. But this time, it came back with a vengeance and snuck across the blood-brain barrier. The lymphoma cells multiplied with such rapidity that Pedro experienced excruciating headaches (similar to what someone with spinal meningitis would have) that took buckets of morphine to subdue (I’m not joking about the buckets of morphine—only it came in one liter bags).

The hospital in Bozeman didn’t have enough of the prescribed chemotherapy drug (methotrexate) to treat Pedro, so we had to wait a few days for his first treatment. Which did nothing. Fast forward five weeks and Pedro’s face has frozen entirely (the cancer cells attached themselves to his facial muscles. The doctor’s only option?

They drilled through his skull and installed an Ommaya reservoir in his head in order to administer rescue chemotherapy. We didn’t ask what it consisted of. Maybe we didn’t want to know. But it worked.

Twelve years later, Pedro enjoys great health and the Ommaya reservoir remains as a testament to the rescue chemotherapy and the total hospital bill of almost a million dollars. He has a Nike pump sized-lump on his head surrounded by a half-moon scar; slight paralysis in his face (mostly it looks like he had Botox on one side because there are no wrinkles), and his foot doesn’t quite function properly (due to nerve damage).

A handful of physical reminders of the rescue chemotherapy the doctors used so long ago. But they don’t bother us in the least. They remind us of the blessings, the miracles and the rescue. (tweet this)

But we all suffer from a form of cancer—sin nibbling at our contentment with its insidious lies and impulses. Sometimes everyone can see our cancer—addictions, wasted lives and deep unhappiness. Sometimes, the cancer lurks within us and even though we’ve become adept at hiding its presence from the world—it eats away from the inside out, clouding our vision and our hope.

The Great Physician stands by, ready to rescue us from cancerous sin. “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating” Colossians 1:13-14 (The Message). This time the bill cost much more than a million dollars—it cost a life.

There’s hope for each of us—no matter how sunken in sin we might be. Whether our sin parades us through town or lurks in the alleys of our heart, God sent his Son to rescue us. (tweet this)

Sure, we might bear physical reminders as a testament to God’s rescue—but we need never feel ashamed. We have a Savior who will rescue us over and over again—as many times as it takes—because he loves us. And that inspires me!

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I found inspiration for my Monday at #InspireMeMonday. Join us! (tweet this)

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!

Take a moment to visit the other hostesses, too! Angie, Cindy, and Denise.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I am SO HAPPY for you and Pedro.

    And this is a beautiful wonderful post, straight from your heart of grace. Thank you so much!
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Surviving Porn 1 – Facing EvilMy Profile

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  • Good morning, Anita … and sadly, yes. You’re so right. We each have our own cancer kinda thing going on inside our souls. We can get eaten alive from the inside out by all our sin and shame and the endless debris we tote around.

    We think it’s invisible to others but we’re only kidding ourselves. And only the Great Physician can heal the tattered wounds.

    Thanks for sharing your man’s story from time to time. You grow and stretch us as you do.

    May you BOTH have a blest week, friend! Hugs!
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…Quick Lit : : The Blizzard EditionMy Profile

    • Thank you, Linda :). Let’s live as ‘cancer-free’ as possible this week, eh? Here’s to laying all our junk at the foot of the cross!

  • I absolutely LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful revelation from the Lord. I am going to pin this one so that I can refer back to it. Your Pedro and my SJ have a bit in common. They drilled into her skull too (yikes). She has bumps on the side of her head where the cochlear implants are and although it wasn’t life saving it gives her the gift of sound. Praise the Lord!
    Messy Mom recently posted…What We Have is a Forest FireMy Profile

    • Drilling in skulls just makes me quiver–but, there’s a gift involved, despite our fears. I’m so glad your SJ can hear–what a gift!

  • Don

    So glad for the reminder that the scars we carry should not be a discouragement, but a reminder of the price he paid for our rescue. Thanks.

    • :). Maybe there’s a reason kids like to compare scars…

  • Thanks for sharing this truth! We tend to forget the condition we were saved from sometimes, huh?
    You changed the layout of your page, right? It looks good!
    Katha recently posted…[Five Minute Friday] WhenMy Profile

    • I did change the layout :). Thanks for noticing! I often feel as if I just stumble around in the dark, learning as I whack my shins on things ;).

  • Anita, so grateful for the healing God has brought to Pedro. And so grateful for His healing touch in the places which lurk within my heart. I will always be amazed by His mercy & grace & for the lifting of my head. Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Where are you looking?My Profile

    • Every day is a day to be amazed, isn’t it?!

  • Anita, thank you! I’m always encouraged by your words…the message Holy Spirit gives you to share.
    “A handful of physical reminders of the rescue chemotherapy the doctors used so long ago. But they don’t bother us in the least. They remind us of the blessings, the miracles and the rescue.”
    So, true, our scars remind us of our Savior, who bore scars for us.
    Bless you, dear one, on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!
    Lisa Brittain recently posted…FMF:WhenMy Profile

    • And thank YOU, Lisa, for always leaving encouraging comments :). Have a blessed day!

  • Thank you for sharing more of your journey with Pedro! You ARE blessed and praying he continues to remain healthy (and you, too, of course!!). I am learning…as I go – I am slowly learning; but I am learning! It isn’t cancer; but still I am a caregiver. And, I am learning to find the love in the “small things”.

    Hope you are feeling better…illness has hit our household(s), too…last week was stomach virus (on top of the sinus/allergy issues I was having); and this week, the sinus/allergy issues continue, but a bit worse. Dr. appt. tomorrow…

    Take care; and thanks again for sharing!
    Barbara recently posted…ACCEPTANCEMy Profile

    • I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling well! I hope the doctor was able to help out! And yes, being a caregiver is definitely a learning thing, isn’t it? Learning to trust in God more, learning to be thanking for the little things, learning to let go of our unrealistic expectations…the list goes on!

  • Wow, this story is amazing. It is amazing how quickly life can go from good to bad. I am so glad 12 years later Pedro is still doing well and he was able to be healed. Not everyone is so lucky. I love how you tied your story to sin. It is a great reminder of how sin can creep into our lives and make a mess of everything.
    Amanda recently posted…Disneyland’s Frozen Fun TipsMy Profile

    • I feel so blessed and fortunate each time I look at him–he is a gift I never want to take for granted.

  • Thank you for sharing this. It is so encouraging, so real, so what I needed today.
    Barbara recently posted…Not a perfect parent, but a REAL one.My Profile

    • I’m glad I could offer a little encouragement! Have a wonderful day :).

  • Hi Anita! I love your image here, the idea that God will keep saving me, even though I might not accept it enough to make it ‘stick’. To be rescued is to be greatly loved.
    What a hard time you and your husband went through…all those hours and days in the hospital. I am so glad that it’s a thing of the past.

    Have a good weekend 🙂
    Ceil recently posted…Bon Appe-TemptMy Profile