As you know I was diagnosed with liver cancer in July of last year and was told I needed to get on the liver transplant list ASAP. Only two hospitals in California will do a transplant on someone with HIV: UCSF and Cedars Sinai. I began the evaluations for the transplant. I had a chemotherapy treatment in August and again in November when new tumors developed. I was told the treatments would slow down the cancer but not stop it.
One evening in December I suddenly felt severe pain around my liver. The next day I was admitted to the hospital. During that stay they took an MRI which they said showed numerous new tumors and that I was now no longer a candidate for a transplant. The doctor said I had “months, not years” left. I began to seriously prepare for death. I had no fear of death or judgment because of my faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I only wanted to fulfill God’s purpose for however much time I had left. Part of that purpose was fulfilled when I was able to give the New Years Day sermon at my church. It was one of the greatest days in my life to get a chance to preach the Sunday sermon.
After the service, some of us met for lunch and I was talking to my good friend Frank about the mystery of God’s healing. He told me a story about a man he knew named Steve Trullinger who was part of a Christian healing ministry called “The Father’s Touch.” Frank told me that on one occasion Steve and his team had prayed for a man in East Africa who had lost an eye in an accident. Over the course of the day the man grew a new eyeball!
I have been watching “The 700 Club” on CBN lately and they always have two or three documentaries on people that have been prayed for and been healed. I asked my wife Gail if she thought we should go to a healing service somewhere. She said that if the Lord told me to go we should go. Then she said that she thought that if the Lord wanted someone to pray for me, He would bring the person to me.
Tuesday of that week my friend Frank and his son were planning on coming up to visit me and pray for me late on Wednesday afternoon. I asked Frank if he could come on Thursday because the Rose Bowl game was on tv on Wednesday afternoon. Frank said yes. Frank called me on Wednesday and said that he had spoken to Steve from “The Father’s Touch” and that Steve had asked Frank if he could come up and pray for me.
So on Thursday they came over and Steve and I discussed God’s healing. He was a very low key guy and had been a physics professor at USC before going into full time ministry in 1995. I had to ask him to tell me the story of the eyeball growing back, which he did, though in very undramatic fashion. Before we prayed, two of my pharmacy partners, happened to drop by on their way home from the airport so they joined us. So Steve began to pray for me laying his hands on my liver. After he was done praying, he asked me if I felt anything. I said only that I felt his confidence that the Lord was going to heal me and it had given me confidence.
The next day or so I asked Gail if she thought I should have my pastors anoint me with oil and pray over me. She said she didn’t think it was needed because God had already healed me. Then, over the next week or so, the pain around my liver was starting again and getting worse. The doctor had told me in the hospital that it was either the cancer cells dying off or the cancer cells spreading and causing the pain. I generally think in a “worse case scenario” mind-set so of course I assumed the latter.
On January 18 I had an MRI done at the hospital and was to see Dr. L. at the cancer clinic today January 26. Dr. L. came in and asked how I was doing and if I had the MRI done. He had not seen the report yet. He read the MRI report out loud and made comments. It essentially said there was no evidence of tumors in my liver. He looked a little puzzled and apologized for having given me such a bad report in December (that I had “months not years left”). I was speechless. Gail asked him to verify that there were no tumors, which he did. Dr. L. said he would see me in five weeks and that I should make an appointment with the transplant team to see if they would now want to do a transplant.
Still in shock we walked over to the transplant center and I said to the coordinator “hello, I’m John, I was a candidate for a transplant but was rejected because of the extent of the cancer, but now my cancer is gone and Dr. L. said I should come over here for an appointment to review my case again.” She looked at me incredulously and said she’d get the report from Dr. L., discuss the case with the transplant team and get back to me. I don’t think she believed me.
I don’t know what will happen in the future, but for now and forever I say “PRAISE THE LORD!”
John M. – Jan. 27, 2006
Update: February 28, 2006
Although I’m not seeing my doctor until Thursday, Gail and I went over to Cedars Sinai today to pray for a friend of a friend who is in hospice there. Since we were there I picked up the report of my February 22 MRI which I had ordered to send to UCSF. I got the report and gave it to Gail to read. She read it and said “there’s nothing.” To be precise it says: “no abnormal areas of enhancement are identified within the liver … Impression: no suspicious hepatic lesions are identified.” In other words, NO TUMORS!
Since my last email to you all, and after I saw the oncologist on Jan 25, I saw the transplant surgeon at Cedars and he said that he had seen the December MRI and there were “at least ten tumors” which were not present in the January MRI and so he ordered the Feb 22 MRI thinking the January one was incorrect. He said that I could not be placed on the transplant waiting list until they were more certain that the tumors were gone (and hadn’t spread to any other area). He said he could distinguish tumors because they grow quickly. Last week I spoke to the surgeon at UCSF and he said they had denied my application to get on the list there because of the same concerns. He wanted me to send him the Feb 22 MRI which I will joyfully do tomorrow.
This has to be a miracle from God Almighty. There’s just no other explanation. The ten tumors were present one month after my chemotherapy treatment in November and according to the oncologist (“you have months not years left”) they were spread across the top of my liver like grapes and weren’t even in the location where they had put the chemotherapy. I believe that the ten tumors were there in December and were removed by the Father God through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ on January 5 when I was prayed for by Steve from The father’s touch ministry. God must still have a purpose for me on earth and his will be done (say amen!).
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
In the gospels, Jesus did miracles, went to the cross and rose from the grave to prove who he is, God who took on the form of a man, the promised Savior, who would die for our sins so we could live forever with him. I believe his purpose for my miracle is the same. He is who he said he is. Please consider what he has done for me as proof that he is the Savior, and can be your Savior if you’ll just ask him.
“God demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8