SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column for October 24, 2000
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
Healing at work in every way
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Holy Spirit prompts me as I write this on Saturday, October 14, in this millennium year, which our Holy Father has recently entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to speak to you from my heart, which is filled with joy and with thanks.
I sincerely wish to thank each and every one of you for your prayers for the surgery my beloved husband underwent for prostate cancer, and for his subsequent recovery. Even if I have never met you, even if you have never written to me, and if I have not written to you, please know that I hold each one of you in my poor heart, and therefore since my heart is God's alone, you are there in all that I do, think and say, and I am praying for you always, as you have likewise prayed for my family, and my husband.
With what joy do I write to tell you that Michael's surgery went very well. All the lab tests are back, and with gratitude to God's Mercy, Michael and I both want you to know that all the cancer is now gone…
His recovery is going so well, it is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle, my dear friends, of which you are all part, for by your prayers you helped to bring about the fulfillment of what Our Lady had promised at Lourdes. You see, when we went on the pilgrimage to Lourdes in May, we went with the knowledge not only of prostate cancer, but also of the doctor's suspicions (however couched they spoke) that the cancer, already in the late state two of this disease, might already be in the lymph system. Once prostate cancer spreads to the lymph system, there is nothing the medical profession can do. In short, with radiation, or hormone therapy, the cancer can be held back, or put into remission for some time, but sooner rather than later, the cancer comes back with revenge, and then it kills.
Have I told you that at Lourdes our Dear Blessed Mother healed my beloved spouse, whom Our Lady calls her Divine Son's "earthly archangel" of life-threatening blood clots in both legs? Did I tell you that after the Healing Service in St. Pius X Basilica built beneath the main square in this holy place, that Michael was told by Our Lord to "get up and walk", for he had been in a wheelchair for over a week at that time. He did get up, he did walk, and not until we returned a week later, did an examination and Doppler test prove that there were no blood clots in his legs!
Then, my dear friends, came the news that the cancer was still in the prostate. Oh, how we prayed, for who of us desires to undergo major surgery? To have this operation, Michael worked triple time getting a month's worth of columns ready to put on-line for The DAILY CATHOLIC. As the time for the surgery drew nearer, we met with the doctor who, by law, had to tell us all of the "bad" things that might result from this surgery, some things being a given. Our humanity underwent a trial by fire in the three weeks prior to the surgery, for it was an emotional time, as well as a time of total faith and trust in God.
Our children were particularly effected, for the "C" word, as they term cancer, connotated death, for only in March did they lose their great uncle, my own uncle to terminal cancer from undiagnosed and untreated prostate cancer. They were devastated when, in Hospice, he could only be kept as comfortable as possible, until he drew his last breath shortly after six in the evening of March 5th. Now, their father had prostate cancer, and would that same fate await him.
Michael and I didn't know. We spoke very little…we simply clung to Our Lord, and loved one another without words. Yet I could not forget Our Lady's words, which she had spoken to me in the early spring: "At Lourdes your husband will be cured."
The surgery was long. I could not be at the hospital, as I needed to be at home when our sons returned from school that day, September 20th. You can imagine my relief when the phone finally rang and the surgeon spoke to me, telling me that the surgery was successful, that Mike had come through it okay. The surgeon seemed quite positive that all the cancer was gone, but he couldn't be 100% certain until the lab results came back.
I shared this news with the boys, and their faces went from being taunt and pale, to faces of relief. Still, their dad wasn't home, he was in the hospital, and until they could see him, until he was home, there wouldn't be total relief.
Imagine my shock when, later that day, I called to see if Mike had been moved to a room, and was told, instead, that he was in ICU!!! My heart fell to the floor one second before my knees hit the same surface. I cried then, but not as one without hope. I prayed from my heart, barely knowing what to say: I didn't pick up my Rosary; I didn't use any vocal form of prayer. I simply let God's presence wash over me. I told God that whatever He willed, it was our will, for Michael and I are one, and that I wished to be given the strength to do God's Will, not my own, to be able to stand strong, no matter what happened. Mike had been taken to ICU because he could not breathe deeply enough. Now I turned once again to the Blessed Mother. I thanked her for her intercession before Our Lord on behalf of Mike, and I simply asked her to be with Mike, to enfold him in Her Maternal Arms, and to shelter him beneath her Immaculate Mantle. In prayer I asked all the angels and saints to be with Mike, and believed that God would let Michael know that I was there too, in spirit, and that I loved him with all my heart.
I do not share these things because we have gone through something that is new or outstanding. Ours is the same path of faith and trust that, I pray, all of us are traveling together in the Mystical Body of Christ. It is not because of our worthiness, but rather because of our sincere fiat to God, that the Holy Spirit prompts me strongly to put into inadequate words the Mercy of God.
Mike was in ICU for over a day. Every time I called, I had the nurses go and tell him that I wanted him to breathe deeply, to keep trying, and to tell him that I'd be there to see him as soon as it was possible to do so, for those who had promised to see that I could get to the hospital regularly all, for whatever reason, were not available. This was, for both Mike and I, two and a half days in the tomb, where we could not speak to one another, and we could not see one another. Yet, we were together ever the more so, because we are one in the Mystical Union that Marriage brings when God is so much a part of the marriage.
Mike was in great discomfort, but he was discharged on Sunday, September 24th. The first week, until the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, Mike stayed pretty much to himself, though I was there for him whenever he needed anything. He needed to be home, and it meant the world to have him home with us again.
Then, on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, both of us began to see with our eyes and sense in the depths of our souls, that Our Lady had, indeed, healed Michael fully. On that day, Michael began to improve so rapidly that neither of us could explain it, nor could his doctor, whom we called on the following Monday.
One of the problems with the type of surgery Michael underwent was the likelihood that in the process certain nerves would be damaged, and only time, a period of six months to a year, would tell just how much damage had been done. This was something both of us were resigned to. All we could do was turn to Our Crucified Lord, and beg for the strength to bear His Will, no matter the outcome.
The doctor agreed to take out the catheter early, for it had really begun to irritate beyond endurance. Once again, Mike was warned about what he should expect, for damage to certain functions was inevitable.
We were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for was that Michael, only through God's Mercy and your prayers, which were and remain so much a part of the miracle granted, did not then and has not experienced any problems whatsoever. As I stated earlier, there is no explanation to the miracle of Michael's recovery except the graces of Lourdes, Our Lady's promise, and your prayers, which helped to bring about the total cure for my beloved spouse.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is so necessary that you read this and understand just how much a part you played in the Miracle promised and given to Michael. This participation in God's plan, in His Holy Will, is what being part of the Mystical Body of Christ is all about. We are not isolated from one another, whether we live next door, or we are separated by hundreds, even thousands of miles. In the Mystical Body of Christ, we are one in Him, and therefore, our prayers for one another are of infinite value.
You are so dear to us. How I cherish each of you. You are my family, just as much as my own relatives. You are family, just as the saints in Heaven, and the souls in Purgatory are my family. How, then, can I not love you? How, then, could I not write to tell you all of this, and from the bottom of my heart to say "thank you" in human words, while at the same time, asking God to say "thank you" as only He can, and to bless each of you a hundred-fold for all that you have done.
Think about it. You knew of Mike's surgery and you prayed, and I am able to tell you the result of your prayers. Now, think about all the prayers you say each day for those petitions you each carry in your heart, and for the whole of the Mystical Body of Christ. You most likely will never know on this earth how much your prayers have helped in this life, but in the next…oh, what joy will await you, for then you shall see God face to face, and He will smile at you, and He will bring you into the Beatific Vision, which will be the eternal "Thank You" for Loving Him, for you loved the least of His children.
I shall always remember you in prayer, your very little sister in Christ,
For past articles by Cyndi Cain this year, see SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING Archives
October 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 210
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
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