God Never Leaves Us Alone

30 09 2010

by Margie Miller
Coffeyville, Kansas, USA

Last November my husband, Bob, and I received our flu shots from the local hospital, where we planned to become chaplains. Within a week, his left arm swelled. We assumed it was a reaction to the injection.

A couple of weeks went by, and the swelling persisted. Finally we decided he needed to see the doctor. She felt it was an infection and began treating it with antibiotics.

After three weeks of antibiotics—each prescription stronger then the last—there was no response. So she decided my husband should have an ultrasound, an X-ray, and a CT scan.

Those tests showed a dramatically enlarged lymph node in his armpit. She then arranged for a biopsy, but the surgeon was hesitant. He would need to cut deep into the armpit to reach the enlarged lymph node. Bob was diabetic, and the doctor said the incision would be slow to heal.

Bob felt it must not be too serious if the doctor did not encourage him to have the biopsy. So the doctor recommended a nurse practitioner who was trained in lymph edema massage. Bob underwent treatment for a month, but it did not respond.

Next we went to a dermatologist in a larger community. That doctor gave him the name of a physician who would do an ultrasound and a needle biopsy. The radiologist immediately recognized it as a form of cancer but could not tell us what type until the biopsy came back. In the meantime, we saw an oncologist who ordered a PET scan and radiation treatments.

We had planned a celebration for his 80th birthday. I invited all our friends to surprise him with birthday cards, and he received 140.

Following the PET scan and three radiation treatments, he fell in the night and was unable to get up. The next day—the same day of the PET scan results—the doctor ordered hospice care.

He lasted eight days and died the day before his birthday.

It was an extremely aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. During those eight days, all three of our children came home to be with him. During that week, we cooked no meals. Instead, our friends brought in food, and they came to visit.

Following Bob’s death, almost every day, friends called to check on us. After the children went home, several friends asked me to dinner. I was inundated with 149 cards and letters.

Two weeks later, 130 persons packed into our small sanctuary to help us celebrate his life. The outpouring of love has not abated.

How do we feel God’s love? We feel it as we are made aware of God’s loving presence right next to us in the best of our times and the worst of our times.

And we feel it through the love of friends. God never leaves us alone.



3 responses

30 09 2010

Thank you for you wonderful testimony of how God accompanies us each of us through the valley of the shadow of death and into life! It is a marvelous God we have. It makes me feel sad because so many people like you and Bob do not know God and such a wonderful Christian Community that like God accompanied you.

Grace and PEACE

30 09 2010
Margie Miller

Thank you, Barb. I wrote it right after Bob died. It expresses just the way I felt and still feel.

30 09 2010

I found this story most uplifting. Margie this article will bless many people. Thank you for sharing so openly.

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