Life’s Percentages or God’s Hand?

Our Stories, Survivor April 13, 2017

Debi McBee
Gilbert, AZ
Cervical Cancer, Two-Time Survivor

In March 1998, almost one year to the day from being diagnosed with cervical cancer, I was back in the hospital with tremendous pain on my left side. I woke up from surgery to the worst news one could imagine: “Your cancer is back and it has spread throughout your abdomen. It doesn’t look good, with only a 20% chance to live.” Are you kidding me? Just a few short months ago I was clear with no signs of any leftover cancer cells. How could this happen? What now? I had three sons who needed me – 2, 3 and 12 years old.

Ok God, I need you yet again.

Would He help me get through this, even though I had been in a similar situation just one year before? I had prayed to God several other times in my life and yet these serious accidents and illnesses seemed to keep happening to me regardless. And then, a friend visited me in the hospital after my surgery and brought me a book that has forever changed my life.

Prior to cancer, I thought I was a religious person. I went to church and said my prayers. I certainly had myself fooled for a long time – 42 years to be exact. The 94 pages of this small book made me understand God’s plan for us and how I had not only ignored Him, but rejected Him without even realizing it. I prayed with this book for nearly two years and even in my darkest hours of treatment, I knew that God would help me continue this story.

You see, He had been trying to reach me for years through these other traumatic challenges, but I hadn’t listened. I began to wish I could go back and relive my early years to make better choices along the way, but it was a little late for that now. From the moment I read that book, I knew that I was going to live and beat the odds.

I wanted to believe that, when people heard MY story, it would have a similar impact. I had to learn about humility, apologies, forgiveness and unselfishness., words that had eluded me much of my life. God helped my doctors find a treatment plan like no other that would kill every speck of cancer in my body so that I would have opportunities to be His beacon.

My treatment plan had never been used on another patient outside of test trials. I was the first. If you don’t think that was God’s doing, I’m not sure what is! My oncologist released me seven years ago and admitted to me that he NEVER thought I was going to survive. And survive I did, but only through the grace of God.

I have had the glorious opportunity to raise my three sons, enjoying each & every milestone they reached. I have spent many hours with newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients and have shared that book with many of them. My doctors have told me many times that those who have a spiritual belief system seem to heal much differently and much more successfully than those who do not. That was a profound statement coming from medical professionals, and it confirmed everything I had professed. Now I really had a mission: to help others believe in their healing or any other type of life’s challenges by way of understanding the impact God can have.

I recently have begun work with a mission that started at my church. We venture into the community and cook for 150 homeless people every week. We glorify God and help these people understand His promises and love for everyone. Sharing my story and that book with others has given them the hope and strength to forget about their “chances in life” and RELY on God’s promises. Many of them have since come off the streets or have found some type of work. And in some cases, they have been so deeply moved by what they’ve learned that they have started to help others learn to have faith and strong beliefs.

Since many people have heard my testimony over the years, I’ve decided to create my own version of “the book that changed my life” so many years ago. I’m in the beginning stages of my writing and hope that my 2nd Act will someday be able to reach many and provide to them the hope and confidence I received 18 years ago.

Today, my husband and I have been married for 33 years, and my youngest two sons are in their last years of college. And I have jumped on the train, giving women survivors spiritual blessings and the hope that there will be a life after cancer to be engaged in and excited about.

I leave you with this quote: “Those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.” Have faith, believe, and live your 2nd Act, giving all glory to God and His promises!