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Cancer and the healing power of God

March 13, 2012 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15)

When it comes to cancer, most of us are so used to the second part of Romans 12:15 – mourning with those who mourn – that we rarely have the chance to rejoice with those who rejoice. For the past year or so, we have been praying for one of our missionaries, Laura Payne, as she faced the probability of death due to stage 4 cancer. This past week, we received this letter from Steve and Laura:

“Yesterday we were in San Francisco and we got the results from the PET CT scan Laura takes every 2 months. The doctor walked in and said…

…but before you hear that, you need to hear what God led us to do (without our doctor’s knowledge). We all knew the drug Laura was taking at 1/4 dose wasn’t too effective, since the one visible tumor on her chest wall had been growing at that dosage. So 6 weeks ago she added 7 other “alternative cancer treatments” that were recommended by a concerned friend (see below for details). We had previously discussed these with her oncologist, but since there was no clinical evidence proving they worked – only anecdotal – he wasn’t too keen on them.

It was 6 weeks ago that a persistent friend once again wrote Laura urging her to try these alternative treatments, reminding her that standard treatments for metastatic cancer end in death. He sent her the name and contact info of someone in our area who had recently been cured of stage 4 melanoma after following the alternative treatments. After talking with the man, Laura was ready to give it a try. The alternative treatments were supposed to work in 6 weeks, and as God had arranged it, it was now exactly 6 weeks before her next scan.

…the doctor walked in, smiled and said, “Your scans are clean – there’s no cancer anywhere.” ANSWERED PRAYER!!! That means the last two tumors – one in her lungs and one by her heart – have disappeared. When we told him how we’d decided to try the alternative treatments, he said, “Whatever you’re doing, DON’T STOP!” He wasn’t upset that we’d tried the alternative treatments. He just wants Laura to live a long time. He said the fact she was in his office a year after being diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma is already pretty incredible. And to have a clean scan – well that just doesn’t happen…

So starting last night, Laura went off Zelboraf. She’s so happy. It’s been almost a year now that she’s been on drugs, and although they are targeted gene-therapy drugs, the side effects have still been significant. She’s now lost probably 75% of her hair. And hopefully now that she’s off the drug she’ll feel less fatigue, fewer joint problems, and less memory loss (although with her closing in on the big 50 in two weeks I told her not to count on that one). She’s still dealing with a frozen shoulder, but that’s something unrelated to the cancer.


Now that Laura is off the drug, the doctor wants us to return to San Francisco for another scan in 4 weeks rather than the usual 8 weeks. He said it’s possible the alternative treatments produced enzyme reactions making the drug she was on more effective, even at 1/4 dose. Unlikely, but in 4 weeks we’ll know for sure. Also there’s still one more skin biopsy to check. So please continue to pray that she would stay “cancer-free”…


What Laura wrote:


“Relief, joy, freedom and thanksgiving all immediately welled up in me as I cried out in my heart my gratitude to God for His leading and healing in my life. Today I feel almost as excited to finally be off the drugs as I am to be without cancer. I am so grateful to God for each step of the process He has used to get me to this point. His hand has been so evident in leading and guiding that I can only sit back and thank Him for watching over me, guiding me, and healing me.”


Praise God for His healing in Laura’s life! To rejoice with the Paynes, you can email them at Stephen_payne@sil.org.

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