Healing Line

Healing Line

Glorify His Name

by Jeff Sampson
Jan/Feb 2011

Editor’s Note: Jeff Sampson is someone many of you know from his being a member of our staff and working to register those who attend our conferences. Right now Jeff is struggling courageously with a recurrence of cancer which has metastasized. For a second time, he is undergoing chemo.

And he covets your prayers.

I sit here 3.5 weeks after undergoing emergency abdominal surgery, knowing that I am only able to survive and sit here because we have an awesome God.

Working at CHM and watching God work, I have come to learn and accept that God is in control. When we let Him be in control, the journey may not be the one you would ask for, or expect, but we can look back and recognize His love, His touch, and His creativity.

I will now try to convey to you what I have gone through during the past month.

Over the weekend at the beginning of August 2010, I realized that my digestive system was blocked and my appetite was diminishing. On Monday I tried a recommended medication — nothing happened. On Tuesday my wife and I went to the doctor and they said to try another medication — nothing happened. On Wednesday my wife and I went to the doctor and they sent us to the ER. I already knew that we would end up in the ER that day, so I was dressed for it and only carried my ID. When the X–ray tech was looking at the film of my abdomen, the ER doctor happened to walk by and saw the X–ray. I understand the conversation was short — something like — “He is blocked, get him a room!” So began my three week stay in the hospital.

Three years ago, the surgeon who operated on my colon cancer was Dr. B. I already knew that he would be involved in my current treatment. So when the ER doctor came by to let me know what was going on, I mentioned Dr. B to her. She said she would check and see if he was around. If you have ever been in a hospital, you know that time is something that can escape you, but within an hour Dr. B was standing at the foot of my bed in the ER. When I saw his face, the peace of the Lord swept through my whole being! God was in control and His servants' hands were now in charge. I get tears every time I think of that moment. I know that God walked into that room with Dr. B.

Thursday, my wife and I waited all day for the GI doctor to figure out what the next step was to be. Late in the afternoon Dr. D did come in and she scheduled me for first thing Friday for a flexible sigmoidoscopy to see what was going on.

Friday morning they took me down to the OR for the procedure, at which time I laid on the table about an hour waiting for Dr. D to show up. When she got there, she apologized that she had gotten tied up in the ER. So there was an hour that I lay there frustrated — or was it just God’s timing? At this point, I am no longer conscious and have pieced the following together from conversations with Dr. B, Dr. D, and my wife.

During the exam, Dr. D found that the original resection of my colon from three years ago had constricted, so there was no longer a usable passage way. She used a balloon to open the passageway a couple of millimeters. After conferring with a colleague on what to do next, she attempted to suck out some of what had built up in the colon. Shortly after she started, the anesthesiologist raised the red flag! Something had happened and my blood pressure shot UP. Dr. D immediately stopped what she was doing. A quick X–ray showed I had air in my abdomen — my colon had ruptured and come to find out, no place close to where Dr. D was working. The call immediately went out for Dr. B (who was just finishing up another surgery). In less than an hour I was in a different OR. For the next two hours, DR. B cleaned me out and repaired as much as he could at that time. When I talked to him later, he told me that when he cut me open, I was a cesspool! He spent a lot of time mopping out my insides and flushing me as clean as possible. What he discovered was that cancer had returned to the outside of my colon and various other places in my abdomen. Because of the extensiveness of the cancer he could not treat it surgically. He put me back together as best he could with an ileostomy bag. He told me that ”no colonoscopy would have seen the cancer!!!” I now have more doctors' appointments and decisions to make about what course of action to take.

I have had time to lie around and think of different scenarios about ‘what if,’ and I believe I would be dead instead of being able to tell you how much I believe we have an awesome God. So I continue to praise and thank God for what he can do and how creative He is in doing it.

While I was in the hospital, my wife was talking to a friend of ours who is a wonderful prayer minister. She told my wife that she had been asking God why all this was happening and the only thing she got back was to ‘Glorify His Name.’ Ya know, I can do that! What a unique journey! I do glorify His name and praise Him and thank Him for all that He is doing for me. Have you ever had a rough time and when it was all over you looked back and realized that the only way you got through it was by believing that God was in control? I encourage you to Glorify His Name.

God bless and have a GREAT day!

Jeff Sampson Jeff Sampson is Intercessory Coordinator of CHM. Jan/Feb 2011