God is Good

In December of 2008, I had surgery to investigate and remove a thyroid nodule.  The diagnosis came back as Papillary Thyroid Cancer with metastasis to the delphian lymph nodes.  That was hard news.  Christmas was just a couple of weeks away.  Ten years prior (1998), my father was diagnosed with oat cell lung cancer at Christmas. Ten years prior to his diagnosis (1988), my mother was diagnosed with stage 4-colon cancer at Christmas.  As you can guess, this was not a family trend that I wanted to see continue and, if God is good, what in the world was going on?

As Christians, we celebrate Advent and Christmas with joyous remembrances of Christ’s birth, and with a hungering expectation of His return.  Both of my parents succumbed to their disease within 9 to 11 months of their diagnoses. So, it was hard to find joy in the holidays when surrounded by death. I had to remind myself that God is good: Christ was born, and Christ himself faced and defeated death, so that we might live again.

Be strong and courageous …

As a martial arts school owner and head instructor, I was working out over 20 hours a week in addition to teaching classes. I had three children still at home.  After the first surgery, I was brave and resilient.  I even practiced my breathing kata in the hospital room and competed in a kata competition one week post-surgery with stitches still in my neck. I wanted to prove to my kids and my students that everything was going to be okay.  Then came the call, and the realization that it wasn’t. 

Decisions matter …

I had my second surgery on December 31st of 2008 — New Year’s Eve. While others were out celebrating, I was in the hospital having my entire thyroid and neighboring lymph nodes removed.   I could have crawled into a hole and just cried … I thought about it … but I made a different choice. I chose to recognize the goodness of God almighty and to celebrate the gift of starting the new year cancer free.  Why?  Because I know, my God is good.

It’s a matter of the heart …

Before my cancer diagnosis, I was having issues with heart palpitations and discovered that I had PSVTs from a previously unknown congenital defect. I had an RF ablation, an electric medical procedure, in 2016 that helped somewhat.  It’s controlled with medication and is a separate issue from the thyroid cancer.  I mention it because I know there are others who have various health issues and are wondering if they would be able to consider an exercise regimen.  Yes, a thousand times yes, IF you consult with your doctor and follow his/her recommendations. Back to the heart issue.  God is good and God has provided me with the proper health care professionals to take care of my heart.  As a result, I chose to keep my heart open to His word, His love, and His grace.

God is indeed good …

It’s now 2019, and I am more than 10 years free of cancer and free of fear, and pity, and sorrow.  I am still working out regularly and still teaching karate.  This past Christmas was my 30th anniversary as a karateka.  I now teach karate and jiu-jitsu as a free ministry through our church.  Karate is now, and will forever be, a part of my life – to God be the Glory, for God is good. — Angela Sutton: Martial Arts Instructor and Cancer Survivor

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