Team Up Against Cancer

HOPE - FAITH - SUPPORT - PRAYER

A Patient Testimony – Kyle Hanan

First thing I heard the doctor say was “This is a real crappy deal.”   I can’t remember the order or all of the next sentences he uttered, but I remember these:  “Metastatic Melanoma stage 4….this is very serious, it’s spread throughout your body…that big thing growing out the side of your neck makes this all the more difficult…you have 6 months to live…”

My wife and I sat in shock.  I knew that terminal cancer sentences had been defeated before, and with our God of miracles anything is possible.  But this doctor was very adamant refuting any questions of survival that I might have.

I had been a lukewarm Christian before this.  I attended church occasionally.  And I didn’t like to ask for help.  Now I chose to reach out to everyone and connect.  I had to ask for help, and what would it ever hurt to team up against cancer?  This led me to many incredible people, including “TeamUp! Against Cancer” and the Prayer Ministry at Phoenix First Assembly.  I found Believers sharing similar challenges side by side, helping me hold my arms up to God and believing for my healing.

The doctor later reluctant and incredulous, admitted someone had made a mistake in my initial report.  But was it a mistake! Or was it a miracle?  I was always a skeptic before, but now I have changed.  I have seen miracles and am open to them. 

My diagnosis was changed to NS Hodgkins Lymphoma stage 3, advanced & unfavorable.  Now I was no longer terminal.  I began chemo, and after 2 rounds my new doctor would not perform a PET scan to determine the extent of my cancer. 

But my real and only Doctor and my Spirit within knew better.  I switched doctors again, was given a PET scan, and it was discovered that my cancer had spread.  My new hematologist put me on a very strong course of chemo, used mainly in Germany.  I ended up hospitalized in high-risk isolation and septic 4 times.  Over 4 months I had several infections, 3 different kinds of pneumonia, my appendix removed, diabetes, and a bunch of other things happened that I don’t feel like remembering the moment.  {Smile}. I had teams of medical staff running in and out around the clock, and my team of doctors had meetings with other doctors around the world to try and figure out what to do with me. 

We hit several points where we had to face that I might not make it.  But God never gave up on me.  And my TeamUpAgainst Cancer family never gave upon me.  Lee Theodossaides and David Bryant visited me several times in the hospital and prayed for me.  Once they shared with me, Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed,  for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).  I chanted and sang over and over, “I know You’re with me.”  My friends and family and hundreds of thousands were praying to Jesus, our Healer, and never gave up.  I received many words of love and encouragement. 

Feelings of death would surround me with a deep darkness attempting to swallow me up.  I began to realize that I could either wallow in the darkness and fall into the lie of hopelessness, or I could accept Hope.  I could take action to praise God and live in the Spirit.  I could move in a purposefully aligned manner, no matter how little the movement was.  This always left me feeling better.

I was in high-risk isolation and could not see my 3 kids for long periods of time.  And sometimes I wondered if I would ever see them again.  Would my 2 and 3-year-old boys and 14 year old daughter remember me,?  I trusted that God would be a Father to my children if I didn’t make it, and who could be better?  Mostly because of the many drugs I was on, I raised my voice at my wife a few times.  My parents, from Oregon, moved in with us to help my family.  It was a challenging time for all of us.

One night death came at me heavy.  I could not move and I was suffering greatly.  I moved my lips enough to guide air and sang “As for me, the nearness of God is my good….I’ll make the Lord my refuge.”  I did not even know this was in scripture or in a song I might have heard.  I sang this all night, even when the nurses came in.  God remained near.  “…joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). That next morning, God brought me a nurse by the name of Page, who was a strong Christian and she prayed for me and my family.  We cried hard together. 

Another time during my treatment, for 7 days I shook with fever and sometimes seizures when my temperature would go above 105 degrees while on a bed of ice, and hooked up to all sorts of machines.  I would go in and out of consciousness and hear my bed rattling from my shaking.  The rattling was loud and seemed to go on forever. I have had night terrors over this rattling.  Now I praise God when the rattling haunts me in the day or at night.  The rattling moves me nearer to God, and I am often overwhelmed with gratefulness and hope of His future plans.  

I learned to cry.  I read many studies about the physical benefits of crying.  And when strong enough to have a good solid cry, I always felt much better. 

I am not writing that my battle was more difficult than another’s, or I am more blessed.  My battle was one year.  Many have battled longer and more difficult roads.  And, I have a lot to learn.  But I do know God is real and wants us healthy.  I constantly spoke out loud scripture to my body and claimed it in the name of Jesus. Praise God, I am not sick.  I write now cancer free!

My TEAM UP buddy Lee Theodossiades would often send me the words of God that breathed encouragement into me that will forever live in my heart.  I thought of what brother and warrior Lee endured often.  Inspired by Lee I thought, “I can do this, Christ gave me strength. By His stripes I am healed!” (Isaiah 53:5).  Lee’s Memorial service was a time I will never forget.  I can now see and feel Lee’s smiling and joyous nature looking down upon us from Heaven bowing his head down occasionally to send our team a mighty cheer of encouragement and love, that will echo for eternity. 

Praise God that although I am still recovering from my battle, I am a part of this wonderful team and the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that I may learn to be a stronger voice for Him.  Cancer can be eliminated forever!  No cancer cell or tumor will overcome us, we are healed! Let’s Team Up! Against Cancer.     – Kyle Hanan, Cancer Survivor