October 4, 2010

LKL Web Exclusive: Joni Tada's battle with breast cancer

Posted: 12:10 PM ET

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and to bring attention to this disease, here is a LKL web exclusive by Joni Eareckson Tada on her battle with breast cancer.

When most people learn I'm battling breast cancer, they can't hide their shock. "You?" they ask, "but you're already dealing with quadriplegia and chronic pain. How can you handle cancer?" The truth is, it's hard. But I do have some help...

Over the past couple years, my pain issues had pushed me into the Bible to better understand miraculous healing - why does God heal some people and not others? Does God still perform larger-than-life miracles such as Jesus did when he walked on earth? I had wrestled with these questions decades earlier when a diving accident in 1967 left me a spinal-cord injured quadriplegic; back then, I begged God to heal me. Forty years later I’m happy, but still in my wheelchair. My joy, though, got tested when chronic pain became an issue. That’s when it forced me to take a closer look at Jesus' ministry of healing.

My study resulted in a book called A Place of Healing - I was so grateful for what I had learned and wanted to pass on the insights to others. The book is a raw, no-holds-barred inspection of the biblical view on miraculous healing, and in April, I handed in the manuscript to my publisher. By early June, A Place of Healing was at the press.

That was the week I discovered the lump in my breast. I was stunned. A needle biopsy and mastectomy happened in quick succession - I had stage 3 cancer and my lymph nodes were involved. Next was a meeting with my medical oncologist – in one hour, I learned a port-cath would be surgically implanted in my chest, and my frail quadriplegic body would be assaulted with powerful and highly toxic chemotherapy drugs. When the oncologist got up to leave for a moment, I began sobbing – it was the first time since hearing I had cancer that I broke down. I forgot all about my book.

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Filed under: Joni Eareckson Tada • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive

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