What Dr. Luke has to Say About Lymphomas

Li Chun Hua was 25 years old and was finishing up a Master's degree at a local Chinese University.  She and her boy friend had finally decided to get engaged and next month were going to announce their engagement.  First they were going to talk with their parents and then make the announcement.  They were both so excited. The next day while getting dressed Li Chun Hua noticed a painless lump on her neck.  She did not feel any other lumps but this one.  It clearly did not hurt.  She did not have a cold or sore throat and in fact felt quite good.  That morning she had actually gone out and ran a little bit and felt fine while running.  She called her boy friend and he advised her to go to the local hospital to have this evaluated.  A friend of his had mentioned that things like this could be cancer.  So that morning she went straight to the hospital.

Li Chun Hua saw a doctor that day.  The doctor listened to her story and then did an examination.  Then the doctor recommended that Li Chun Hua have blood tests and that the nodule or lump in her neck be removed to see what it was.  He told her that it was probably a lymph node and until they removed it and found out what it was then they could not know if it was cancer or not.

Li Chun Hua agreed to both of these things.  The surgery to remove the lump in her neck was scheduled for the following week.  She immediately went home and called her boy friend and her parents.  As might be expected all of them were very anxious about the situation.

The next week Li Chun Hua had an operation, which only took 20 minutes, or so and then lump was removed from her neck.  The lump or lymph node was taken to the laboratory to be examined by another doctor.  The result came back in a day or two to Li Chun Hua's doctor.  He was told that the lump was a kind of cancer called a lymphoma.  Li Chun Hua was stunned.  Immediately thoughts start racing through here mind.  Here she was going to graduate from getting her Master's degree soon and then announce her engagement soon but she was now diagnosed with this cancer.  What difference did the Master's degree make, why even get married?  She thought she would die soon.

The doctor calmed her down and comforted her.  The doctor started by telling her what a lymphoma is.  He told her that it is a type of cancer.  He told her that it is a type of cancer, which affects the lymph nodes of the body.  He told Li Chun Hua that there are basically two different types of lymphomas.  One which all patients can be cured if caught early, called Hodgkin's and one which all patients cannot be cured if not caught early.   The doctor told her that they only found one lymph node and that they needed to do other tests to see if the cancer had spread through her body.  Her type of lymphoma was the one which all patients could be cured if caught or Hodgkin's.  If the other tests done were normal then there was a very good chance that Li Chun Hua could be cured of her cancer.  This really gave her relief.

She also asked some other types of questions.  Why didn't she have more or other symptoms?  The doctor told her that many patients only have what she has, that is one painless lump and often only in their neck.  Some can have lumps under their arms, but these are the main two areas people have painless lumps.  Some patients do have fever; night sweats itching skin and or fatigue with and without painless lumps present in the neck and under the arms.

The type of lymphoma which can be cured or Hodgkin's lymphoma  occurs in people in their 20's and 50's while the other type occurs in most age groups from their 20's and up.

The other tests for Li Chun Hua were done the week after and they only showed that she had very limited disease and that she should be able to be cured of her lymphoma or cancer.  She was so relieved.  However, this whole ordeal of the past 2-3 weeks had left a large strain on she and her boy friends relation. They both were still committed to getting married but they both had a lot of questions.  How could they deal with these questions?

Both of them recalled that a friend had talked to them about a marriage conference they had gone to in a neighboring city.  This friend had told them that this conference had helped he and his wife through a hard time in their marriage.  They called this friend and met with him the next week.  He was so glad to meet with them.  He told them that the basis of this conference was the person of Jesus Christ and the material came from the Bible.  Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend had heard of both Jesus Christ and the Bible but did not know much about either.

The friend told Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ had transformed his marriage.  They had found out about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at the marriage conference.  Jesus Christ had given them meaning and purpose, which he and his wife had never had before.  He told them of a verse in a book called Romans, written around 65AD to the people in Rome by a man named Paul.  The verse said the following, 'Therefore since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5.1).'  This friend told them that they had peace with God and as a result they also had peace within themselves and peace with his wife.  Their marriage had been totally transformed.

Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend were very interested and wanted to know more about how to have this peace.  Because at this point in their lives they really needed this type of peace.  The friend showed them another verse, written by the same man called Paul (he wrote many different books in the Bible and in fact the Bible was written over 1500 years by many different people from Asia, Europe and Africa).  This verse states, 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.6,7).'  This was just what Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend needed.

How could they have this peace?  Their friend told them that through knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Savior that they could have this peace.  He told them that they must first come to understand that they are separated from God. That until they are re united with God through the person of Jesus Christ they cannot have peace with God or anyone else for that matter.  This they must understand first.

He showed them a place in the Bible which said, 'As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2.8,9).'  Basically we were dead because of our sins, that is the things which go against what God wants us to do.  We cannot follow the spirit of this world and the ways of God at the same time.  This same passage went on to say, 'All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Ephesians 2.3).'  Li Chun Hua's friend showed them that everyone had strayed and followed their own sinful nature and gratifying their own selfish desires.  The result is that we were the objects of God's wrath because we have gone against what he wanted for us.

This made Li Chun Hua feel like what she did when the doctor told her she had cancer, that is hopeless.  However, her friend went on to tell her that there was good news from the same place in the Bible, which had told of  the bad news.  It said the following, 'But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2.4-9).'

Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend were so glad to hear such good news.  Even when we had the done the wrong thing and were separated from God, because of what we had done, God showed us a great love and made us alive with Christ.  Then he raised us up and seated us with Jesus Christ.  This is and was a great promise.  Receiving this gift is also very easy.  It is a gift from God and all we need to do is receive it by faith.

Before we finish the story of Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend.  We need to go back and finish the treatment story of Li Chun Hua.  What is the treatment of lymphoma?  Again, it depends on the type of lymphoma and how advanced the cancer is.  If it is localized then the treatment is radiation.  If it is the kind of cancer, which Li Chun Hua had, then the treatment will give a cure in most cases.  The other type does not give a cure in most cases.  Only in about 50% of cases, that is if the lymphoma or cancer is very localized in the body or not spread.

However, if the disease is very advanced and spread over many parts of the body at presentation, then the prognosis is not very good for any type of lymphoma.  Li Chun Hua was a very fortunate patient.  She was also wise in that the first time she felt the node in her neck she went to the doctor.  Had she waited the cancer could have spread widely through her body and her treatment could have been not been to cure her but only to make her live a few years longer.  Thus it is important for any patient with a painless node in their neck or anywhere in their body to go see the doctor.  It may be nothing but it could be a cancer in its early stages.

Li Chun Hua had radiation therapy, which cured the lymphoma in her neck.  The doctor told her that there was very little chance of the lymphoma every returning in her lifetime. She should be cured.  Li Chun Hua was very relieved that she was cured of this physical problem.  She was also glad that her emotional and spiritual sickness were receiving treatment as well.  She listened more and more to her friend about the peace she can have through Jesus Christ.  Her friend asked her and her boyfriend if they wanted to have this peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They said that they did want this peace through Jesus Christ.

Here is how Li Chun Hua's friend explained how to have this peace.  The friend showed them the following verse, 'That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved, for it is with the heart that you believe and are justified and it is with the mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10.9,10).'  All you need to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Universe and that because he died for your sins on the Cross he is Lord of your life.  Then believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.  If you do these two things you will be saved.  It was that simple.  Nothing more and nothing less needed to be done.

Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend prayed the following prayer with their friend. 

'Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have done wrong before you and that I have sinned.  I believe you are the Lord of the world and of my life and have died for me on the Cross-to save me from my sins.  I also believe that after you died on the Cross-for my sins you arose from the grave to show your power over sin and death.'  After praying this prayer Li Chun Hua and her boyfriend had a great peace.  You to can have this peace by praying this prayer.