A Journey of Hope

About us

Psychologically mostly cancer patients, particularly people of faith are struggling with their faith with questions like “what did I do wrong”, “Is there something that I did that caused God to punish me”, “Why me”?

 

Typically churches are very effective when it comes to helping people with all kinds of problems like financial or marital but they often fall short when it comes to dealing with health care issues especially Cancer.

 

So people really struggle with what do I say, how do I say it or when do I say it?
Therefore one of the dynamics that happens with the cancer patients and their caregiver is that they begin to feel a sense of isolation and people begin to avoid them all together.

 

Arise from the Ashes (ARFTA) a Hope Ministry which centres on faith as a key, which is an often-overlooked component of cancer treatment. While this Ministry involves prayer, counsel, visits and assistance, it is focused on bringing God’s hope to patients and their caregivers, family and friends. This requires an understanding of the impact of cancer, how people react to it and how God has called His people to respond. Above all, it requires us to have within ourselves an unfeigned hope that we can anchor onto throughout the Journey.

 

What is the impact?
Imagine you are feeling afraid, rejected, alone, powerless, ashamed and hopeless. Envision, then, if someone comes to you and says words that no one else has said, does things that no one else has done and leaves you with courage, strength, dignity and hope for the future – and God’s plan.

 

How would that affect you?

What if it changed one day?

What about 10 days? 100 days?

What if it helped you through to see another whole season of life with hope?

The potential impact can only be phenomenal!

 

And this is what Arise from the Ashes is aimed to achieve in the lives of as many as possible.

My Journey

 

In June 2012, while having a shower, I felt a lump in my right breast. I was 44 years old.

 

It was probably nothing, I thought, but I kept checking it, and after a couple of weeks, I made an appointment with my General Practitioner who referred me to the hospital where I was sent off for a mammogram and ultrasound. When my results came back, I was referred for a biopsy.

 

A few days later, I returned to the doctor for the results only to be diagnosed with breast cancer. After more tests, scans and appointments, I was told the cancer wasn’t very aggressive and, because it was detected early, there was a high chance it could be successfully treated. The treatment plan was to be surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and followed by some years of hormonal treatment.

 

A series of tests were done to prepare me for surgery and in September 2012, I had a day surgery to remove the lump, from which I woke up, happy to be alive.
The good news was, the cancer had not spread, but traces of cancerous cells remained around the margins where the lump had been removed. This meant another surgery to remove more of the cancerous breast tissues. In October 2012, after a second surgery yielded the same results, the doctors advised a mastectomy.

 

I was totally unprepared for the news and couldn’t understand why there were still cancerous cells after two surgeries. More testing, appointments, and scans followed to determine what we were dealing with. The breast surgeon eventually advised me that, to reduce the risk of spreading, my only option was to immediately undergo mastectomy of the right breast and full auxiliary clearance. That appointment was a blur.

I became very restless in my spirit and kept replaying the conversation in my mind. On the one hand, I couldn’t agree with the doctor about having a mastectomy; then again, a mastectomy couldn’t be that bad, and if it would help my recovery, why not? There was such a struggle in my spirit.

 

From the time I found the lump, I had been spending more time in prayer, asking God for the lump to be noncancerous. When it was not, I prayed for healing, help, strength, and direction throughout all I would experience.

 

Not knowing whether to have a mastectomy or not, I retreated into the secret place of the Almighty and prayed.

 

I recounted all that the doctors had said in God’s presence and asked Him to help me make the right decision; specifically, I asked for my peace to be restored if I didn’t need the mastectomy. The burden lifted immediately, and my peace was restored. That made me conclude that I didn’t have to do the mastectomy and to trust that this was God’s will in this matter. My peace has remained ever since.
I told the doctors I wanted to skip the mastectomy and go on to chemotherapy. Of course, they were shocked and wanted to know why. I simply told them I didn’t want it and stood my ground.

 

In December 2012, I was scheduled to start a treatment plan of six cycles of chemotherapy every three weeks, followed by radiation. During this period, I was working, attending appointments and surgeries, and going on with life as normal, although I felt a bit run down. We already had a family holiday planned in December 2012, so I told the doctors I didn’t want to start chemotherapy until after my holiday.

 

I started chemotherapy in late January 2013. After the third cycle, I developed an infection in the area around the PICC line used to administer the treatment and was admitted to the hospital for eight days for acute oncology/hematology. The doctors concluded that the risks of carrying on with the chemo outweighed the benefits. I ended up completing only three cycles of chemo as it adversely affected the quality of my life.

 

Among other issues, my skin broke out in acute dermatitis. The associated itching caused discomfort and pain which made life almost unbearable. I would use the prescribed steroids and topical creams and then have to stop due to the side effects of the steroids. My GP finally prescribed a non-steroidal topical cream containing Urea which helped significantly and restored some comfort to my skin.

 

Radiation commenced in May 2013 and by August I had completed my treatment. A few weeks later, I was given hormonal treatment drugs which I was to take for about five years.

 

In 2013, after completing the treatment I was declared cancer-free. By God’s grace and mercy, I continue to be cancer free.

 

I am so grateful to my husband, family, and friends, doctors and nurses who supported me throughout this difficult time.

 

Cancer is an assault by rogue cells trying to take over the body and break down everything in its path. Its attack is also intense on the mind and spirit.

 

The purpose of this website is to support and give hope to Cancer Patients and their caregivers through Bible-based information on cancer, prayers, visits and numerous tools as they navigate the journey with cancer.

 

I am a champion of the truth that a strong belief in God can make all the difference in the world when you are faced with a cancer diagnosis. My faith eased tensions, boosted my attitude, supported, and improved my overall health. I believe prayer led to optimism, reduced stress, bolstered my immune system during my most difficult times and this set me free from the circle of affliction associated with cancer.

 

Therefore, as you receive medical and nutritional care, consider and include into your cancer care, the faith perspective.

 

May you overcome every obstacle and challenge and receive hope during your difficult times.

 

All my love,
Titilayo Ewa Adeliyi
Breast Cancer Thrivor