My name is Michael McDermott, and I would like to share with you how that God healed, and delivered me from the threat of death by an enemy called kidney cancer. I was 46 years old, in the middle of a Divorce and working long hours without properly eating and sleeping right. Stress, anger, and fatigue I believe, were all contributing factors to my physical condition. In retrospect, I had no noticeable signs that my body was fighting an internal war for my very life!
After working a 12 hour day I came home to a normal routine of cleaning up, eating a light snack, and heading off to bed to do it all again. All was good until about 3 in the morning; a severe cramping sensation pierced my right side extending all the way down to my groin area. After about 3 hours of walking around to relieve the pain, it finally subsided, in time for me to get ready to take my car for an oil change.
As I arrived at the shop, I realized that I had not used the bathroom since the night before. This was highly unusual since I drank water before bed and several cups of coffee that morning. I tried to force myself to use the restroom and after several minutes of nothing happening, a huge stream of blood and clots were passed through my urine. I was extremely frightened and at the urging of my friend/mechanic Bill Parson, I went immediately to my Doctor.
After a quick examine, all signs pointed to the diagnosis of "kidney stones." My Doctor was not really alarmed by my symptoms because of my track record of really good health. After three more days of passing blood, I returned for further testing. After a thorough going over of x-rays and cat-scans, I was sent immediately back to my Doctor's office across town. He called me immediately into his office, sat me down and showed me the results of all the tests. The pictures clearly showed a mass about the size of a softball, several inches in diameter was growing in the area of my right kidney. He was silent for several seconds and then spoke to me, explaining how that almost all masses in the kidney were malignant, and that it would have to be surgically removed.
I clearly remember asking him, "If this was it?" I remember feeling speechless, helpless and all the thoughts were immediately directed to my 3 beautiful children. All I could think about was how I would miss them and how they would not have me to depend on until they were adults and able to care for their own needs. Nothing else had any importance except my children at that moment, which seemed to last for hours.
After deciding on a course for treatment, I ended up at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. The Doctors were helpful, informative and the plans to remove my right kidney were finalized. I returned home to conduct my personal affairs not knowing what information the doctors would give me post-surgery, and how my life would be affected forever by that news. I immediately began to make sure all my relationships were intact, as far as it was in my power to do, my financial affairs were in order and just in case, some pre-arranged funeral plans were made. I was planning for the worst but hopeful for the best!
I remember thinking that this would be a battle waged primarily in my mind, and that I would need to surround myself with positive people, thoughts and messages. I began to look up verses in the Bible on healing and deliverance from enemies. I remember being directed to Psalm 23, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.." I was stopped there. It was a valley indeed, but it was a shadow, not an actual enemy. God spoke to me at that point that He would be greater in me, He would be my Protector, and He would walk with me through this extremely difficult time. I began to think about the shadow concept. Shadows always make objects appear larger than what they really are, they have no power to stop you, only intimidate and scare you. Shadows can be effortlessly walked through, and have no power except for the thoughts you give to them.
I clung to verses that reminded me, "He would keep me in perfect peace if I would keep my mind on Him."" He would be my Strength, Helper, Healer, and Redeemer through this trying time." With David, I declared, "I shall live and not die to declare the works of the Lord." I refused in my heart, and resolved in my mind to not "give up." and not quit in this fight for my life. I called nationally prominent prayer ministries, enlisting their help and prayer in this war that had been waged against my health.
I had mentioned anger, stress and fatigue earlier as contributing factors to my cancer; I believe these were major players that had "ganged up" to attack my body. My advice to you is: Do all you can to relieve stress, exercise, eat right, forgive and forget trespasses against you, release anger, pray, walk in love, and peace. Do all that you can to "pursue peace with all men and women." If you are tired, get some rest! I remember one of the first feelings I felt post-surgery, was a feeling of peace, and a fresh new sensation of being relieved from a gnawing, angry, bitterness, and that God had given me a second chance to move forward in the newness of life.
Physical attacks from terminal illness are real, and defeat-able. "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed." Emotions, negative thoughts, and self-pity can attack you as side effects of an all-out war on your life. Do not give them a place to thrive and grow. You may have to screen those you allow to speak into your life, limit exposure to people who are not full of faith, and belief that God will heal you and bring you through this difficult time. Watch carefully what and who you listen to. Almost 6 years later, in great health, I have made healthier choices for living. I try to eat better, work out and not dwell in or around stress, drama, anger, and chaos. Still, I remind myself of His Words that speak life! I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord.