Needless to say, when the doctor led my wife and I into a secluded room, we knew it wasn’t good. Yet even the pre-warning didn’t prepare us for the news to come. I’m not sure if anything can. I remember my mind going blank, and after he broke the news, he asked if we had any questions. I didn’t even know what to think, let alone have questions. We asked for a minute alone, and when he left, we turned to each other and said, “Let’s pray”
I recall the overwhelming feeling of sadness and depression, even shedding a few tears.
I thought about our two younger sons aged 18 and 19. I wondered if I would live long enough to see them marry? I thought about our grandchildren, how much of their lives I would miss. I thought about my wife, my closest friend, and how would she cope? Then a funny/practical thought crossed my mind, “Well, at least she’ll come into some money!” (Praise God for life insurance)
I want to share some key points we learned in our nine-month battle against this wretched disease.
1. MERRY HEART
After receiving the shocking news that I had cancer, I recalled Proverbs 17:22 ‘A Merry Heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones’ My cancer was in the bones! The last thing I needed was a depressed outlook on my situation. So, I determined throughout this journey, to look on the bright side of all things and, to focus on activities I could look forward to! Our grandchildren’s birthdays became something to look forward to. Tania and I planned date nights; I really looked forward to those, and people coming to visit was always a welcome distraction. Of course, I couldn’t resist the temptation of keeping the nurses on their toes, that was fun!
My wife and I are a praying people, and so it was nothing new for us to be constantly praying. However, on this occasion there was an obvious intensity and fervency in our times of prayer together.
We also harnessed the tools of social media to communicate with thousands of people around the world who were praying from Rarotonga, throughout Europe, the USA, Asia, India, Australia, South Africa and of course, New Zealand. At times in our room we could sense the prayers of everyone around the world, holding us before God. It was an incredible sense of peace. He was, still is, and will always be, our Peace.
By the time I was entering my second course of chemotherapy, I began asking myself, “How now, shall I live?” “What do I eat?” “What kind of physical activity should I do / not do?” These questions caused me to do my own research on ‘life after chemo’. What I discovered shocked me. I was appalled by the ignorance of myself and those who should know better ie: the caterers in the hospital! My number one shock was, Processed Sugar (chocolates, biscuits, ice cream, lollies etc) FEEDS Cancer! Many friends and relatives bought me chocolates! In our ignorance they were killing me! But I was also shocked by all the sugar-processed food that we were served in hospital!
Natural sugars such as fruit is what my body craved, especially Nu. These types of sugars are good for you, it’s no wonder God said to Adam, “Of every tree in the garden you may eat!” In other words it was good for him! So if you have someone who’s fighting cancer, don’t give them chocolates, sweets, or soft drinks, your only killing them.
I also learnt that natural remedies (Maori Medicine) has a much higher success rate than cytotoxic medication (Chemotherapy).
4. IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
On October 15, 1988, at 2pm, I made this vow to my youthful wife, and she also, to a much younger version of me. Above all the principles we applied in our nine-month battle, this one truth stood above them all; my wife was my greatest weapon in our fight against cancer. No one prayed the way she prayed, she stood by my side in hospital just to wait on me. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me, especially when my body was riddled with pain. Small tasks, like trying to get water, was painful and required so much effort, yet she would wait and serve me water. The Bible says, “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing” Proverbs 18:22 I found mine in May 1985 – I then married her in October 1988. I give all glory to God (we both do) for my recovery, but I honour my wife, and closest friend, for fulfilling her vows from 29 years ago.
We arrived back in Rarotonga on October 22, 2017, to a very happy reception from our church.
We led the Avarua Gateway Church in Takuvaine, and on December 31, 2017, along with the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, we transitioned The Wave Church in Ngatangiia, to have their own pastor … it was a great celebration!
Seven weeks after our return, we opened up a shop in Nikao as part of our business. My three-monthly check-up in NZ was positive, my doctor is very happy, and my body’s back on track.
At the end of this year, our youngest son is bringing to Rarotonga a young lady who has captured his heart. God is Good. My wife and I experienced Christ and his body, the church, in a deep way through this experience.
For those of you who are facing this same battle, do not be afraid. He trained my hands for battle, in a difficult season, so that I could now comfort you with the same comfort we received from Him. (2Cor 1:3&4) I hope this article has brought you some comfort.
If you would like our prayer chain to pray for you, send a text to 81032 and we will pray, in confidence. If you need someone to talk to, I’ll be in Takuvaine on Sunday mornings,around 10:30am.
Pastor Paul Kauri
Assemblies of God Avarua