by: Mary Zapata
Our faith and trust were in the Lord as we made the decision to move from Dallas to Longview which is about a two-hour drive. On June 28, my husband had just received the okay for his transfer from the Garland Grainger location to the Longview Grainger branch. This was an answer to prayer. Just before the transfer the doctors of my husband, Rene, recommended him to be tested so as to qualify for a heart transplant. It was in July of 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just like anybody else, when you hear the word “cancer,” a lot of things run through your mind. So now, we were facing a heart transplant and cancer decisions.
The job transfer distanced us from our doctors who were in Dallas. This was an added burden to be required to drive two hours to Dallas and two hours back home to Longview. This required my husband to take days off to make our doctor appointments. It came to a point where he had used all of his days off and had gone twenty hours over using unpaid time. It was understood that he could no longer have time off, but God is good. His boss knew what we were going through and contacted his HR department and told them about our situation. They dismissed the twenty hours that were overdrawn and added twenty-seven hours of paid time to be used for doctor visits. This was quite a blessing!
We have also been blessed to be surrounded by a circle of prayer warriors beginning with my son, Jared and our daughter-in-law, Elyssa, missionaries in Mexico and the Philippines. Our pastor and Longview Baptist Temple church family have been our lighthouse. Longview Baptist Temple has been where we can call home with people who have shown love, concern, and much prayer for us during these times. We also have our immediate family and many lifelong friends who have joined us in prayer.
The Lord has been gracious with my husband’s condition as he is not in need of a heart transplant after his intense recent testing. His defibrillator/pacemaker and medication are sufficient to take care of his heart issues for the time being.
With the Lord’s help, I have been able to start my chemo treatments here in Longview instead of Dallas. I have seen the Lord’s grace during my cancer treatments. My Bible reading and quiet times with the Lord have been more precious to me than ever before.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
I Peter 4: 12-13
He has given me peace that passeth all understanding. Even through the losing of my hair, God has been gracious knowing the right timing and how it would affect me more than any doctor. He has given me the sources and friends who have helped me specifically through the loss of my hair. From being given a private time with a hair stylist to get my first and last hair cut to time fixing my wigs to match my original hair style, they made me feel like I could get through it all without being embarrassed to go to different places. After my wig was styled, I was even ready to show it off at church to family and friends. Now I just comb, style, and ready to go.
Please pray for me as I take it one day at a time during this journey with chemo treatments and radiation. While talking with my insurance company recently, they asked several times if I needed a support group. After sharing with them details of my journey, they stated how it sounded like I had a great support group. My answer to many questions that are asked of me is that without the Lord I could not make it through this.
Music has been another tool of encouragement whether during my Bible reading or throughout the day. It is a big help in forgetting about yourself and realizing that others have it worse than you. My mother fought whatever came her way whether from sickness to finances and would use the phrase “Lord willing”. This has stuck with me as “Lord willing” this shall all come to pass.
Keep on keeping on. The Lord does not give us more than we can handle. We must stay encouraged as Psalms 145:8 states, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion…”
Favorite Chorus: “He’s My Lord”
“He’s my Lord and there’s no other one
Who can calm the storms of life like my Lord
He’ll give grace to the weary
He’ll give life to the hopeless
There’s no doubt about it He’s my Lord.”
Since the writing of the article, Mrs. Zapata has been declared cancer free.