Through breast cancer and melanoma treatments, Cancer Companion Ruth Ayers is amazing doctors and loved ones alike. No question God has used her cancer journey to touch others through His grace and peace that is so evident in Ruth’s life. Check out Ruth with her daughters and granddaughters on a Cancer Companions team at a 5k walk last month. Go RUTH! (She’s the one in pink!)
In July of 2006, divorced, moving and buying a house close to my daughter and grandkids north of Atlanta, I thought life was good.
One month later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My world fell apart. I was scared, felt all alone even with family around. I cried and prayed for God’s healing hands. They caught the breast cancer early enough that I only had to have a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation.
In August of 2007 I found a small dark spot on my right upper arm. I had been seeing a dermatologist every 6 months since I had lived in Florida for 20 years and spent a lot of time in the sun. The spot turned out to be stage II Melanoma and I had to have surgery. They took a 2” x 6” chunk of muscle, tissue and skin out of my upper arm and it took me a whole year to get the full use of my arm back. Again, I trusted God, knowing He was in control.
So, in 2009 I sold my house, moved to Raleigh, NC (again following that daughter and grandkids), and joined a wonderful church. Life was good. In the fall of 2011 I started having stomach problems. After several tests, in January of 2012 I was diagnosed with stage IV Metastatic Melanoma and had a tumor the size of an orange that had grown through my small intestines and into my abdominal cavity. I also had small tumors in 6 lymph nodes in other parts of my body. I would have surgery and chemo. The prognosis was not good. Panicking, I asked God to help me understand. And then something amazing happened. God gave me a peace about everything and I knew that I would be OK. He gave me so many signs that He was and is with me every step of the way. From hospital staff that told me they were angels sent to give me peace to scriptures and songs that just come to me and my children at weak moments to a fortune cookie that said “God will give you everything you want”. He is ever present and holds our hands through it all. All we have to do is ask.
They have tried two different kinds of chemo on me that both worked for a short time, but the tumors started growing again. I am currently waiting to see if they have found some other type of treatment for me to try, all the while with God’s amazing grace and peace. I am living every moment to the fullest. I still work, I care for my father, volunteer at church and I love all over my kids and grandkids on a regular basis. That’s a full life.
I have met so many amazing people though this and know this has not been about me. My journey has touched so many people around me. People who have never prayed, are doing so now. People who don’t go to church are doing so now. Broken relationships have healed…….it goes on and on. He amazes me on a daily basis. I am truly blessed.