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June 8, 2012


Sometimes Good News Comes in a Phone Call

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

To make a long story relatively short (though on par with my Sunday morning announcements), I found out this morning that a growth in my esophagus was a benign growth. Eventually, it will have to be removed, but right now, I am just trying to pick myself up from the hole I dug myself in during the course of the past week.

On  the Friday before Memorial Day, I went through a round of cancer tests that determined I had “something” in my esophagus (or as I like to call it, the center of my chest.) This past Monday, additional testing was conducted that finally determined that the growth is benign, not malignant. The growth will eventually have to come out, though I informed my oncologist that I intend on taking a short break from spending time as a patient in the hospital.

I think my worries all started when my allergies were in high gear in April. Sinus pressure, hurting teeth, aching body — all of it caused me to think that may, just maybe, something was wrong. Even as the calendar turned to May, I remained achy. So when cancer tests came up at the end of last month, my worries were at an all time high. And when the results came back with the ominous, “Well, Anthony, we found something. We’re going to have to cut,” it didn’t ease my fears.

By the grace of God, His light and the comforting words of my oncologist lifted the dark clouds of fear. Right now, I am still a little “out of it.” Maybe I need sleep. Ha!

And speaking of sleep, the other night around 2am, my phone went off. Picking it up, it was someone who visited Saint Matthew’s two summers ago from Ohio. Over the course of this time, we’d emailed back and forth, focusing a lot on my cancer and how I battled it. But his phone call was a sad one – his mother had just died from cancer. We prayed over the phone and then we hung up.

Last night at around a quarter after 9 while I was sweeping the floor in the kitchen, the phone rang. It was my friend in Christ from Ohio. He said that he just wanted to thank me for praying with him earlier in the morning. “I needed to hear that Christ was there for me,” he said. Our conversation went on for about two minutes more before his wife called him away.

“Thank you for praying with me,” he said as he hung up.

Sometimes when fear overtakes us, we all need a little reminder that God sends angels into our lives to help us through.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Debbie & Lee Bigbee
    Jun 8 2012

    Remember your congregation is here for you if you need to vent. We are so happy that your tests came out fine!

  2. Debbie & Lee Bigbee
    Jun 8 2012

    Remember your congregation is here for you if you need to vent. We are so happy that your tests came out fine!


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