Giving Hope to People With Pancreatic Cancer
My name is Shannon Hodge and I started One Life Store for the purpose of giving hope when there seems to be none. On Jan. 6th, 2016 my best friend, my bride, the one whom my soul loves was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Her name is Angie and this is our story.
After spending our young adult lives living for ourselves and making the mistakes that go along with a life of rebellion, we surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in 2006, which also happens to be the year we met. We both had been saved years before, but our lives did not line up with how the Bible teaches us to live.
We met in Oct. 2006. We went on our first date Feb. 24th 2007 and we were married on Aug. 18th 2007. In the past ten years there have been many mountain tops and many valleys. The Lord does not promise a life free from pain and sorrow. But He does promise to be with you every step of the way. Hebrews 13:5b (NKJV) says... "For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." He also promises His grace in times of need. Hebrews 14:6 (NKJV) says; "let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need."
Some of those times of need were when my nine-year-old stepson Bailey was killed in a four wheeler accident three days after we were married. He was Angie's only child. When my father-in-law Jimmy had a heart attack on Angie's birthday and passed away twelve days later. That same year my younger brother Matthew passed away after a bout of pancreatitis led to liver failure. The following year Angie's only sibling, a younger brother Terry was killed in a car wreck.
That brings us to Angie's diagnosis in 2016. As you can imagine we were devastated and in shock! I remember the anger that was VERY REAL and almost overwhelming. I told our pastor that I did not feel like God loved us anymore. I tell everyone it was like being at the beach and you get caught in that place where you get knocked down by a wave and just as soon as you get up and catch a breath you get knocked back down again. Well, I was wrong about God loving us! I mean REALLY WRONG!!! I have learned more about God's love in the past 1 1/2 years, than in all the years I have been a Christian combined. I have also learned more about cancer than I ever cared to know. So to the best of my ability, I want to share with you what I have learned.
Thirty years ago cancer touched about one in thirty lives. That means if you were in a room of thirty people, only one would have had cancer or would have known someone who had cancer. Today that number is around one out of every two. Instead of getting better, we are getting worse, MUCH WORSE! One of the biggest reasons for this is what we eat and drink. Our bodies were not designed to handle the onslaught of chemical preservatives, additives, and artificial junk that is in our food and drinks. Not to mention all the foods that have been genetically modified.
What is even more disturbing, is doctors do not understand why certain cancers are happening more frequently in younger and younger people. For example, the first doctor we saw, told us that the type of cancer Angie had was typically seen in people in their seventies. Angie was forty-five when she was diagnosed. This doctor was genuinely puzzled by this. When I mentioned our diets his response was "maybe".But this is really a common-sense issue, is it not?
If you do not eat a balanced diet with the right carbs and fats, fruits, vegetables and proteins you are not giving your body what it needs to be healthy. Then add the refined sugars and any unhealthy habits such as alcohol and tobacco. On top of that add the drugs that people use OTC, prescription, or illegal and you have the recipe for all kinds of diseases, especially cancer. I guess common sense is not so common anymore. I asked the second doctor we spoke to about what type of diet she needed to be on, and if we could use natural cancer fighters along with her treatment. Her response was, probably some sort of high protein diet. As for the natural stuff, she told us not to because she didn't know what it would do to her, "it could kill her". So we went home and I started looking for other places to go.
That's when I came across Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA. The main thing that caught my attention is their whole body approach to treatment. They treat the mind, body, and spirit. Angie had her own naturopath and dietician. They also have some great chaplains on staff. Angie's team was great, but her naturopath was awesome and I am so thankful for her. I learned a lot from her. We had already started doing some of the natural supplements and we were changing our diets. We gave her a list of the supplements Angie was taking. She told us to keep doing what we were doing. I was continually researching, looking for anything that was a natural cancer fighter. When I would find something I would call her and she would tell me if and how Angie should take the supplement.
This is what you will find here at One Life Store, educational information, and quality supplements that we used during our battle.
Angie had been receiving chemo for about eight months before we saw a drop in her tumor markers. This is what we had been praying for and expecting. Her previous scans had shown progression and her markers continued to rise. But, this was an indication that all we were doing was starting to make a difference. It was WORKING!
In Nov. Angie went to have a pain block procedure, so she could quit taking narcotics for pain. The procedure was successful, and her pain was greatly diminished. She no longer needed to take narcotics for pain. But right after the procedure she got a bowel infection called C diff. She could not receive her scheduled treatment and on top of that, she had to take antibiotics for two weeks. She could not receive another treatment until this infection was gone. The antibiotics were so strong and made her so sick, that she was not able to eat much at all. She could only take a few of her supplements without getting sick on her stomach. She ended up going five weeks without treatment.
When Angie started treatments in Feb. she weighed 113 lbs. When she got the infection in Nov. she weighed 107 lbs. After two weeks of antibiotics, she lost 15 lbs. that she could not afford to lose. During that five week span, the cancer spread so rapidly that she was never able to recover. On Jan. 25th 2017, my Beautiful Bride went home to be with the Lord.
You may be asking how is this supposed to give me hope? Remember what the first two doctors said about diet and supplements. We changed our diet and she was taking her supplements and we started to see improvements. If you had seen Angie before she got the infection, the only way you would have known she had cancer, was if she was not wearing her wig. She had lost most of her hair due to the chemo. Also, up until she got the infection, her blood work was consistently good. There were a few occasions that her blood work was normal, except for her tumor marker counts. You may also remember I said I had learned more about God's love during this time, than in all my time of being a Christian.
There is a question people have been asking since the beginning of time. Why are we here? Well I have part of the answer and when it was revealed to me, it changed the way I see God today. The Bible says; "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," (Genesis 1:1 NKJV). People have been trying to disprove this for centuries but to no avail. All of the different theories are just that, someone's opinion about how it all began, but without sufficient evidence to prove. The Bible also says; "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them," (Genesis 1:27 NKJV). So what is the answer?
Are you ready for it? The answer is love. We are here because of love. We are here to love and be loved and to point people to that love. There is not a man, woman, or child that does not want to be loved or have someone to love. Since we are created in God's image, this desire comes from Him. This also means He has the same desire, not as an unmet need, but as a want. He wants to love you and be loved by you. When He revealed this truth to me, it opened my eyes to see Him in a new and glorious way!
I have never read in the Bible where God loves His angels, or that they love Him. The Bible says; "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard," (Psalm 19:1-3NKJV). All you have to do is look around. All of creation shows His power, His beauty, and yes His love.
Think about it, the God who created it all, wanted someone to share it with. That is why He created us. The Bible says; "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him," (Colossians 1:16 NKJV). Mankind is the masterpiece of God's creation, after all we are created in His image, and the Bible says; "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved," (John 3:16-17 NKJV).
That is where the hope lies! We all are going to die one day, if the Lord does not come back first and He IS coming back! That is just a fact! The Bible says; "And it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). But if we accept God's free gift of salvation through the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, we have the promise of seeing our loved ones, who have also placed their trust in Him, again. I am SO THANKFUL for that truth!!! Along with being with the One who shed His blood and died on a cross for me, I am going to be with Angie, Bailey, Matthew, Jimmy, Terry, and many others again.
Cancer is just one of many terrible diseases that can take your life or the life of someone you love. But there is help and hope that most doctors do not know or will not tell you about. I am not saying that if you do everything outlined here you or your loved one will be cured. Only God can and will determine that! But what I am saying is this, what is outlined here can help you in your fight. The most important question you must answer, is not which supplements do I take, or what diet plan should I follow? But what will I do with Jesus? The Lord Himself tells us; "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me," (John 14:6 NKJV). There is only one way to heaven, and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in (Hebrews 9:22 AMP)... "and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins."
This is the hope that you can have that will help you in all of life's battles, not just cancer. For there is no hope apart from Him. One life was given that all might live! And you only have one life!
If you would like to read more about our story, I have written a book titled "Finding Faith in a Closet". It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.