My name is Carla Linton, and I am a survivor of Stage II Colorectal cancer. I was diagnosed October 17, 2011. Fast forward five years later and I am still cancer free and believing in the miracle of healing that God has surely influenced.
My journey began back in 2011. I visited my OB-GYN doctor regarding occasional bleeding. I was given a topical ointment for a small cut, so we thought. In reality, I had a blood clot. After hearing of this news I knew something was not quite right, so I requested to get a referral for a colonoscopy. After my colonoscopy I was immediately sent to the hospital for a CT scan. The next day I got the call that I had colorectal cancer. I remember responding with a shocked look on my face by this news. The doctor reassured me that the cancer had not spread to any other organs at this point. The only thing I could think to do was call my husband Doug. I remember explaining, “BUT it has not spread to any other organs!,” as I said with a positive attitude on this terrifying news. We told our two teenage boys Cody and Kyle later that night.
My grandmother had colon cancer and it spread to her liver. She died at 54 years of age, I was only seven years old at the time. I knew my health history. Why didn’t I go get screened before? I go to all appointments! The size of my cancer showed I had cancer for about 5 years… Again, my thoughts were, “this could have been prevented! I should have been told I needed to be screened! Why? Why?!” I was 45 years old; a mother, a coach’s wife, a basketball scorekeeper, and a preschool teacher.
Our first step was to call a friend who works in the medical field, who would later suggest one of the best surgeons in the Twin Cities. I was told my cancer was called N1T2. I said, “That sounds like a Star Wars character!” I was explained that the cancer had not gone through the wall nor the lymph nodes. I needed to take chemotherapy and radiation. Another friend told us of the chemo pill, Xeloda. I wanted this option over having a port put in so I could still teach my classes. Our insurance allowed it and we were fully covered. I started treatment five days a week with pills and radiation for six weeks. After this I needed to wait eight weeks for it to shrink before surgery. My surgeon felt this was the best way to treat my cancer, in hopes it would shrink the tumor enough so there would be no issues with reattaching after surgery.
This is where my faith story begins. My co-workers Julie and Kristi each gave me gifts that would forever impact my faith. Julie gave me a “Believe” angel to take with me on my appointments. Kristi gave me a gift card and note that said, “Stay strong and remember God is always with you and he rewards those who believe!” A few days later I reached into my purse and found in the pocket a ring that says, “BELIEVE,” that I had bought in Texas a year earlier. That same day, I walk out of my classroom to see one of my student’s mom, Nicole. She was wearing a white hat with the word “BELIEVE!” I stopped to tell her I liked her hat and of the other three incidents that had come to my attention. Well, the next day Nicole came to me after school and said, “Carla I had a different hat on that morning that said “FAITH” and I decided to put the “BELIEVE” hat on instead.”
To me, all these events were not a coincidence but a sign that God was in control and all I could do was put my faith in him! After these stories were out I was receiving necklaces, bracelets, shirts, trinkets, and other items with the word “BELIEVE” from co-workers, families of my students, and friends. I continued to see the word “BELIEVE” and received prayers for healing!
I was told after surgery I would have to receive a colostomy. I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for a second opinion. I was given an 80% chance of re-attachment. During this process I lost 17 pounds while undergoing treatment. I didn’t have an appetite and I was tired in the evenings. I never missed a day of work. I was always volunteering as the scorekeeper, at my husband and sons basketball games, or having nights out with friends.
During this time of wait I prayed and asked God that if the surgeon saw the cancer that surgery was necessary. I also prayed for the cancer to be gone and for God to perform a miracle.
Eight weeks had passed since the last chemo and radiation treatment. I had the appointment with my surgeon. As he examined me I told him, “Take your time!” After careful inspection he saw nothing, the cancer was gone. He excused himself and came back in and told me the news. At that moment, with tears, I bowed my head into my hands and thanked God for healing me! My husband, Doug, took my hand and embraced me and then I hugged my surgeon!
As further confirmation of this miraculous healing, a month later my surgeon scheduled a biopsy of the scar tissue where the cancer site was. After being prepped and sedated my surgeon came out five minutes later and told Doug that there was no scar tissue to even biopsy! COMPLETE HEALING! I awoke with a smile and have been so thankful for this journey ever since.
Fast forward five years later and I am still cancer free. I am still believing in the miracle of healing, that God has surely influenced. As I continue ultrasounds, flex scopes, Pet CT scans, and colonoscopies I am reminded that I have been completely healed and want to share this hope and healing with others. Never give up on hope, as miracles are truly among us.Return To Faces Of Blue Learn More About Colon Cancer Get Your Rear In Gear- Twin Cities, MN