Mum was healed of Stage 4 cancer. Two decades on, would daughter be too?
by Janice Tai // July 16, 2021, 4:58 pm
He is exalted: Since her cancer diagnosis, Jomay Wan no longer takes her walk with God for granted. Pictured here vacationing in Spain in a different season of life. All photos courtesy of Jomay Wan.
Her non-smoker mother was not yet 50 when diagnosed with lung cancer. Doctors said she had six months to live, and refused to treat her further as they saw no point in doing so.
She switched to another hospital and underwent chemotherapy. Her brother brought her to church, and she had a supernatural encounter of deliverance. That night, a man in a white robe visited her.
Shortly after, the cancer cleared. Doctors declared it a miracle.
Mum would live on for another 22 years without a relapse, and the whole family came to know Christ through her experience.
Fast forward to 2020, and Jomay Wan would find herself in a similar health crisis as Mum did: In her late-40s herself, she was told she had Stage 4 stomach cancer.
A slushing in her tummy
There were signs, beginning with bloatedness and pain in her stomach. Then, she began vomiting and noticed that there was a hardened lump in her stomach area.
The general practitioners she saw could not find anything amiss.
On the first day at a new job last September, however, Wan found herself in such unbearable pain that she had to be admitted to the A&E. Recalling that the attending doctor shook her body from left to right, she said: “Both of us realised that my stomach was unusually filled with fluids.”
“As Christians, there is no worst-case scenario; heaven is not a bad place.”
She was hospitalised. On the third morning, a big group of doctors gathered around her bed and one said: “Ma’am, we have bad news for you. We have found a tumour.” He asked if she would like her husband to be around before they discussed the matter further.
“Tell me,” she replied calmly. “It’s okay.”
“It’s quite serious,” came the grim rejoinder.
A flurry of biopsies and scans followed over the next several days before a group of doctors surrounded her bedside again.
There was a massive malignant tumour at the tail end of her stomach blocking the digestive flow into her intestines. Cancer cells had also spread to her distant lymph nodes.
“They told me that they would activate palliative care, even before I was given a chance to go through any treatment.”
Wan’s first emotion, unexpectedly, was not fear. It was thankfulness.
“My first immediate thought was: ‘Thank God, my parents are no longer around so that I don’t have to burden them with the news’. My second thought was: ‘Thank God, my kids are grown up so I don’t have to worry about them’.”
Was she not afraid of dying?
“As Christians, there is no worst-case scenario; heaven is not a bad place,” Wan said. “I was also aware of the many others around me in the hospital who were facing even more difficult situations. They are sick and yet their kids are still so young.”
It was her husband who took the news badly. Though he had been serving in his church’s inner healing and deliverance ministry for more than 10 years and seen many divine breakthroughs, his faith was shaken.
He took no pay leave to care for Wan. Even as both breadwinners were soon no longer working, God continued to provide consistently for them and their two daughters – one of whom was taking her A levels and the other, in university – through the leasing out of a retail space Wan owned.
Walking the talk
Meanwhile, she actively braced herself for the journey ahead of her, being familiar with the scourge of cancer in her family (her father, who was a smoker, also died of lung cancer). She knew what kind of doctor she wanted to treat her.
A prompting from God led Wan to go back to her mother’s oncologist.
Although she was not averse to undergoing chemotherapy, she wanted to be treated by a doctor who also believed in immunotherapy. It was not easy to find such an oncologist, until a prompting from God led her to go back to her mother’s oncologist.
“That didn’t make sense because he would be quite old by now and I heard he sold his clinic to a medical group,” Wan reasoned. “Still, I went to him.”
He knew of someone who was passionate about immunotherapy, and by the next week, he’d landed her an appointment with that oncologist.
Wan started her treatment on October 8, with each of her initial sessions comprising a half-hour immunotherapy drip, followed by a three-hour chemotherapy segment.
The physical toll proved tremendous. When the drug pump needed to be removed at the first session, Wan was too weak to walk on her own and had to be wheeled in for the procedure.
Subsequently, besides having diarrhoea and gastritis, Wan became so sensitive to smell and taste that she could not breathe after eating on two occasions. She also threw up excessively and had to be hospitalised.
Friends from heaven
Upon reflection, she realised God had been preparing her for the crisis even before it hit. Apart from guiding her to a suitable oncologist, He had also placed other medical experts in her family’s circle.
Wan’s husband, who’d been serving in Church of Our Saviour’s (COOS) Inner Healing and Deliverance Ministry, got to know a fellow volunteer better while working on two cases, during the second of which Wan was hospitalised.
This friend reached out to offer medical advice and support, and only then did the Wans find out he was a gastroenterologist.
“We are so thankful that we could just send images of the (medical) report to him via WhatsApp,” Wan said, “and he guided us through every step on what to expect and what to do. I thank God for sending him to us.”
“God didn’t let us walk the journey alone and we could see His hand guiding us in every step.”
Another friend pointed them to a juice nutrition programme by Eagles Wings, a medical ministry started by a doctor from Zimbabwe that seeks to help people heal from illnesses by applying scriptural truths alongside insights from medical science.
For close to a month, Wan consumed only 10 to 12 cups of organic vegetable juices made from a slow juicer daily.
Little did she know that prior to her diagnosis, God had been preparing her body through her practice of intermittent fasting to lose weight.
“I thank God for this fasting phase because it would have been impossible for my body to adjust abruptly to this stringent juicing diet.”
Her cell group also showed her how God manifests His love through His people. They cooked dinners for her family, delivered organic food and vegetables, and filled her home with Chinese New Year goodies when the festive season came around.
“There was one early morning when I woke up at 3am crying from the aftermath of the chemo treatment and I saw a WhatsApp message with a video made by them to cheer me up. It uplifted my spirit tremendously and I ended up laughing instead. God’s timing is perfect indeed!”
Her husband was blessed with dreams and visions during his periodic naps while sitting in the chair by her hospital bedside. In one of his dreams he saw her queuing to be prayed for by their Senior Pastor, but woke up before she got to her turn.
Immediately, he texted to ask their Senior Pastor to say a prayer for her via a text message. Instead, their Senior Pastor visited Wan that afternoon in her ward.
She said: “God didn’t let us walk the journey alone and we could see His hand guiding us in every step.”
Apart from medical treatment, Wan sought healing through three healing ministries – Eagles Wings, Healing Rooms Singapore, as well as inner healing and deliverance sessions by an elder from COOS.
Eagles Wings sent two ministers to speak and pray with Wan in person over four sessions, even though she was hospitalised and had tubes running all over her body.
“The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
The volunteers from Healing Rooms prayed for and with her online, once a week, over Zoom. One of them encouraged her with Nehemiah 8:10: “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
The elder from COOS also sought to tackle other aspects in her life that may have needed spiritual healing, such as from unforgiveness or unrepented sins, generational curses, ungodly soul ties and unclean spirits.
This was key, Wan testified, as saw peculiar similarities between her illness and her mum’s that could have resulted from an unhealthy spiritual inheritance.
“Both of us developed cancer in our late 40s. When my uncle brought her to church, she manifested when the pastor and the congregation prayed for her. I saw her spinning round and round on the floor, and she told me she saw rays of green lights.
“That night, she saw Jesus visiting her,” Wan recalled.
Unlike the severe side effects that Mum experienced after chemotherapy, though, Wan felt recharged, energised and filled with joy, for which she credits the various ministry sessions.
“God granted me unexplainable peace. I was joyful and upbeat in spirit most of the time. God also gave me very deep sleep throughout my healing journey. Such rest was something that I had never experienced before.”
Her Christian walk also was transformed. She was “a nominal Christian in the past, one who would only attend church regularly but seldom read His word or pray”.
“I did not feel like I needed His help as I was a planner and would rely on myself to have backup plans A, B, C or D in any situation.”
Since her diagnosis, Wan has claimed the promise of Psalm 118:17 daily, that “shall not die but live and proclaim the works of the Lord”.
Watching and waiting
Though she was not angry or bitter towards God about her illness, there were moments of disappointment. As her faith in God being her healer grew, so did her expectations of the rate of her healing.
Every month, a CA19-9 cancer marker blood test would be taken to assess her status. For a person without cancer, the acceptable reading would be 37 or below. Her reading at the point of diagnosis was 143. This plunged to 17 after she had gone through one session of medical treatment and six sessions of ministry.
After four cycles of chemotherapy, a CT scan showed that there was cancer still present in her body. “I had unrealistic expectations and expected the cancer to clear by then, so there was a bit of disappointment,” Wan said. “My mother’s cancer was cleared after eight cycles of treatment.”
Likewise after eight cycles of chemotherapy, Wan’s perseverance was rewarded. A PET scan in May this year showed no sign of cancer cells. Nonetheless, she was persuaded to continue with treatment as hers was an aggressive type of cancer.
“A little bit more is always good, but how much is enough?”
“I have a very prudent doctor who cautioned me that though we cannot see anything, it may still be there,” she explained. As she prayed about the matter, a timely phone call from friend whose father had a relapse brought the advice to listen to the doctor and continue with treatment
Wan took it as a sign from God and continued with her treatment. She has just finished her 15th of 24 cycles.
Going forward, she has no plans, except to do God’s will and plan for her life.
“My prayer now is: ‘Let Thy will be done and if my will is not aligned with the will that God has for me, please help me to change and align my will with Yours.’
“We often push ourselves so hard, whether it is about work or earning money. A little bit more is always good, but how much is enough?”
Her goal now is to “live today happier than yesterday”. She declared: “I am learning contentment.”
For instance, she finds much joy in spontaneous activities such as driving to East Coast at 6am in the morning to catch the sunrise with her family.
For those who are hoping and waiting for healing but have yet to experience it, Wan encourages them to rest in the assurance that God is in control.
“There are three aspects to healing – on the spiritual, body and soul levels. Regarding our body, we can do our part to take care of our health as best as we can. Regarding our soul, we repent and ask for His forgiveness for our sins.
“Regarding the spiritual realm of whether we get healed or not, we submit it to Him because everything is in God’s hands. We serve a merciful God. He is a God of restoration and a God of second chance.”