“The next day, the urologist called me with news: You have an aggressive form of prostate cancer.”
My wife Rhonda and I learned about CHM after we lost our employer-provided insurance from Rhonda’s work. We spoke to other CHM members and prayed about our need for health cost support. It was soon obvious that God was leading us to CHM, and we joined that January.
Several months later, I went for my annual physical exam. My doctor noticed that my PSA levels had risen for the second straight year. My doctor told me to go to a urologist, where I had an ultrasound and then a biopsy. The next day, the urologist called me with news: You have an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
The news was a shock. I hadn’t experienced any symptoms. Worse, Rhonda had just come through radiation and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. It was like starting the same nightmare all over again.
I had to undergo a high-risk surgery, but my surgeon was very concerned about my weight. Rhonda and I made changes to our diet and began walking. I’d lost 35 pounds by the time my surgery date arrived. The surgery, which was robotic, was very successful. I spent one night in the hospital and went home the next day.
Throughout the procedure, we spoke to several CHM staff members about our medical bills and how we should proceed. Everyone we spoke to was kind. It was good to actually speak with someone about our situation and hear them say that they were praying for us. It was clear that they meant it. With CHM, God had us exactly where we needed to be.
It was awkward at first for my wife to ask for discounts, but with the helpful information provided by CHM, it has become a normal part of the procedure. Rhonda is the negotiator in our family. She doesn’t hesitate to ask about self-pay discounts. Many of our providers gave us some very good discounts—anywhere from 25 to 66 percent. Before discounts, my medical bills came to $73,000. After $34,000 in discounts, they totaled $37,000. CHM members shared it all. Praise the Lord.
God is always teaching us something. Our married life of 41 years has been spent in close fellowship with each other and with God. But when we began to physically walk together to lose weight, God was teaching us to enjoy each other and the time we had together.
I am a workaholic and am often guilty of putting work first. Most of us—or maybe maybe all of us—become complacent in our relationships. We assume that we’ll always be around for each other, but that’s not necessarily true. In Psalm 39:4, the Psalmist said, “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”
Through this experience, God was, and still is, teaching me to cherish my time with my wife, our two sons and their families.
I am currently cancer-free, proof of God’s healing hand in my life. All of my medical bills are also paid—a tribute to the generosity of my fellow CHM members. I was God’s child, in need of healing and help. CHM members stepped up for me. They’re the expression of Galatians 6:2 fulfilled.