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Cancer Diagnosis Inspires Fight for Survival

In March 2012, 55-year-old Joe noticed abnormal swelling under his arm. He had a feeling it was a sign of something worse.  

“After showering I always look in the mirror, looking for ticks because we have a lot of ticks in the woods here.  And I always check my armpits.  And on one of them I noticed there was a large knot under my left arm. I looked at the other side and compared them and I thought, something isn’t right."

He visited his doctor for a biopsy and was diagnosed with cancer, Stage Four, Large B cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Doctors predicted joe had 6 to 12 months to live. Despite the serious report Joe was able to remain at peace.

“I think faith had everything to do with it. It wasn't but a few months prior to that, I was praying and I asked God to show me His glory and to glorify Himself through me anyway he desired. So I immediately had a little flashback to my prayer. And I just felt like that God would see me through it.”

He told his wife Candy, and she agreed to stand with him in faith and prayer.  “I thought, you know, ‘What am I going to do?’And it just seemed like, to me, that God spoke and said, You're going to trust me. And so, from then on I just had a peace.  I just felt like in my mind, whatever it is, there is nothing too hard for God.”

In passing days, Joe became violently ill and over several months his condition gradually worsened.  “I wound up having high fever, I sweated the bed down two or three times a night. I went into chills. I had a lot of bad days.”

Daily, Joe and Candy were encouraged by the prayers of family and friends—even strangers from all over the world.   

Being a preacher's kid, we knew everybody, 45 years of that, you know, there's foreign countries we've been to and just people from all over the United States.  And then from my church that I have attended 16 years, of course, they would tell other people and they would tell other people and before we knew it our story was going everywhere and people, were praying, we didn't even know.”

“And we began to thank God for the healing and we quit asking him to heal us, but we thanked him, because in the Word, the Bible says that we werehealed by his stripes.”

Over the next two years Joe was in and out of the hospital, his small intestines ruptured three times. 

“Well, it's a lot of mixed emotion whenever you're a very active person and you go in every single day and you work every day and all of a sudden for your life to just be put on hold. That was the hardest thing to deal with, the fact that all of a sudden that my whole life came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t have made it without my wife and my wife's faith and my wife's prayers.

After the third operation on his intestines in 2013 doctors didn’t think he would survive. They released him from the hospital and recommended that he undergo 6 to 8 chemotherapy treatments. By this time, he had lost nearly 80 pounds and was hardly recognizable to others...even himself.

“December 3rd of 2013, I was discharged from the hospital at 112 pounds.  I told my wife at that point, I said, ‘Honey, I believe I'm at the bottom.  I can't go no lower.’  Three weeks later I went to 103 pounds.  I couldn’t walk, I couldn't eat.”

As Joe began chemotherapy, Candy says she heard from God.

“It was like a 40-minute drive to the hospital and I drove it every single morning and I drove back home every single evening.  And one night I was very exhausted and I remember crawling in the bed and that-that was it, I was out.  And I remember waking up and I heard the voice of God and he spoke to me and said, I'm going to heal him at 2 ½ chemos.  And I thought – well, He said before three chemos.  And I thought, "Okay?! All right.  I mean, you're God, you can heal him instantly.  You know, you can do anything, you're God. But for whatever reason, I'm going to accept this."

After just 2 ½ chemotherapy sessions Joe called for treatment to stop and they continued to pray for complete healing.  Candy scheduled a PET scan. At a follow-up appointment in April 2014, they hoped for a breakthrough.

“And the doctor turned around and looked at me and he said, ‘Oh, by the way, the PET scan came back.’ And he said, ‘There's no more cancer in his body.’  And I pointed at him and I said, ‘I knew it!  I knew it, I knew it!  Because I know what God told me and I know what he spoke to me, that he was healed."

Over the next few months Joe’s appetite returned and he began to regain healthy weight. Joe’s medical records show no signs of cancer. He says there is only one way to explain it.

“The power of God is the only thing that raised me up because medical science gave up on me.  They sent me home to die.  They couldn't do anything else for me. But it was the power of God that raised, resurrected me and give me another chance.”  

At their home in Clarksville, TN a chalkboard still displays a message Candy wrote to keep their hopes up, when her husband’s health was at its worst.

“I took a piece of chalk, we wrote on the chalkboard, ‘We will survive.  God is faithful.’It's been there since, as a daily reminder of God is faithful. If we could just trust in Him, He is faithful.

After his experience, Joe says it’s moments like that, the small things in life that he appreciates the most.  He loves road trips with his wife Candy and quality time with their children and grandchildren. The couple enjoys speaking around the world, telling others about Joe’s miraculous healing.

“There's a big difference between truth and facts.  And I chose to stand upon truth, not the facts. You know, the facts are that I had cancer. The facts are they looked under a microscope and saw it and diagnosed it. But the truth is that Jesus is the truth.  And the truth says that I could be set free.  The truth says I can be healed. So, I stood upon the truth and ignored the facts.”

Contact Joe and Candy at  Loveisstronger60@gmail.com, and find them on Facebook

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