A faith journey: Cathy’s story (religion)

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

By Chanel Bingham

In early 2010, Cathy Schultz had been experiencing a few health problems and decided to schedule a gynecological exam, along with a mammogram.

Her mammogram came back as questionable, and a second test was ordered. A spot was found, but she was told by the radiologist not to be concerned because he didn’t think there was anything to worry about. But just to be on the safe side, a biopsy was performed to rule out cancer. The next day, Cathy went back for her results.


Facing fears: Cathy Schultz battled breast cancer and kidney cancer. (Contributed photo)

When the radiologist came to deliver the results of the biopsy, he had a look of disbelief on his face as he shared with her that she had breast cancer.

“He was so shocked that he even personally called the lab to make sure they had tested the correct specimen,” Schultz said.

While many would be gripped by fear at such a diagnosis, Schultz said that fear lost its grip as soon as she heard the word cancer.

“Having walked in fear my whole life, all my fear went out the window. I wasn’t worried, and I wasn’t scared. The fear was gone, and my eyes were fixed on Jesus,” Schultz said.

Schultz was directed to a surgeon who determined she would need a mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

Throughout her journey through breast cancer, Schultz said she kept her eyes on Jesus and could see God’s loving kindness all around her.

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was working as a children’s pastor at my church. After my surgery, I woke up to find myself being wheeled into the children’s wing of the hospital because all of the other floors were full. Being a children’s pastor was one of the greatest privileges and joys of my life, and it was so beautiful to see all of the children’s designs on the walls as I recovered from surgery,” Schultz said. “God cares about the details of our lives. Being on the children’s wing was a gift from God of His affirmation and love, and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.”



Schultz said she knew early on that God would heal her in the name and blood of Jesus, but she was going to have to walk through this journey. She completed her chemotherapy treatment and was healed from cancer nearly one year after her initial diagnosis. She continued her follow-up appointments for five years and in September of 2015, her doctor officially released her.

Just a few short months later, Schultz hurt her back while working in the yard. After several visits to a physical therapist with no relief, she made an appointment with her orthopedist.

Her doctor ordered an MRI that revealed a herniated disc, along with a large mass on her right kidney. She was immediately sent to a urologist who ordered a CAT scan. The results confirmed the large mass, which was taking up more than half of her kidney and was pressing toward the artery that led to her heart.

It was decided that she needed to have her right kidney removed, and on November 17, 2015, Schultz underwent surgery.

After testing of the removed kidney, the mass was determined to be cancerous. Thankfully, after her surgery, all margins were clear and no further treatment was required apart from follow-up visits.

Looking back on her cancer journeys, Schultz gives all praise, glory and honor to God.

“I never questioned God with the breast cancer or with the kidney cancer. I just rested in Him. I know God is good all the time, and He pours out His loving kindness,” Schultz said.

Schultz has also been able to offer hope to others who are fighting a cancer battle.

“On my most recent follow-up visit, I overheard a man telling someone on the phone that he had just been diagnosed with colon cancer. I could hear him calling different people and my heart felt for him,” Schultz said. “I started praying for this man. After my scan, I walked back into an empty waiting room. The only person in the room was that man, so I went to him and told him that I couldn’t help but overhear that he had received a cancer diagnosis. He began to share with me that his mother, sister and several other family members had died of cancer and that he basically had an expectation of cancer in his own life.

“I had an opportunity to tell him that this diagnosis did not come as a surprise to God and that He loved him. I briefly shared some of my own story and asked if I could pray for him. He was very receptive, and as I extended my hand, he took hold of it and we prayed together.”

Schultz said that although she had only recently moved to Jemison in the past year, the community was supportive and kind as she faced her kidney cancer diagnosis.

“My husband and I had been visiting First Baptist Church of Jemison, and on my first visit to the ladies’ Sunday School class, I asked for prayer for my upcoming surgery. The women were all so kind to me,” Schultz said. “After my surgery, many of the ladies from church and also my Bible Study Fellowship class in Birmingham called, visited and sent flowers. One of the ladies brought a meal, along with a gift when I got home from the hospital.

“I also had many people praying for me, which meant so much. We all need prayer, and God wants us to pray about all things, big and small. It’s a joy to pray and see God move, and I was so thankful for their prayers.”

In being healed of cancer, Schultz said it was a reminder that God is not through with her yet.

“I know He has a plan for me, and I want to fulfill it. I had been struggling with my relationship in discerning the Lord’s direction and in disciplining myself to spend time with Him. My kidney cancer drew me closer to the Lord and listening for His leading. I’m at peace and hopeful for the future,” Schultz said. “This journey also helped me think about what the real priorities of life are: people. It’s not houses or things, but it’s people coming to know the Lord through salvation in Jesus and experiencing an intimate love relationship with Him where they know His presence, peace, love, joy and guidance. I want to be used by the Lord, wherever He gives the opportunity, because I know He is life.”

I, too, give thanks to God for His healing power in the life of Cathy Schultz, as this beautiful woman is my mother. I have seen her unwavering faith in the Lord throughout her battles with cancer as she served as the epitome of grace and hope.

And it is her unwavering faith that has been such an inspiration to our family and so many others. I am so grateful God has given us another day together, and I am more than blessed to call her Mom!

“…God is love.” 1 John 4:8

Chanel Bingham is a freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. She resides in Thorsby with her husband and four children. You can visit Chanel at www.thepolishedcanvas.com or on Facebook at “The Polished Canvas.” Her column publishes each week.