Jeremiah using the Lord’s strength to overcome cancer

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County resident Michael Jeremiah received news last year that anyone fears, but he is using his faith in God to overcome and fight. A born-again believer who was called into the ministry at 17 as a singer, Jeremiah is still using the Christian strength to help him stay positive, and help him through a fight against a disease that directly affected his most adored talent.

In October 2023, Jeremiah noticed a knot that appeared on the side of his throat. He went to the doctor and was immediately referred to an ear, nose and throat physician. The ENT doctor observed the baseball-size knot, and within a few hours, a biopsy was scheduled.

A few days later, the results came back and Jeremiah was diagnosed with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), commonly known as throat cancer, on the back of his tongue and in his lymph nodes.

“I consider myself a strong born-again believer, but when you hear something like that, it knocked me in the dirt,” Jeremiah said. “Without my wife around me who encouraged me … Everyday… Without the Lord and good people around, it can be tough. I am so thankful for the Lord, my wife and my church family.”

Jeremiah was told the cancer was on both sides of his throat, so surgery was not an option for him. Instead, he underwent an extensive treatment plan that consisted of six chemotherapy treatments and 35 radiation treatments, all within a two-month period. His treatment began on Dec. 12, 2023, and he was given a feeding tube as well before his treatment began due to his saliva glands being cut off. His last radiation treatment was during the last week of January.

“Everyone at the treatment center in Calera was just amazing. Throughout all of my treatment, I could not have had better people around me,” Jeremiah said.

Cancer patients who undergo radiation treatments have to wait 12 weeks until the radiation completely leaves the body, and then scans are conducted to see if the cancer was beaten. Jeremiah’s 12-week window ended on May 3, and he goes for his scan to see how he responded to the treatment in a few days.

“To know the Lord is your savior and put all of your faith in him, and pray you have good people around you. To have that type of help around me, that was just God. Put the Lord first and trust in him, that is the main thing,” Jeremiah said. “By the grace of God, my voice feels stronger now than when I got sick, and all of that glory goes to the Lord. I am looking forward to getting back singing, I feel good and I am looking forward to eating.”

Jeremiah, who has been singing in his church for nearly 40 years, is excited to get back to doing the thing that makes him most happy. He added that those fighting cancer can turn to Christ for strength in their time of need, and that he can get someone through anything.