Cancer, of any kind in Papua New Guinea, isn’t a diagnosis anyone wants to receive. Bill and I do give chemotherapy to patients who have a cancer that may respond, but we don’t cure anyone with our efforts. Jim cuts out all that he can, but too often the presentation is late and has already spread by the time they get to us. There is one radiation machine for all of PNG and only one doctor who knows how to use it, but it is far away for our patients here and they often are so busy they don’t have room for more patients. So our options are quite limited.
A patient with advanced breast cancer came to see me recently due to increasing shortness of breath. I was expecting her to have fluid in her lungs from extension of her disease, but her chest xray showed me something different. Her lungs had been overtaken by cancer and all the round white things in her lungs were not an infection but the spread of her cancer. This was not a good sign at all.
I gave her what medicine I could and then we prayed asking God to give her a new body and new life in heaven with him. She, too, was looking forward to that time without sickness in heaven.