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The time had come to meet the man who would control my life for the next year or two. I lived in Johannesburg, where there were many well-known oncologists, but we had prayed that the Lord would take us to the right person; to the one who would give me God’s choice of treatment. Following advice from my friend who had once worked for Dr. Kurt Meiring, we made an appointment to see him.
He seemed a lovely man, who sincerely believed he could overcome my cancer with the Lord's help. There was no doubt about his Christian commitment.
He took a seat on the other side of a large, untidy desk and folded his arms. The slightly crumpled jacket of his suit hung open to show a conservative shirt, with a cheerful tie. His tiny consulting room, attached to his home in an upgrade suburb of Johannesburg, had no outside window. A light, warm breeze wafted in through the open door which led to the tiny examination cubicle. A narrow shaft of sunlight shone through a porthole in the roof, adding to the heat of the room. Behind me an assortment of medical and christian books spilled out of a too-small book-case. A friendly room, even if rather claustrophobic.
“I must warn you that I do not believe in fighting World War III with World War II weapons.” This was the first of two comments uttered during that initial appointment, which had a profound effect on my life. He continued, "When the cure makes you sick it is no longer a cure. The cure should not be worse than the disease. Then it will be time to stop.” Tha was the second comment. To my mind came the words, God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.**
Unknown to me at the time, there would be many times during the next year when I realised that God had different ideas to me, of how much I could bear. I would also often wonder how bad things had to be before Dr. Meiring considered it worse than the disease. However during that first visit, his confident manner reassured me and totally won over my husband. Here was a man who saw cancer as something to be fought and overcome. He was not offering me a death sentence.
He shared with us some of his family medical background; with so many cases of cancer that, he stated, matter of factly, “It’s not IF I get cancer—it’s when. The secret is in finding it before it finds me!”
What an unusual approach to a dreaded disease!
*Some names have been changed to protect identity
**1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV