A Different Kind of Faith
I’m Alisa, I also go by Ali. I’m blessed to be here. For a year, I was going through migraines, and I went to a doctor. I got muscle relaxers and hydrocodone. Then I was diagnosed after, I’m still not sure if I passed out or if it was a seizure. I know I couldn’t walk very well. I called my dad and he came to get me and took me to Urgent Care. Urgent Care said, “We can’t help you. You need to go to the ER.”
At first I was diagnosed with two stage four inoperable brain tumors, and they thought it was Glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is about as bad as it gets. And it’s just, it was a whirlwind because first you’re sick, actually. You’re sick and then the doctor gives you the news, and now you’re in shock that you have three and a half months to live. I guess I just felt like my head was just spinning. Like, you don’t really know what to do. You’re just stuck in that moment going, How can this be?
I have lived a healthy life. I was never a drinker. I was never a drug user. It doesn’t run in my family. How do I have two brain tumors, stage four that are inoperable, that are going to kill me? I was like, why is this happening to me? This is so not fair. But when I was diagnosed and I heard three and a half months, it was rough. It was really rough and I was doubting my faith. I asked God for a sign. I was 94 pounds, and I felt like I was losing.
After I asked Him for a sign one evening, I got up the next morning, and I went to the grocery store. This elderly couple was loading their groceries. – At the time, I was going by Laverne, from the Laverne and Shirley show, because my hair was growing out dark and curly, like Laverne’s. – And this couple, I rolled down my window, and I asked if they needed help loading their groceries. And they were just like, “No, no, no, we’ve got it. We’ll hurry.” I was like, “No, take your time. I’m patient, I’ve learned to be patient.” When they were done, they walked over and said, “Can we give you something?”
They gave me this wooden block that said, “Jesus,” and I asked what their names were. Their names were Laverne and Shirley. I thought he was joking. I said, “Are you serious?” He goes, “Yeah, look on the back of the block.” So I look on the back of the block, and it says Laverne, and his wife’s name is Shirley. So not only did I get a sign, literally a sign, a block, but I got it from a man named Laverne and his wife named Shirley, and I’ve never met a male Laverne. I’ve never met a Laverne or a Shirley.
That block sits in my living room, on a stand. I see every day. I’ve told this to hundreds of people, probably at this point, to the point where my son, when he’s with me and I’m telling somebody, he goes, “Not this story again.” I’m like, you know what, you learn to be patient, this is my job right now. If I can save one more person from cancer, I feel like that is my job for the Man above. He kept me here to help people. I mean, He helped people. That’s all He did.
I do believe that the only reason I am sitting here is from God, because of Him. Nobody gets out of stage four, two brain tumors, stage four and inoperable. I think going through all this, being threatened with your life gives you a different perspective of what He does for you. Like I said, I have learned that the stronger your faith is, the less your stress is. It’s a different faith. You have to believe that His plan is better than any other plan you’re going to make for yourself, and that He holds the blueprint.
Challenges are tests of faith. You are getting tested. You have strong faith, He is trying to build your faith in Him. He’s trying to make you stronger, because He knows there’s another, you know, hurdle to jump ahead. Life’s not strawberries and bluebonnets every day. So wake up, there’s a challenge. Can’t be any bigger than the cancer.
They say God doesn’t give you more than what you can handle and I don’t agree with that. I feel like God gives you more than what you can handle to make you stronger for your future challenges. That’s the mentality I was raised in from my dad and it really serves me well because I’ve missed out on so many things. I’m like, I missed out on those for a reason. There was something better. I thought that was awesome, but God didn’t think that was awesome for me. He has something else. You know, I’m not in control. He is and we forget that just as humans. But when you don’t get what you want, you kind of almost have to say, “Thank You. I know You have something better for me.”
Yeah, just through all of this I’ve learned that faith is over everything. If you don’t have faith, it’s going to be a rough life. It’s going to be really rough. I have prayed for stuff and it happens, like, like that. (Snaps.) Like this is crazy. I needed to pay, I can’t remember if it was a month of insurance, but I think it was a month of insurance and a neighbor I barely knew had a dream about me, walked over $400. For somebody like that to do something from a dream…Who hands anybody $400? I needed 300 and 80 something dollars. She said her dream told her to give me $400 and she said when she has dreams like that she knows that it’s her job to implement whatever that dream was about.
I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. This was after I had to get the MRIs done. First, I had to do them every month. Then I had to do them every two months, then every three months, and now I’m at every four months. I was at the point where I was ready for another MRI and I didn’t have the money. She gave me $400.
Every day brings its own challenges for everybody. I mean, some people can’t even get out of bed. And I think, Man, I’m blessed to be able to get out of bed. There was one point in time where I could not get out of bed. I’m blessed to be able to still drive a car. Thanks to my neurosurgeon I am not paralyzed on the left side. It was a very dangerous biopsy. You know, I’m blessed to still have hair. I’m blessed to be able to walk.
I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I tell you my story, but it is why I am the way I am. I am this way, because I went through all that. It molds you into who you are. Every single thing you go through in life molds you to be the person that you are and had you missed just one of those things, you wouldn’t be the same person.
So the tumors are stage two. One’s on the mammary gland, one’s on my pituitary gland and they’re stable. To think that I was supposed to be gone in 2017. His plan for me was a lot bigger than what I had envisioned for myself.