August 5, 2022

A Lump in My Neck, an Accident, and God’s Mercies

A young Romanian shares his testimony at Europe’s 2022 Adventist Youth Congress.

Filip Stan, for Adventist Review

The following testimony was shared as part of the morning devotional at Europe’s 2022 Adventist Youth Congress in Lahti, Finland, on August 4, 2022. The text keeps the oral elements of the author’s brief presentation.—Enno Müller, news editor, Adventist Review

In the Bible, Philippians 4:6, 7 reads, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (CSB).

My name is Filip Stan. I am 20 years old, and I come from Romania. I was asked to present this morning’s testimony, and I want to share with you a personal story.

Three years ago, while on a school field trip, I discovered a lump on my neck. I was hospitalized for almost a full month and had tests performed on me almost every day. My blood work and other tests came back well, and the doctors could not give me a diagnosis or find a cause for my lump. So, I was released from the hospital, as doctors told me I should be checked from time to time just in case.

A few weeks after my release, while crossing the road on a crosswalk on my way to church, I was hit by a car. I was taken to the hospital to make sure I hadn’t suffered any injury.

While at the hospital, doctors discovered some health issues they had missed before. This called for extra tests and shows of concern. Four months after the initial lump was discovered, together with my family I decided to have surgery and have the lump removed for further tests. 

The diagnosis was one that no one wants to hear. Non-Hodgkin malignant B-cell lymphoma, follicular, pediatric type. Basically, a rare type of cancer.

Personally, I was already thinking of the worst, so when the diagnosis came, I was not shocked. I knew that getting stressed and upset would not help me get better.

I decided to put my trust in God and let Him decide the outcome of my life. Knowing about the story of Hezekiah, I figured that asking for more time could be the wrong decision. With prayer and under the guidance of my family and the doctors, I decided to follow surgery with six months of immunotherapy.

Technically, I cannot say that I am cancer free today, as five years of negative tests are required to be pronounced as such. But I am thankful to God for every day and every opportunity.

You might ask, how has my life changed because of this?

I began to see things from a different viewpoint, to assess and prioritize the right things. To value time. I appreciate every moment and try to live life to its fullest potential for myself.

American educator and professor Randy Pausch said, “We don’t beat the Grim Reaper by living longer; we beat the Reaper by living well.”

I am now a second-year architecture student, I am involved in youth camps. More importantly, a few weeks ago I publicly declared through baptism that I love Jesus, and that I would love to see His smile when He comes again.