Facing Death: A Spiritual Journey - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Hrapsky

Facing Death: A Spiritual Journey


ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-DT) -- The Med City is a place that becomes the last hope for some patients around the world, and while doctors tend to medical needs, we ask who's helping their spiritual needs?

Serious illness is more than pressure on your body; it's pressure on your soul.

When you look death in the face, life is never the same.

Parts of this story are pretty rough, but if you're looking, it's a story that might help you find some answers.

Laying in bed, facing the camera with a bald head, cancer patient Cindy Finch says, "I don't think I can do anymore of anything. My face is puffy and ugly. My eyes are bulging out. I got hair on my face. I can't see my regular shape of who I used to be. I just want to find the girl I used to be and I want her back. I'm finding it hard just to suffer."

To suffer, especially in a place like Rochester, Minnesota where miracles do happen.

Cindy Finch, who was dying of cancer with a tumor in her chest the size of a brick, is now healthy, happy, and alive.

Today, Cindy travels around the country sharing her story of survival to cancer patients, helping them confront the questions about death and grief, because she is an expert on both.

Cindy says, "I had a kindergartner, a four year old, and a new born, and I had four weeks to live."

In four weeks, through what seemed to be certain death, Cindy was forced to escape "the now," and accept "the future."

Asking everyday: What comes next?

Cindy says, "As I went through the sewer of cancer treatments, and that's the only way I can explain it, God got in the sewer with me, and he walked me all the way through."

Through cancer treatments so potent that it burned her organs, causing her lungs to collapse, pushing her heart to failure.

Cindy says, "It's like the curtain is pulled back, and you get to glimpse through the door of eternity and ask, 'Is this what is going to be true of me.'"

She says she felt the hands of God in the surgeons, like a conductor to a symphony, removing the tumor, giving her new life.

It's been eight years since the cancer, and Cindy's mission is to help guide those thousands of patients who are at war with cancer.

She speaks to people like Linda Schauer, who still wipes down the counters of the Rochester Hope Lodge despite a serious brain tumor.

Linda says, "I know two things for certain: There is a God, and I'm not Him. It's going to be ok."

After her experience, Cindy still has spiritual questions today. She turns to Teresa Carlson, who's son complained of a soar leg one day in the third grade, turned out to be bone cancer.

Teresa says, "Is God going to take my son? If He's going to heel him, how will he heel him? That was the biggest difficulty for me at first."

After 22 hospital visits, and 17 blood transfusions, Teresa's son survived.

A licensed minister, Teresa conducts a support group for families of kids with cancer.

She's seen the power and the destruction of the spirit.

Teresa says, "If they go in it with no faith, they are solidified with lack of faith. If they go in it with little faith, it can go either way. They can just turn their back, or they can decide they need something greater than me. If they go in with great faith, I see them just get solid."

Cindy taped herself at the pinnacle of the cancer not knowing if she would survive or not.

Cindy's story helps comfort those facing death, but more than that, it shows them how to approach life.

Powered by Frankly