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My name is Melanie Wilson Knause. I was born on May 24, 1963, in Alexander City, Alabama. I grew up in Camp Hill, Alabama, where my daddy was mayor and moved to Opelika when I was in 7th grade. I attended Lee Academy in Auburn and graduated from Auburn University in 1984. I met my husband in Cary Hall on this lovely Auburn campus and we could not leave the loveliest village on the plains. My husband, Chuck, is an ICU nurse at EAMC and I work for an engineering firm a couple of miles off campus that I actually did my student internship while at Auburn. I have two teenagers, Andy (18) and Ashley (16) who attend Lee-Scott Academy here in Auburn and who hope to both be freshman at AU very soon. I have been a member of Lakeview Baptist Church for over 20 years.
In April of 2008 I was diagnosed with at least Stage 3 cancer. I thanked God for giving me my precious husband who is a nurse to take care of me. After being diagnosed, I would walk the floors all night and have major anxiety attacks. I had never had those before. I would be short of breath and feel like I was having a heart attack. I absolutely could not sleep. I had chemotherapy first to hopefully shrink the grapefruit-sized tumor so it could be removed surgically. I had a test to make sure my heart could withstand chemo as well as other scans to see if the cancer had spread. The worst part of the entire journey was the waiting for the test results and not knowing what would happen. God got me through it, but it was absolutely the most difficult days of my life. Chuck had to take off work to stay with me at night. I was fine during the day when we were busy at the hospital and around the children (who were 12 and 14 at the time), but at night I would break down. One night Chuck and I were praying and I started crying. Chuck asked me what I was afraid of. Was I afraid of dying? I was not because I knew that if I died I would be in heaven. Was I afraid of leaving him and the children? Yes of course I was. I didn’t know how they would do without me. Chuck asked me, “Melanie, don’t you think that same Jesus that takes care of people in heaven, will be taking care of us?” Well, if you put it that way. The next morning, I teared up when I was getting the children ready to go to school. Chuck hugged me and told me to quit dying and start living.
Family, friends, and my church (Lakeview) really stepped up to the plate to take care of me and my family. Immediately after everyone knew of my breast cancer diagnosis I received cards, phone calls, emails, food, baskets of goodies, gift cards, and several offers for help in anyway possible. One of the Sunday Schools adopted our family. They would bring boxes of frozen casseroles to our home. One night a family I did not even know brought over soup and all the fixings. They had visited a Sunday School class at Lakeview and heard about me. These wonderful people had never even met me and they were ministering to my family. That is what it is all about folks. People I did not even know did things for me. Not just church members either; people in the community as well. A wonderful friend set up a carepage website for me to share my journey with others. God answered so many prayers. Our church has prayer meetings on Wednesday nights. Since chemo was on Monday by Wednesday I was feeling pretty rough. Lakeview prayer warriors would pray for me at 6:30 pm and I could truly “feel” the prayers. I would feel better. Lakeview demonstrated Jesus’ love to our family and I truly thank God for that. At this point I had no hair, no eyebrows, and no eyelashes. I was very tired and had absolutely no energy. I began to wonder if I would ever get to the top of the mountain. I thanked God again for my desk job as physical labor would be out of the question. I know from scripture that God would supply all my needs.
During my treatments I realized God was in control and it was my heart’s desire that my cancer journey would lead others to Jesus and for His name to be glorified. The EAMC Cancer Center became my ministry. I would share the love of Jesus to anyone who would listen to me. Talk about a captive audience. Someone facing cancer will listen to you about hope, grace, mercy and a God who truly loves them and cares about their every need. After I was hooked up to chemo I would go around the room visiting other patients. God wants us to rejoice and enjoy life. God showed me and my family so many miracles I could not help but share His goodness with everyone.
Two weeks after my first chemo, my hair began to fall out. Chuck did not mind me losing my hair. I, on the other hand, had a different opinion. I LOVED my hair! I could not imagine myself being a bald-headed woman, but I actually looked just like my bald-headed daddy! I never knew who, but someone paid for my wig in full! What a blessing! Another answered prayer. Our family did not have any extra expense incurred due to cancer. Neither Chuck nor I lost any wages. We had great insurance that paid 100 percent for cancer.
After three chemos, Chuck and I could tell that my tumor was definitely smaller. The surgeon confirmed it. Nurses and doctors are wonderful, but our God is the ultimate healer.
At my follow-up visit, the surgeon told me I had a good pathology report. God had cured me using chemotherapy. My best friend told me chemo killed the cancer and God cured it. I got a ten week old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy and named him Kemo allowing me to share the love of Jesus with anyone who asks his name. Because God saved my life using chemotherapy, his name is Kemo. Nothing is bigger than God. He is still very much in the miracle business. I was happy to be here on earth praising Jesus, and I began to pray that I would do what Jesus wanted me to do rather than what I wanted to do.
Because of cancer I came into contact with so many people I could minister to. I would meet people in the most unlikely places. Because I was bald-headed and had no eyebrows or eyelashes, people would approach me and ask me about my cancer. Cancer gave me an open door to witness to others about our wonderful Lord Jesus.
I finished radiation mid November. My cancer journey was complete. Chemo, surgery, and radiation. God was with me through it all and I want to encourage you to use your life experiences to share Jesus’ love at EVERY opportunity. Thank you for allowing me to share God’s love, mercy and powerful healing in my life.
Last Updated: October 9, 2012