To begin with, we have no history of cancer in our family; and my sister has never smoked a day in her life. This is what has us all so puzzled. The good news is that she has now been through an entire series of tests; and the cancer itself appears to be nowhere else in her body. By the grace of God, it has clearly been caught early!
The doctors have also found no appreciable mass in her lungs. But she did have fluid in her chest cavity, which had originated from her lung. (The discomfort she had as a result of this is what made the doctors so suspicious.) This fluid contained active cancer cells. The technical diagnosis is non-aggressive "Adenocarcinoma non-small cell" cancer.
Moreover, it is categorized as Stage 4 by definition, as it had technically left one organ (the lung) in order to begin migrating to other places. Thankfully, though, it had not yet metastasized to any other organ. Nonetheless, 5 or 6 lymph nodes had become infected with these active cancer cells in the process.
As we understand it, the plan at this point is to undertake genomic testing to isolate the particular gene causing the cancer within the cells. This gene will then be treated with targeted therapy designed to shut down its faulty behavior, theoretically stopping the cancer cells in their tracks.
This whole ordeal began with an attack of appendicitis that my sister had right after Christmas. And yet, the official medical opinion is that the appendicitis itself was entirely unrelated and therefore only coincidental to the discovery of cancer in her lung. But we will always believe that this was God's way of allowing the cancer to be found early, as it would likely have not been detected otherwise.
(According to the medical professionals, the lungs have no nerves; therefore, cancer can often grow there with no one knowing anything about it until it is too late to treat it. For this reason, lung cancer is often called "the silent killer".)
Thank you for your prayers during this time. We are simply choosing to trust in God and believe that He now has, He always has had, and He always will have us in His hands. And as the apostle Paul states in his Second New Testament Letter to Timothy (1:12, KJV):
“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day!”
On behalf of my sister and my entire family, let me say thank you again for your continued prayer and concern.