Interpreting the Language of Cancer – Episode 262

Interpreting the Language of Cancer

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Featuring: Melinda Woods

Published: May 15, 2021

Understanding the “jargon” of cancer and what it all means.

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Show Notes:

Melinda Woods is an elementary school Spanish teacher who is receiving medical care for a rare form of sarcoma at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) Philadelphia. Diagnosed in late 2019, Melinda takes time with host Rev. Percy McCray to share how she received the word of her diagnosis on her mother’s birthday and just 90 days after managing post-surgery complications due to another health condition.

“I took a deep breath, and I took down the information,” she says, describing how the doctors broke the news to her. “They were really being gentle and cautious, as I was so actively trying to figure out what was told to me. I was trying to write down everything I could so that I could go back and Google it.”

Melinda says she drew inspiration from a sibling’s positive cancer experience and has been encouraged to believe in a positive outcome for herself. Also giving her hope is believing “He’s (God) got the whole world in His hands and He’s not tired. He’s not asleep. He’s strong and mighty. So, I can rest in Him.”


  • “I realized I must go to the doctor right away, and I did.”
  • “It wasn’t that there wasn’t fear, but I was so actively trying to figure out what was told to me.”
  • “Being told I had cancer was like the opposite of someone telling me that I won the Publisher’s Clearing House.”
  • “The intentionality and knowing I can choose to have joy. I’m waking up in the hospital on Thanksgiving morning. I can choose to have joy.”

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