Discovery, Battles, and Blessings
Mike Goupil's Story
You may notice as you are reading through these pages, that some of them contain beautiful Taylor guitars. Mike Goupil and I met through an online guitar forum*. We are both involved in Christian music and worship, and love to play acoustic guitars, and thus became acquainted.
One day recently, another forum member and friend of Mike's, requested prayer for him. After finding out about the seriousness of his illness, the needs of his family, the strength of his faith (which has blessed countless of us in this forum), and realizing the call of God upon his life, these webpages were created for him.
Mike has used his love for guitars and his musical talent to serve the Lord in worship ministry for several years in his church. He desires to continue serving the Lord in this and any other way that God calls him to. Although we live on opposite sides of the country, I pray that I will be granted the honor of worshiping with this dear brother someday.
June 28, 2003 - Health Update and Prayer Request from Mike
Thank you all so very much for your prayers....I can actually feel them. Words cannot express the peace that the Lord is giving me through the power of your precious intercession. Given the circumstances, it is truly a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Here is what I learned today in my visit with the surgeon. July 8th I have surgery scheduled. They will remove a section of my colon, and the neighboring lymph nodes, then reconnect the colon. I will not know how aggressive the cancer is until about one week after the surgery, pending the results of a pathology report. If the cancer has not spread into the lymph nodes, then I will recover and it's business as usual. However, if the cancer has made its way into the lymph nodes, then I will require chemotherapy. My recovery period from the surgery will be 5 to 7 weeks.
As the days ahead of me will be challenging, I would be grateful for your continued prayers. Please pray for the doctors' wisdom and careful hands, no cancer in the lymph nodes, a complete healing and most of all...that the Lord is glorified through this process. If He isn't, then this whole thing is a terrible waste.
As I'm telling my unbelieving family and friends when they talk to me in that doom and gloom tone. 'Sure I got the big C, but I got an even bigger JC'. We can all praise God for that...AMEN!!
In His strong and faithful love, Mike
July 4, 2003 - One and Only Journal Entry by Mike
In four days the Lord and I will begin a new journey. Together we are starting to battle colon cancer and further reveal His purposes in my life. I feel strong, I feel that He will keep me protected and when it is over, I will live to serve Him in a new and exciting way. I plan on spending my days while recovering seeking His face, His will, His direction, and clarity in the way that He would have me walk.
Prayer: Lord God, I want to glorify You, I want what You want for my life and pray Lord, that Your perfect will is revealed to me so that I may walk according to Your plan. Help to transition me and my family seamlessly into this new life that I feel you have set aside for us. Lord I want to live on this earth with the family that You have blessed me with and serve you with gladness, boldness and purpose. In Jesus name. Amen.
Jonathan Goupil (age 8)
July 18, 2003 - Health Update and Prayer Request from Mike
First of all, on behalf of our family, thank you so much for your prayerful support. I feel the prayers of the saints and ask God to bless you all for your intervention.
I met with the oncologist today for the first time and here is the outcome. My cancer is aggressive and chemotherapy is in fact the treatment plan. Because of the aggressive nature of the cancer, there are no guarantees that it will not reoccur in the future. In fact, there is a significant risk that it will. In which case we will need to deal with this again with an even higher degree of urgency. I also have other scans scheduled for August 4th. Please pray that they are negative. So I live with cancer and the uncertainties therein.
Some of you have already read this or I've mentioned it but here is where my 'heart is' overall. The Lord met with me Tuesday morning in very deep and tearful fellowship as I started my plan of seeking His will for the second half of my life. I started with a little worship and quickly ended up in tears of complete surrender to Him. He placed some very critical reminders that He is still in control, and no matter what happens it will be good. My flesh can take me to places that are unhealthy to go. As I look at statistics and other 'world' measurements, I can find myself drifting occasionally and getting scared. However, our prayerful fellowship Tuesday morning was so sweet that it quickly brings me back to resting in His arms and loving care.
The Lord gave Cheryl the following scripture:
(Mark 11:22-24) And Jesus answering said to them, Have faith in God. For I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say unto you, Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.
Additionally, just before I went in to visit the oncologist today, the Lord gave me the following scripture:
(Psalms 118:16-20) The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has chastened me sore; but he has not given me over unto death. Open to me the gates of righteousness, I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD; this gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
I feel like David going into battle with Goliath. I'm very grateful for your prayers. As you go through your day, I would love for you to simply pause here and there and say to Him, 'Consider your servant Mike, Lord. You know the desires of his heart. Align them with your will.'
With the love of Jesus, Mike and family
August 11, 2003 - Health Update from Mike
As always, we are blessed and grateful for your prayers. Today was another visit to the oncologist to review the results of the Cat scans from last week.
The scans indicated that there were 3 spots on my liver. Because they are small, they are not able to determine if it is more cancer. Therefore, I will need to go to the hospital next week and have biopsies performed. If they are not cancerous, I will go on the six months of chemo as originally scheduled and my condition will remain stage 3. If it has metastasized into my liver then my condition elevates into stage 4. That changes my treatment plan into a more complex battle with additional chemo drugs, side effects, and risks. If you are not familiar with cancer staging, there are only 4 stages.
We will be leaving Tuesday to have some family time alone for a couple of days or so...this may be our last opportunity for a while. Then we will be going to Niagara Falls for another few days to visit with our families. All I can say at this point is that your prayerful support means everything to us....we love you all.
(John 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
In His precious love, Mike and family
Steven Goupil (age 11)
August 22, 2003 – Health Update from Mike
I spoke with my oncologist early this evening and the results of the PET scan on my liver were negative...praise the Lord. This means that my cancer is not considered stage 4 and remains at stage 3. In laymen's terms, it is still 'aggressive' but not considered 'advanced'. Although stage 3 is not a 'walk in the park' and the treatment has no guarantees, we praise God for His mercies.
At the risk of sounding philosophical, I see through very different eyes these days. Being face to face with my own mortality, I've come to realize that the only things that matter in this world are your relationship with family, loving others, and ALL IMPORTANTLY...knowing Jesus Christ. All else is truly vain, meaningless, and of no real eternal value...wood, hay, and straw. It is a shame that we worry so much about the 'small stuff'. The reality is that just about everything in this life is small stuff. Funny that it took cancer for me to realize it…or is it? The Lord sure has His ways, doesn’t He?
I start chemotherapy on Monday. May we please have your continued prayers as we go down this road for the next 6 months? Please pray that I respond well to the therapy and that the Lord comforts and meets with us often, as we lean on Him through it all.
Our family thanks God often for you and your prayerful support. May He bless you often and abundantly with His enormous love.
In His strong and faithful love, Mike and family
Sept. 8, 2003 – Grateful to the Prayer Warriors from Mike
(James 5:16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. SO TRUE.....
Yesterday the Lord lead me to Psalm 54:4...it reads, Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life. As I read it, I was washed with a strong spirit of gratitude for those who are 'upholding' us in prayer. As I've said before, the prayers of the Saints in Christ are giving us a miraculous strength. I pray that you are blessed and encouraged by this verse. The Lord wanted me to share it and make you aware that your prayers are giving us comfort, peace and encouragement as we continue to fight the good fight.
Nov. 6, 2003 - Portion of an Email to Webmaster from Mike
God is so faithful and awesome. He is meeting with us all the time in very loving and miraculous ways. I just wish some folks would humble themselves enough to at least give Him a chance. As you know, He loves us so much...beyond human comprehension. For instance, I now truly know what the fellowship of His suffering means. There are times when I am doubled over in cold sweats and abdominal cramps from the chemo. It is so bad that I can't even pray. BUT, and this is huge, I say 'Jesus pray for me'. True to His Word, the Holy Spirit intercedes for me and I am washed with a Spirit of peace. The pain is still there but Jesus is too and He is comforting me amidst the pain. I can relate to Paul's experiences much more now. I see life through very different eyes and He is doing something awesome. As strange as it sounds, I can't lose. However, I do grieve for my family if the Lord takes me home. My wife and 4 boys are my life but I have to remind myself that He loves them even more than I and He will provide and care for them.
The Lord is working out something awesome in me and I pray that He will reveal His will for the second half of my life soon. These past 3 1/2 years have been full of trials and I believe the Lord is refining me to serve Him in some way. For instance, in one year I lost six loved ones, four family and two dear friends, including my father being burned to death in a house fire. My oldest son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. After two decades of career stability, I was laid off 3 times in 4 years. Financial security is now gone. Now cancer. With all that happening, I don't think the Lord is going to take me home yet, but rather use these experiences to serve Him. My prayer is 'save me to serve You Lord'. The prayers are truly miraculous and He is giving us strength and peace through this trial.
Nov. 12, 2003 - Hospitalization Notice and Prayer Request from Cheryl
For those of you who don't know already, Mike was admitted to Highland Hospital on Sunday evening. We saw both the surgeon and the oncologist Monday night. Mike does have an infection in his lower bowel. It can be a side effect of intensive chemotherapy and can occur when the white count drops. He has these very painful spasms and is nauseous. He is on morphine, IV fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medication. He will probably be in the hospital for 2-3 days or more depending on how quickly he responds to treatment. The doctor said it can get worse before it gets better. He will probably be off of chemotherapy for the next 2 weeks. Please pray that he heals quickly, for no further delays in his treatment and for peace. Also, the boys ALL have colds...please pray that we could all get and remain healthy. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.
God Bless, Cheryl
(Hosea 14:7) They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn and grow as the vine.
Jonathan and Matthew (age 3) Gregory Goupil (age 5) and Matthew
Nov. 16, 2003 - Hospitalization Update from Cheryl
Mike was discharged from the hospital this afternoon. He is doing much better. The official diagnosis was that toxicity from the chemotherapy caused colon inflammation. He will have a follow-up with his oncologist this week and probably resume chemotherapy the following week. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, the childcare, the meals, the laundry, and all the other things so many of you have done to help out during this time. One brave soul even cleaned all my bathrooms. With four boys that is a very scary undertaking!! Seriously, you all have been so wonderful I can't even begin to put it into words. I am on the verge of tears while I am typing this. We feel so unworthy of all the love and support that we are receiving. It would have been much more difficult to get through the last week without all of your help. We will continue to keep you all posted. God bless all of you.
With much love, Cheryl
(Philemon 1:4,7) I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Nov. 17, 2003 - Thank you note to Prayer Warriors from Mike
I know Cheryl has already thanked you on our behalf so please excuse me for the additional email. I am just stirring with emotions this morning and feel compelled to thank you personally. It is Monday morning and I returned home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. It was a very difficult and strange 7 days that I now realize the Lord needed me to experience. The first 5 days I barely remember as I was being given morphine doses every two hours...among other drugs. Thanks to those who visited, I remember your visits, but only fragments of our conversations. Cheryl said that I perked up and was coherent for visitation yet lapsed immediately, sometimes into hallucinations, when the guests left...it was the Lord who sustained me for the fellowship.
I haven't made much sense of it yet and have mixed emotions, from unexplained joy and gratitude, to sorrow from it all. The bottomline is that I know He wanted me there and I have drawn yet closer to Him from it...we can always get closer. So I take satisfaction in knowing that His will was accomplished in some way yet to be realized by me....
One exceptionally memorable experience was when two brothers greeted me as I was being wheeled back from x-ray. They were waiting at my room with guitar in hand and we had the most 'honest' and sincere worship. I was too weak to sing but my heart was worshiping loudly and He was indwelling me in the most loving way. That is one of the most memorable worship experiences of my life. It reached the true heart of worship...His heart. Which was evident by the way He indwelled ours. I don't know why, but it has changed me. I am in tears this very moment....I can't explain the change, but the Lord has done something.
So what am I telling you? I don't know for sure. Perhaps that it doesn't take a congregation to worship in Spirit and Truth. Perhaps I am just confused and know that He is working, yet don't understand the change yet. Perhaps I just want to say that His love is deeper than you can ever realize because I personally have just reached another depth. Who knows...well only He knows for the moment, but I love you all for your prayerful and physical support.
Thank you all so very much. Your intercession is absolutely vital in this battle and I ask our Savior to bless you in return.
In His faithful love, Mike
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