A Glimpse Into My Cancer Journey

I am approaching my last chemo treatment in the next three weeks.  I wanted to take time to share  some moments from the past 6 months.  The following are glimpses into my “cancer journey journal”.  I chose one or two entries from each month. My prayer is that God uses these to bring, hope, peace and encouragement to you in your journey.

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December 29, 2014

I had my appointment with my team of doctors today.  I found out I have invasive ductile carcinoma.  My diagnosis is that the cancer is stage 3 (in breast tissue & lymph nodes), grade 3 (aggressive & fast growing), and triple negative (not hormone receptive).

This does NOT define me!

I have had good moments and hard moments in this journey so far. God has been with me every step of the way.  Plus the support of my family and friends.  Matt, Breanna and Alyssa are my greatest joy and treasures.

January 25, 2015

In the mid morning I started to struggle and focus on how my body felt and then focus on how I felt emotionally.  This became overwhelming and I didn’t see how I could make it 5 months.  Thank you Holy Spirit for coming  like a flood and turning my eyes on you.  You and You alone are my hope and strength.

January 28, 2015

The day is made of moments

And moments fill my days

These changing moments

These changing emotions

One constant remains

It is you oh Lord

Your presence

Your peace

February 1, 2015

Lord, I am amazed at how close you are to me.  There have been moments when I literally feel you holding me.  Your presence is my strength carrying me through each moment.  Just the mention of Your name & peace overwhelms me.  Even in my sleep last night as I would wake my mind would just think Jesus and your presence came flooding in. Peace overcame anxiety and I fell back asleep.  I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

February 2, 2015

I am trying to prepare myself for losing my hair.  there is now way to do this.  I cannot imagine myself without hair.  I am concerned I will look so ugly.  I am worried my head will be bumpy.  Really the list goes on.

God has been so close to me in each appointment, test, and procedure.  He will be with me when I lose my hair , along with my amazing family.  The scripture came to mind that he knows the number of the hairs on my head. (Matthew 10:30)  His care for me is of personal and precise. when my hair does fall out He is the only that knows the number.  WOW! I can face this with You oh Lord my rock.

March 19, 2015

Today is treatment day.  I gain a new med today and schedule.  Go every week for 12 weeks.  So thankful for God’s peace overwhelming me.

Everything went great! No allergic reactions and I feel good. I was fearful, anxious and dreading this day last week and especially a few weeks ago.  You oh Lord made it a great day!  Only YOU- You take my fears, anxiety worries and go before me throwing them out and hand me peace, joy calm, and healing.

March 29, 2015 (during hospital stay)

I have never been this sick before.  In the night when I was struggling so much physically I was worshipping in my heart.  The songs I listen to just ran through my heart and mind.  Matt also played worship music all night a few nights.  Declaring God’s truth.  My physical body was fighting and struggling but my Spirit was strong, praying and worshipping my God!

April 16, 2015

Praise God I was able to have chemo today.  TEN more to go! Thank you Lord being with me.  I feel good and I am thankful fryer strength and help Lord.

I love 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Amplified) Lord show yourself off in my weakness and infirmity.  Pitch the tent of You presence over me and dwell there!

May 7, 2015

Chemo day!

Today was emotional.  Dr. Perkins let us know after my exam that the tumor is not  responding to degree that it needs to.  He added another medication to my treatment.  This medication has been through clinical trial in treating triple negative breast cancer with good results.  Matt and I had seen this studies in our research, so it made the decision easier for us to agree with adding it.  Dr. Perkins is a great doctor and I trust his expertise.

I am trusting God that I will respond wonderfully. This tumor will disappear in Jesus name. I am very concerned and battling worry and fear. I have to actively come against those thoughts and focus on God.  He is my hope and His perfect love casts out fear!

May 14, 2015

This morning is hard emotionally.  Emotions of all of this just came at me.  It all just stinks!! I don’t have hair.  I am so ready to have hair.  It gets consuming dealing with the side effects.  I let myself cry more about it than I have before.  I realized I have to give myself more of these times to grieve what I am going through.

May 27, 2015

So many feelings and some just too hard to put into words. Thank you God I can pour out my heart to you.  You take my thoughts and feelings and make them obedient to Your Word.  You strengthen me in your grace to move on.  Moving Forward!

June 11, 2015

Dr. Perkins had to leave the office for an emergency, so I didn’t get to see him today.  One of my nurses, Katie, checked my records and according to what is there July 2nd is my last treatment.  I am so excited to reach this milestone.  Just THREE more to go!

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14 thoughts on “A Glimpse Into My Cancer Journey

  1. My dearest Marybeth,
    Your transparency is refreshing to me. Thank you for allowing me into your journey. Love,
    Lisette

    • Thank you Lisette VanWindt. That is my prayer as I share my journey. I just want God to some how use it for His glory and bring encouragement to others,

      Love,
      Marybeth

  2. Dear MaryBeth, as I read your journal, your precious words, thoughts and inner most feelings. I can’t help but take myself back thru my journey. I realized that with my Faith friends, chior friends, Pastor Carl, Pastor Matt, missionettes girls and all our prayer warriors I would not be here to tell my testimony as well. We are survivors and this horrible disease that does not discriminate Does Not define us. In December of 2001 I was diagnosed and I survived stage 4 cervical cancer, with a 15% survival statistics and 100% God healing.
    It was and has been a very tough road, but everyday I thank God for another day to see beautiful bounty he had provided. But everyday I was on that radradiation table I prayed to my sovereign God for the full 15 minutes I was there. On the way there, while there and after there. My chemo was awful, out of 3 aggressive treatments I received 2, the Drs said the 3rd one would kill me. Here I am 14 yrs later, stronger than ever. I too had a fear of losing all of my hair, of looking ugly, of people staring at me, but Our God is so gracious and merciful that it did not fall out completely. It thin a lot, but I have to thank my mother for as a child I was 5 yrs old and bald, and treatment after treat ment, oils, and stuff she put on me I had hair like a lions mane ( thanks mom).
    When I realized that you had cancer, and I prayed for you, to help you, give you courage, and continue your journey with Pastor Matt, your family and Faith family. Your are healed in Jesus name, and everyday when you wake, thank God and say I’m a survivor!!! Amen
    May you continue your journey with peace, strength and love.

    Loreen Soto

    • Thank you Loreen Soto for your encouragement to me and sharing part of your testimony and journey. Praise God for His healing touch in your body. I am praising Him for healing in my body. Hearing testimonies like yours increase my faith and bring such peace to my heart. It also gives me such a renewed fight in my spirit. I am an overcomer!

      Blessings,
      Marybeth

  3. Hello, You may not know me personally, but I was a member of Faith Asssembly in Orlando, Florida.
    When I heard about your cancer I was sad, now I find these beautiful words you post and they give me hope and peace, my mother is with me and she has 4th stage esophegial Cancer ( in the Stomage). In Hospice at home i get to see her slowly going down and it affects me more than I would have ever imagined. Today I read your post and I feel a cool breeze and peace flowing. I can’t imagine what it is to experience Cancer first hand but I pray everyday not to have to walk that path. Continue posting your words of hope because they do come from above. You are helping God leave a fingerprint in many lives….

    • Luz Martinez so sorry to hear about your mom. I will be praying for her. My prayer is that God uses my words and thoughts to minister to others no matter what situation they find themselves in. God is so good and faithful to us. He comes and meets us right where we are.

      Love and blessings,
      Marybeth

  4. When my daughter was 11 she had acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).her chances of survival was a generous 33 % . God healed her . After her 1st treatment no cells were to be found . We did however continue those treatments until they had to be stopped due to a fungal infection . I had called upon God and laid hands on her in her sleep when we found out about the cancer . All things are possible through him . Your faith is beautiful .

    • Ginger thank you for sharing your daughters testimony. It is one thing to go through this personally but to watch your child go through severe illness is a whole other level. Your words give me such hope and encouragement.

      Blessings,
      Marybeth

  5. Maribeth, thank you for sharing. My sister is just starting chemo and your journey helps me to understand what she is experiencing. Joe & I have kept you & your family in our prayers. Hugs!

    • Sally Simon thank your for your prayers of me and my family. I literally feel them giving me strength. All of us know that it is because of all the prayers we are making it through. I will be praying for your sister as well. Believing for God’s strength as she has chemo treatment and complete healing.

      Love,
      Marybeth

  6. Mary Beth,
    I read your words and know some of your struggle. You sound very brave. My heart aches for what you are going through as it hits home. My grandmother waited a long time before she sought treatment. I think it was part denial and part fear, but she never said why. By the time she went to the doctor the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and eventually she had both breasts removed. She also had a surgery to have her lymph nodes removed. I never once heard her complain. She trusted God and drew very near to him. My grandfather would also stay up many nights reading the Bible to her from cover to cover as she hungered for his Word. She wore a baseball cap for the hair issue and at one point she even had a false bra custom made so she wouldn’t stand out as “unusual” in public. Oddly enough she felt comfortable enough not wearing it after a time or two and said she to me that she did not need her breasts to make her feel whole or more of a woman. The Lord was also her strength and she battled cancer many years. She lived to be in her late 70’s and she was eventually diagnosed as being cured of cancer. There is always hope. I pray God continues to bless you in your time of battle. Thank you for sharing your journal. I am confident the Lord is leading you and will never leave your side. May you always have HIS peace. Blessings

    • Cindy thank you for sharing your grandmother’s testimony and your walk with her through her cancer. Your words are encouraging to me and give me hope. God is so faithful to us in every situation. Thank you again for your words.

      Blessings,
      Marybeth

  7. Dear Mary Beth,
    You are one of the dearest women I have ever known. I remember so many times at Bayside and the women’s retreats when you would pray with me and encourage me through my struggles. When I opened this story of your journey, I fell to my knees and prayed for you with tears in my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but tears of love and support, tears of awe for your unwaivering faith that Christ is holding you and will not let you face this without Him. I had no idea you were ill and I will be a prayer warrior for you and your family, and that’s a promise. As inspiring, and yet awful as this journey has been for you, clearly as ever your faith in the Lord is unbreakable. Even through this terrible struggle that has befallen you, you continue to evangelize how the power of God’s love can help you through even the most difficult trials. It brings to mind and heart, Jeremiah 29: 11…one of my favorite scriptures since introduced to me many years ago through Pastor Matt’s preaching.
    My love and prayers are with you, Matt and your girls. Many hugs, Jill Kahovec

    • Thank you Jill for your sweet words of encouragement. I so appreciate your prayers for all of us. We feel them. I hope you are doing well. So many special memories we have.

      Love,
      Marybeth