Thursday, August 25, 2011


We have had too many experiences over the years helping friends cope with various forms of cancer. We have offered various degrees of support and assistance as opportunity and closeness allowed and have always been diligent about maintaining serious prayer support. In turn we have received a bit of education and learned much both about the power of faith and about a strong, positive attitude in dealing with this demon of a disease. That is now becoming useful.

It is now our turn to cope with cancer in a much more personal way. You may have noticed (if any of you are still checking) that I have not posted on this blog for quite a while. I have not been sure when would be the right time and what would be exactly the right message to share. To complicate the decision, the situation has been developing rapidly from week to week ever since last fall, or earlier.

Betty has cancer. The symptoms began in a typical way, and before we were aware of what the cause or degree of seriousness might be. After fifteen years of being post-menopausal, signs of irregularities caused us to consult our primary provider which led to tests which eventually led to cat-scans, etc. etc. and to a complete hysterectomy. The pathology indicated uterine/endometrial cancer which had spread to everything which was removed.

A subsequent biopsy on a location in the upper sternum has been confirmed today as a spread of the cancer, and the doctor has called for some additional tests to be done tomorrow. He explanation is that cancer cells could be located in a number of additional places including organs and bones. We have shared this news with our children and are beginning to bring our "insiders" into the circle of information.

At this time Betty is electing to forego chemotherapy, explaining that she would rather take her chances with cancer than die in a prolonged way from the Parkinson's disease she has battled for over twenty years. She is, however, consenting to radiation on the spot in her upper chest and will be prepared for that therapy tomorrow. We do not have further details to share at this time.

More than anything, Betty does not want misinformation to be spread about her condition and does not want anyone to fear, whatever the outcome. She is safely and permanently in God's hands and seems to have good medical caregivers for the immediate future.

Already, over the past month or so, the most encouraging support has come from all points of the compass (and past) in the form of precious letters and cards expressing well-wishes and prayers. The wonderful memories recalled and treasured in these notes are a daily source of strength, of wonder, and of joy. Please keep up this show of your love and concern, for they are truly refreshing, and please do not despair.

This is a good time for all of us to recall the "spot-on" words of David's Psalm Twenty-three. Indeed, God is our Shepherd and He is with us.


At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Betty~ we love you both dearly and will be praying.
Snyder Family

At 10:45 PM, Blogger LoveMercy said...

thinking of you and wishing I have wings to fly and be with you right now.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger David said...

Thank you Dad. I will just echo your comment about cards and letters. Mom has made a point to share with me the cards received on two of my recent visits. The beautiful cards and hand-written words are very meaningful and special to her. Thank you all.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Linda Judd said...

Praying . . . every day!

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous JoLynn said...

Dearest Betty and John, I'll be praying for you. I know Gods love, mercy and power is with you. God is showing his love for all to see here. I love you dear sister. JoLynn

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Betty and John--

You are in our prayers. We know that you're facing these difficulties with the faith and dignity that you've displayed in the past. We send our love.

Dan and Jill Amundson

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My very dear friends - know you are loved and many, many people are keeping you in their prayers. Hope to see you soon. Love, Kathy


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