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Holding On to Faith Against Rare Cancer

As a mother of four, 38-year-old Marjorie had little time to be sick. But in September of 2012, when a persistent cough wouldn’t clear up, she decided to see a doctor. She recalls, “They found a spot on what they thought was my lung.  I was a former smoker, years ago and I thought it caught up to me. And they referred me to uh get a biopsy done, then I was afraid.” The biopsy came back positive. Marjorie would need surgery. She says, “They told me they were gonna remove the upper and the middle lobe of my right lung. I was very nervous because, you know, any time you're going into your chest, it's a very major, major surgery.”

Marjorie and her husband, John, prayed that the surgery would get all the cancer. He remembers, “I was afraid of losing my wife. And uh the children, potentially losing their mother.” Marjorie recalls, “My prayer was, ‘Lord, let them get it all. In Jesus' name.’ I do not have time for chemo, I do not want to go through any losing my hair or anything, being really sick. I have a family to care for.”

It wouldn’t be that simple. During surgery doctors discovered the mass wasn’t in her lung but on one of her ribs. They removed the rib and sent it for testing. Then they waited. John says, “It was very hard to see her in terrible pain.” Marjorie says, “It's a very scary time and I'm glad that I had a great support system through my church.”

Finally, the results were in. Marjorie meeting the doctor, “There's a counselor in the room with a box of tissue.  I lose it and I start crying and I'm thinking, ‘This must be serious’ The oncologist says, ‘This is mesenchymal chondrosarcoma’” Bone cancer.  So rare and aggressive there is no treatment protocol.  Her oncologist’s best guess was high doses of radiation followed by intense chemo.  John says, “I wish I could say that I had peace. But with a diagnosis like this, it shook me to my core.” Marjorie remembers, “Even though I'm praying, and I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe in healing and I just thought to myself, ‘This is really bad.’ I'm thinking, my life is over.”

Just before Christmas, Marjorie started a daily radiation regimen that left her growing weaker every day. Marjorie says, “I didn't even want to tell my husband some of the things that I was going through, because I didn't want him to worry, because I already knew he was worried. He was terrified of uh having to raise the kids by himself and being by himself.” John recalls, “I was angry at God that this was happening. I yelled at Him. I was so mad and hurt with Him. We've been faithful servants to you, God. How could you let this come upon my wife?” It would get worse. After finishing radiation, Marjorie, weak and drained, was admitted to the hospital and started aggressive chemotherapy.  Marjorie remembers, “I was listening to the Word. I was doing everything I could to try to stay encouraged. I made a choice, I'm gonna fight. I'm gonna fight the fight of faith.”  But John recalls, “It was the most difficult thing that I have ever had to go through, the window of treatment was so small”.  

After one round of chemo Marjorie had a bad reaction that rendered her unconscious, and nearly comatose. John recalls meeting with the doctor. “The doctor said that just because of the extreme nature of the chemotherapy, and the experimental treatment that they were using, that it was possible that she may not survive the treatment itself.” While John and the doctors considered options, Marjorie says she had a visit from God. She recalls, “He said, ‘You can die and come home and be with Me, or you can choose life and live.’ I didn't want to leave my husband and my kids. And I said, ‘God, I want to live.’ I remember just at that time this zap of energy going through my body, like electricity. Uh and I remember sitting up in bed. And I said, ‘I’m healed.’”

Against the doctor’s advice, Marjorie and John decided to stop treatment. Marjorie says, “My oncologist came into the room, he goes, ‘you will die if you don't have chemo. There's zero percent survival with this cancer with no chemo. If you don't finish this, you're gonna be dead, probably within six months.’” Holding onto their faith and God’s promise, the couple went home. Three months later Marjorie went for her first cancer check-up. Marjorie recalls, “The first one came up negative. And I told the doctor, ‘See, I told you. I told you, I’m cancer free. I'm healed in the name of Jesus Christ.’ I went through every three months of going to getting CT scans with contrast and uh every test was negative after that. The last test I had was December of 2018. And it's still negative. Still cancer free.”

Today Marjorie loves to share about the power of prayer and a God who heals. She says, “Every morning you get up, thank Him for another day. Thank Him and praise Him. Praise Him at all times, no matter how sick you feel, you praise Him.  You need to proclaim His Word over you and speak out healing. They told me I wasn’t supposed to be here. Do not listen to that. You listen to the Word of God. By His stripes you are healed.”

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