A Note to Our Tribe: Battling Cancer

Margaret —  August 6, 2013 — 137 Comments

A Note to Our Tribe: Battling Cancer

On July 8, I received the phone call everyone fears. It’s still a blur.

Carcinoma.
Surgeon.
Right away.

A month earlier I found a lump in my breast. I scheduled a mammogram and informed the radiologist of my discovery.

Two weeks later, the mammogram came back clean. (Note to all the ladies out there: If you find anything in your breast, inform the radiologist. Do not assume the mammogram will catch everything.) During a follow-up ultrasound, they located the hard mass. I returned for a biopsy. On July 8, I learned it was cancerous.

I have breast cancer.

Every cancer is unique. In the land of breast cancer, it’s significant that I’ve been diagnosed while still in my 30’s. About 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 45. Only 13% are under the age of 45 or pre-menopausal.

This is a game changer.

Forgive the broad comparison, but for those fighting breast cancer over the age of 45, it’s like baseball. It’s more mainstream, more equipment, more funding. For those under the age of 45, it’s more like cricket. Much smaller, less known, not as much funding. The rules are different.

We are grateful to have a trusted team of incredible doctors who are crafting the best medical plan. Denver turns out to be a cutting edge city when it comes to breast cancer research. My oncologist specializes in women with breast cancer under age 45.

I’ve been given strict instructions to avoid Googling and taking medical advice from kind friends and strangers. The greatest chance of success comes from being informed and making decisions with the medical team that knows me (and my cancer) the very best. I admit—it’s been a stretching discipline not to scour the internet and adopt other peep’s treatment plans because, after all, it worked for them. But I’m confident that God has pulled together the perfect team at the perfect time for me.

On July 26, I began my first round of chemotherapy which will be followed by surgery and radiation.

We will be keeping most of our fall engagements as well as accepting new speaking invitations for 2014. We are grateful for all the event planners who are walking alongside us in this and their gracious responses. You all are amazing! It’s a source of joy and strength to know we can continue connecting with amazing churches, events, and people this fall. And we know those times of connection will only help kick cancer in the teeth.

Today, we are headed for a long-planned trip to Maine with some amazing friends where we’ll hike and laugh and celebrate the goodness of God. And eat a little lobster, too. I’m looking forward to having a chance to unplug from the Internet for a few days and play.

We covet your prayers—for everyone you know who is battling this disease and their families, for Leif and I, for our brilliant team of medical doctors, and for the effectiveness of the treatment.

And most importantly, that God would dole out an extra helping of grace and strength and ridiculous joy in the meantime.

Much love,
Margaret, Leif, and Hershey

 

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137 responses to A Note to Our Tribe: Battling Cancer

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis. May you and your family know God’s nearness on this journey.

  2. My heart goes out to you Margaret. The only words I know to give you are that God is who He says He is!! May you cling to Him with the fiber of your being!! Will keep you in my prayers!!

  3. My dearest Margaret, please know that you do not fight alone and that there is a group of women in Kisssimmee, FL (Life Assembly of God) who love you and are praying for you! We stand in faith with you believing that you are healed! In the beauty of His presence there is peace…praying His presence as you walk this journey to healing! Hugs❤❤❤
    Love, Ivet

  4. Praying for you, Margaret. Thank you for letting us know so that we can walk the journey with you.

  5. Dearest Margaret:

    How this hurts my heart, to hear of yet another breast cancer diagnosis. You are exactly right about your assessments here — being younger is a game changer. Yours is the second of this summer, both of you being young women with so much vitality and seemingly wonderful health.

    I am thankful you are in Denver, where you will receive some of the best medical care. It will be difficult not to google, not to go to that dark place, especially I think for writers. We have such wild imaginations to begin with.

    So let that imagination run wild, as you are prone to do, with the goodness of God. You are loved. You are prayed for.

  6. Norma Jeane Williams August 6, 2013 at 4:39 am

    You are loved. Praying for wisdom for doctors and peace for you and Leif. You will live out your appointed number of days with joy and wonder even in this! Love you, sweet girl,

  7. Margaret, praying with and for you, for healing and restoration, for strength and deep peace in this time. May you fully know the comfort and hope in Christ, as you walk through this.

  8. Stupid Cancer! Praying for you and your family. Take care!

  9. Donna Thackerson August 6, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Dearest Extraordinary Woman named Margaret,

    You are a delight to the Lord and this C-thing is a bump in the road. Your precious life is hidden with God in Christ.

    April Fools Day 2003, 10 years ago, I was 35 and they found a cancerous lump via my baseline mammogram. The journey for me has had some really rough spots, but it sure has been BEAUTIFUL!

    I am praying for beauty for you as you not only survive, but as you THRIVE.

    Big hugs to you,
    Donna T.

  10. Margaret, Margaret, MARGARET!!!!

    I just finished reading your post.

    Last night, I watched a syndicated episode of King of the Hill, where Hank’s wife, Peggy, decides they should skydive for their 20th wedding anniversary. Peggy jumps, pulls both parachute cords, which fail, and crashes to the ground (no, she didn’t perish).

    All that to say this is how I felt as I read your post. Especially the part that said, “I have breast cancer.” I felt like I just crashed to the ground. Because that’s pretty much how I felt, 11 years ago this month, when I received my breast cancer diagnosis. Like I crashed to the ground. Like my life just came to a screeching halt.

    My husband was still at work, my children at school. I remember sitting up in my bedroom, after speaking with my doctor, and thinking, “How am I going to tell them (at the time, my son was 10, my daughter was 6)? What am I supposed to say?” Was I supposed to greet them each at the door and say, ‘Welcome home, darlings. Guess what? I’ve got cancer! Now, what shall we have for dinner?”

    I remember feeling like an electrical shock had coursed through my body. I’d heard the word cancer more times than I could count – but it was always in relation to somebody else. Never directed at me.

    Way back in the ‘60s, my grandmother had breast cancer, and died from it. Because back then, that’s what you did. There were no cutting edge hospitals and cancer centers; no amazing oncology teams; no pink ribbons adorning anything; no 3 day walks, no races for the cure. Basically, no hope.

    BUT that is NOT like that today, dear one. I know you are learning that while there is a difference with women who are under 45 and diagnosed, there is still much, much more out there in the way of treatment. Strides are being made all the time, even from when I began my treatment back in 2002 (I was 43 at the time).

    And there is much, MUCH HOPE. Keep that in the forefront of your mind.

    About a year before I began my cancer journey, I began my journey to Christ. So my relationship was fresh and new, and while I will honestly admit at first I was thinking, ‘Wait a minute now – I surrender my life to You, Jesus, and THIS is what I get…cancer? My very greatest fear since childhood? REALLY??!’, it was His Presence, His comfort and strength, His hope that brought me through it. He brought doctors and nurses, friends and strangers out of the woodwork to assist in my healing and my encouragement, as well as my family’s need for support and encouragement. As He will do for you. I know you know this. But at times like this, it’s always good to be reminded of that.

    Margaret, your friends are correct when they tell you not to Google anything about the disease, etc. Listen to your team of medical experts. There’s too much misinformation out there, as well as some pretty bizarre stories and such. You don’t need that kind of craziness.

    I learned quickly to surround myself (and thanks to God, I was able to) with supportive, positive and encouraging people. This will sound harsh, but there were some people I had to remove from my life because of their constant toxic, negative attitudes. Where most offered hope, these ‘doom-and-gloom-meisters’ offered fear and no hope, and where more than happy to share their horror stories about family and friends. Nope…didn’t need that. And you don’t either. So just keep an eye and ear out for them.

    I found throughout my journey, the 4 Fs applied:

    Faith, Family, Friends and Fun. Fun in the midst of cancer? Yep…it can be done. When I was receiving my chemo treatments at the cancer center, the area where I sat became known as ‘The Party Suite.’ There was much joy and laughter, thanks to my crazy husband and friends. One friend ALWAYS brought along gobs of Gertrude Hawks chocolate, for me (I found that chocolate took away the metallic taste in my mouth from the chemo…who knew??), for any of the other patients there, and for the nurses. Boy, the nurses LOVED my friend!! We laughed and joked, and we prayed. For me, and for those also receiving chemo. We all sure were a sight!

    Margaret, I am going to commit to praying you through this. If there is ANYTHING I can offer to you, please let me know. I will Tweet my email address to you, so feel free to ask me anything or share anything. No pressure, though. Really, you don’t know me from a can of paint, only here from online interactions, so I do respect your need for privacy. But I am here to pray for and encourage you no matter what.

    Early detection is key, and the fact they’ve started treatment immediately is a great thing. I’ve never gone for that ‘let’s wait and see what happens.’ Pish to that.

    This is a difficult season in your and your husband’s life (and he is going to need much love & encouragement, too), but God is with you, and I know He has already provided and surrounded you both with many angels and prayer warriors for the journey.

    Much love to you, Margaret.

    Pam Manners

  11. Saying a little prayer for you to indeed find joy even in this. Blah…I hate cancer.

  12. Deborah (Debbie) August 6, 2013 at 5:18 am

    Margaret. I will be praying for you, not only for healing and for your doctors and those who love you, but for peace and joy and that Christ will be revealed in new and wonderful ways to you, in you and through you as you journey through this. He is able.

    Good and wise counsels from the doctors, good and wise if you listen hard to them on the “don’t google” and disregarding the medical advice from well meaning friends and strangers. (Sometimes you may want to stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la lala” — but then that would be rude so maybe not :) ). My husband had pancreatic cancer — and last month he was in remission for 10 years! One month after being told he was in remission, our eldest daughter was diagnosed with a form of lukemia that 40 year olds are considered young to get…she was 18 and entering the last stages of her disease. She had a bone marrow transplant. And here is the truth — everyone’s journey with this is different — even those with the exact same cancer. But here’s a greater truth — OUR GOD JOURNEYS WITH US and THAT is a VERY GOOD THING!!!!!!

    Snuggle close to The One who controls each and every one of those cells. He is at work to do a good thing through a not so good seeming thing. I know you know this — but I sure needed the reminder frequently as did my loved ones who lived this battle.

    God bless you REAL GOOD through all of this.
    Debbie

  13. Margaret, Praying for you and your family and your team of doctors!!!

    ~heather king~

  14. Oh Margaret, I am so sorry to hear this. I will keep you before the Lord in prayer! May the peace of God transcend all understanding and descend upon your heart and mind during this scary time.

  15. Oh dear Margaret. Holding you up in the Light. Praying for wisdom and strength and peace and rest. Praying you’ll #LiveWonderstruck in the midst of the battle, that you’ll sense that ridiculous joy in the midst of the battle, that you’ll be amazed by God’s ways, that you’ll emerge from this furnace stronger and brighter.

  16. Scot and Kris McKnight August 6, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Margaret,

    Kris and I heard your news and we want to express our love and support as we offer prayers for you and Leif as you journey forward under the care of our Father. “To Him who is able … beyond anything we have imagined…”

  17. Love you, Margaret! Cancer doesn’t stand a chance, because Alaska girls kick a$$! Praying for joy and peace and strength for you and Leif as you beat this thing together.

  18. Dearest Margaret & Precious Daughter of God,
    I’m so very sorry for this difficult chapter you are facing. I will be praying for abundant grace, surprising joy & for a Divine touch of healing & wisdom for you, Leif & your medical team. May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus at every turn, as you kick cancer’s tail end out the door.
    Sending Much Love & Prayers from up the road,
    Shannon Wexelberg

  19. Carol McCracken August 6, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Margaret:
    Thanks for your courage and for sharing your struggle….this has been a hallmark of your fabulous studies…..we can all identify with your very human challenges. You make a difference and you will continue to do so in this. Love and prayers coming your way…

  20. I will pray for you! So glad for your time to rest and refresh in Maine.

  21. Thank you for sharing this with us. Praying an extra measure of grace, peace, strength & healing as you walk this journey! Having been there,it’s beautiful see look back and see how God worked through it all. And I know He’ll do the same for you!

  22. You are in my prayers today, dear Margaret. We don’t know one another, but you’ll find our “tribe” is strong and loving and positive. My surgery was January 14 — my mother’s birthday. I turned 60 in March, so I’m at the other end of the spectrum. But, as you have learned, medicine has made great strides with the treatment of breast cancer. Lean heavily on those around you and keep your chin up. Continuing to be “wonderstruck” will be your best medicine! ~ Ingrid

  23. Can I just say this totally sucks? Is that allowed? Dang.
    Now, that being said, I have no doubt that Jesus will be wondrously near and show himself so faithful. Funny how reading someone’s books and thoughts can make you feel like friends. Your many friends will be holding you close in prayer – me included.

  24. Cancer sucks. That’s all. Praying for you.

  25. Margaret: Lifting you and all others living with a cancer diagnosis up in prayer. Go with God friend.

  26. Though our family / extended family has not been touched by breast cancer, we’ve experienced other types. You will be in my prayers, along with Leif (& Hershey). When you come to my mind, I’ll be praying for God’s intervention & healing, for your medical team, for your nearby / supportive friends to be responsive & in touch your emotional & spiritual needs, and for the intuitive / felt comfort of Christ! MANY will be praying for you, Margaret! (Thanks for sharing — so we can pray!) Update “us” all when you can! We’re rooting (& praying) for you!

  27. Margaret, praying for you-for the healing and restoration of your body, for peace and strength in the journey.

  28. Praying for you as you to cling to the promise that this was no surprise to your dearest Friend and Savior who hems you in all around and covers you with His wings. Praying for Leif that the Lord will give him an extra dose of strength and courage as he prepares himself mentally, physically and spiritually for this battle.

  29. Margret my very dear sister ‘in’ Christ your words sink deeply into me. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in early March. We in and through His grace are moving through this season in our lives with skilled medical treatments, and His blessings, all indicators are that Jodie is responding well.

    I have witnessed the sisterhood of beautiful women, the ones who have walked through the ‘fire’ and offer words of deep encouragement to those experiencing it’s ‘heat’.

    The Lord is very active in this community, there are regular ‘sighting’ of His presence, and when He shows up it will be unmistakable, His love, and compassion expressed in a variety of ways, but always with hope, comfort,encouragement and trust at the forefront.

    Prayin for you may you find comfort ‘in’ His rest.

    ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ( relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.’

  30. OH Margaret – I am so very sorry :( I am saying a prayer for you this morning.
    Keep shining!
    Lots of Love,
    Courtney

  31. Margaret and Leif, I am praying for God’s presence to be more fully evident to you now than ever. That you will know Him more deeply as your joy and strength. That You will trust your Dear Father with the future and hope He has already prepared for you. May you be nourished and renewed in every way by your time with friends in Maine. And know that we, your extended family of friends, are holding you in prayer. Peace…

  32. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer last year, I have found that Christ is there too. God is God. There are no limitations, no boundaries in Him. May you find rest, peace, healing, refuge and the ability to sing….in Him alone. Praying for you in the moments ahead. Enjoy your trip to Maine!

  33. Our team at INCM is praying for you and Leif … and Hershey, of course!

  34. Thankful for the privilege of praying for you Margaret. After reading Wonderstruck, I really wanted to go on that hike with you in Maine but it wasn’t meant to be. But I will go with you in spirit. I thank God for you, for your ministry, your passion, your beauty that radiates the joy of a life hidden in Christ.

  35. I sent an email, too, Margaret, but just wanted to add to the chorus of prayer and love, right here. The Lee Family is praying hard. Even though so many of us are far away, we commit to walking with you as best we can. We offer our earnest prayers. We pray that the God of all wonder and healing and peace gives you everything you stand in need of … and abundantly more. Much love … Jennifer

  36. Praying for you Margaret! Believing for speedy healing and His tangible presence through it all for you and Leif!!

  37. Bo Stern (@Bostern) August 6, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Praying this very minute for you, friend. Thank you so much for sharing this. You have reminded me to be more vigilant about exams (I’ve gotten lazy) and also to rest in the care of our big, big God. Thank you. His work in you is beautiful.

  38. Oh Margaret! This breaks my heart for you. I will be praying and asking the God of all comfort to give you peace! Enjoy Maine. Make amazing memories, eat lots of lobster and resume the fight when you get home!

  39. I am do so sorry to hear this news…I will be holding you before the throne of grace and mercy …. May His love wrap you like a blanket of peace.

  40. Praying for you my dear friend, we serve the God who heals

  41. Elsa A. Keller August 6, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Add me to the list of prayer warriors for you. May God strengthen and comfort you while you walk through this “valley” knowing its just a shadow fearing nothing because you know God is holding your hand throughout this, Praying for you this morning that you feel his Presence

  42. Know that my husband and I hold you and your family in our prayers! Not just because we think your work is fabulous (we do), or because we have been touched by cancer (we have–my Christopher is going on six years cancer-free, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 right after we came to California), or because I love hearing you speak (I do–we met briefly when you spoke in Chapel at Azusa Pacific University and you signed my “Scouting the Divine”), but because we are family under Christ. Sending love, prayers, and joy your way!

  43. Oh Margaret… I’m so sorry to hear this news. I will pray for God’s healing touch on your mind, body and soul. I have been so blessed by you and your writing. Thank you for your witness and your joy and trust.

  44. Margret – I’m so sorry to hear of the path you must walk right now. I know all too well how the unexpected diagnosis of cancer can turn your life upside down. Please know that I will pray for you.

    Blessings to you and yours.

  45. I am so sorry to hear that you are facing this battle, but like everyone else who is a part of your tribe, I believe God will faithfully journey with you through even this circumstance. I am praying for you and Leif!

  46. Oh Margaret! You are in my prayers! I’m so sorry to hear the news. I’m glad that you have great doctors and that you will be able to get away for awhile. I pray that God will be especially close during this hard time and that you will be Wonderstruck by His love even now.

  47. Lifting you up, Margaret. You’re walking a rocky path, but you’re never alone. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with the Tribe :)
    Hugs from VA.

  48. Oh sweet Marg–that’s probably not your favorite nickname, but after going through Wonderstruck with my girls this spring, we began to think of you as one of us and started shortening your name like you were sitting there with us. ;) This news is a very unexpected path to wonder. My heart is pounding with fear of the unknown, as none of us can read this without imagining what you must be going through. Yet I’m also filled with just the teensiest bit of excitement…I hope that doesn’t offend you. I have to believe that God is going to use this in your life for HUGE things, and especially for His glory. My girls and I, who are now, kind of, your girls, will be praying for wisdom for the doctors and for complete healing and peace for you and Leif.

  49. Margaret–Cancer is scary, but God is SO good. I had breast cancer several years ago. If I were a writer, I could write a book about the many ways God showed up, blessed me, encouraged me, and sustained me, in both huge and tiny ways, as only God can do. I am not a writer, but you are, and I look forward to someday hearing the story of your journey through cancer with God. You will get to know Him in ways you never imagined. It will change your life. After I finished my treatments, I was reading in Psalms, and Psalm 66:10-12 just jumped off the page at me, and I realized that it was my entire cancer journey summed up in just 3 verses. I laughed out loud–only God could sum up something like that in only 3 verses. Here it is, with my comments in parentheses:

    “For you, O God, tested us (no kidding!); you refined us like silver (I could see Him burning away the dross through this–helping me focus on Him and what was most important, and leaving behind those things that didn’t matter, and making me a better person). You brought us into prison (how I felt when I was going through treatments–life went on, and there was still lots of joy and laughter, but I still felt like other people were going on with their lives while I was relegated to the sidelines–prison–with medical appointments, scans, chemo, etc.) and laid burdens on our backs (everything I worried about–dying, my husband and children, finances & insurance, side effects, scan results, etc.). You let men ride over our heads (when my hair fell out :-) ); we went through fire and water (radiation and chemo), but you brought us to a place of abundance (abundance in Him and His love–knowing His love in ways I never did before; abundance in my changed life; blessings beyond measure; gifts from a lavish God).

    Praying for you through all the yuck, that God will bring you through and will shine through everything. And I will be waiting for that book!!!!

  50. I am so sorry to read this news Margaret. I will be praying for you and your family. I am so thankful for your transparency and willingness to share with others. May someone be encouraged to get a mammogram that they may have been putting off for some time. You never know how the Lord will use this trial to impact others.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  51. Margaret, you’ve been such a great advocate for those who’ve gone through cancer (your recent posts about what to say to someone with cancer were incredible.) I’ll keep you in my prayers as we both know that our God answers with peace and blessings even in desert journeys.

    My friend Vivian wrote this recent post that might be encouraging to you. http://vivianmabuni.com/letter-to-a-newly-diagnosed-cancer-patient/

  52. Margaret,
    Thank you for sharing your journey with your tribe. I am praying for your health, strength and courage, and for the wisdom of the doctors. Our Lord is mighty and has already conquered. My you thrive in his victory.

    Blessings,
    Ines :)

  53. Adding you to my prayer list, Margaret. He will see you through this with the grace, strength and joy you pray for. All blessings.

  54. Bonnie Stonebraker August 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Praying for you, Leif, your family and your medical team. Excellent advice to stay away from internet searches…..I wish someone had done that for me when I first got my lung cancer diagnosis a year and a half ago. God bless you with His peace that passes all understanding.

  55. Kimberly Burchiel August 6, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Margaret, I’ll be praying for you along with all the wonderful folks who have already posted! I loved Pam Manners post and her four “F’s” – Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun. I have a dear friend that was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 30′s and she was pregnant at the time. She found a doctor that she trusted, he was the go to guy for breast cancer back then, she trusted what he said, she lived, her baby lived, it’s 20 years later and they’re both going strong, serving God and serving others. God’s got this, dear one!
    Much love to you. Oh, and, have FUN in Maine with my Pastor’s Louie and Peggy Locke:)

    Kimberly

  56. Prayers of peace for you Margaret! We met, in 2010, at the MOPS convention. This is close to home, since my mom had cancer, years ago. It is scary. I know God will cover you with his arms of love, during this time. Take Care!

  57. Thank you for sharing. In June I too found lumps, went in to the Doctor, she too felt them, sent me to an ultra sound and mammogram. They said they found nothing to be concerned over on the ultra sound so did not run the Mammogram. Even though they found nothing, I felt that sense of uncertainty and fear that comes with the word Cancer. I am sorry that they found some Cancer in you, praying that your time away with friends and God will help encourage and equip you for the road ahead. I have appreciated your raw honesty and good writing, and look forward to seeing how you allow God to work through this as well.

  58. Dear Margaret,
    I was 22 when I found my lump, which the mammogram also said was nothing.
    Two inconclusive biopsies and a pushy (And life saving surgeon) later, I received the same phone call.
    It’s still my game changer, and it’s been seventeen years.
    He is a good God. He won’t leave you now.
    If anything life is sweeter and more delicately beautiful after cancer. You will be in my prayers.

  59. Dear Margaret and Leif ~~

    I send my thoughts skyward, my heart eastward, and my hope to the earth where it will gather with the hope others share for your healing and grow strong with you both.

    Bill

  60. Praying for you. I am sure this won’t be easy, but God is in your midst. There are women that are going through this without Him, and I believe that you will be able to touch many new lives. Hugs

  61. Praying for you, Margaret. I know that the initial announcement from your doctor can be paralyzing as the reality sinks it. It seems that everything we stressed over and worried over pales to insignificance. Here is where we need to lean on God heavily because He truly is the only One who gets us through it and He is the only One who truly heals. This is an opportunity to draw closer to Him more than ever before and be blessed in ways you never thought possible. Yes, blessed in the midst of this heavy duty trial. This will be a life changing situation.

  62. Dear Margaret, your books, blog posts and speaking have been such an inspiration to me and so many others. I am grateful to be able to do something for you (and Leif, your friends and family) in return. You’re in my thoughts and prayers for a quick and full recovery.

    God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
    though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

    Psalm 46:1-3 ESV

  63. Margaret,

    We have only interacted a few times over the years but I have followed your journey and am convinced that the Lord will use every bit of this story to glorify His Son through you. I am not going to act like I remotely understand the daily struggle or what has transpired but as your brother in the Lord I honor you and your family, agree with the you for complete and total restoration, health, joy, peace, and ultimately that God be glorified! Much love to you

    Travis Gates

  64. You’re a friend from Midday Connection on Moody Radio! I am so glad you shared this prayer concern today.What an amazing group of those who will cover you in prayer through this journey! What a blessing! I shared this verse this morning with another young friend who is halfway through her treatments:

    “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

    Trusting in Him…He is faithful!

  65. Praying. Praying. Praying.

  66. Joelle Brinkley August 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I just unsubscribed from receiving email updates about your blog yesterday but have still been keeping up with you on Twitter. Removal guilt=possibly. Humbling moment now=sure. Yet, all in all, I’m here to lift you up in prayer. May God bless you and keep you always. Smiles and lobster deary … and quiet time with God :)

  67. I remember your blog post on things to say to those battling cancer and I realize now, there are no words that I can offer. I will pray for intercession, healing, comfort and joy.

  68. Margaret,
    I just read your post and I hear your strength and trust in God through in your words. You encourage me in your response to your diagnosis as you look to God and seek joy in the midst of cancer. I pray for healing and strength for you. You certainly are living out the verses, “Count it all joy…!” I hope your trip to Maine brings you refreshment and renewal. I’m a New Englander and was recently in Portland and Yarmouth myself. Such beauty there!

    With continued prayers and love,

    Jen

  69. Praying for you, Margaret. Right now.

  70. Praying that the God of all comfort and strength will be your guide on this unexpected journey. In the midst of great concern, I hear your words of hope. May your trip to Maine bring a time of great joy.

  71. I will be praying hard Miss Margaret! May our God and Father overwhelm you with his beauty, astound you with his love, and surround you with his presence throught this season.

  72. So sorry to hear about your cancer. I just fought a battle last year with melanoma cancer on my head and radiation . Just found out last week I’m cancer free. The word is so scary but with God, family, church family and the support team of doctors and nurses and lots of prayer warriors, cancer can not win. I just bought my ticket to hear you next year in July at Rock This House in Ash Flat, Ar. By then you will have won this battle, because we will all be praying for you. We had over 800 women this year. They have what’s called a cardboard testimonys every year, I was part if it this year because of my battle with cancer, two days after the conference I meet with my doctor and my pet scan and blood work all said cancer free. Looking forward to meeting you I July 2014, cancer free. My God bless you and your family during this bump in the road. I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. Keep a support team with you at all times. My daughter, Kim and my husband, Randy were there every step. God bless and prayers

  73. I stand in agreement with you for your complete healing in the name of Jesus! Be encouraged. I speak the blessing of the Lord over you and your family in Jesus name. God loves you and so do I.

  74. No words, but I didn’t want my silence to look like I didn’t care.

  75. So sorry to hear this. I hope you have a wonderful time away resting. Love & prayers.

  76. Love you friend. Praying for y’all.

  77. Margaret,
    I echo the call to pray for you and Leif as you walk through this diagnosis.
    I have two friends diagnosed this past spring.
    You are very wise to not go internet crazy and what I have learned is that no one is the same in this whole breast cancer scenario. I am thankful you have a great team for YOU and for YOUR specific needs.
    Grateful also that you have the same consistent abiding and ever-present God who will walk you through each day and onto victory.
    Thank you for your transparency.

  78. I am sorry you are facing this battle with cancer. You already know the best medicine — Prayer! I will add you to my prayers! Also, keep Hope in your heart, and bask in the love of family and friends. Hope and Love are also powerful medicine. If you have not already done it, have the elders anoint you with oil and pray with hands on you. I battled cancer for 6 years, and God healed it. There is no cancer in my body now. I know God can heal you, Margaret, and I will pray that He does. I have been so blessed by your book “Wonderstruck” and the Bible study. I look forward to reading the other 2 books of yours that I have bought. Thank you for sharing your diagnosis with us. Now gather your medical team and your prayer warriors! God is still blessing you every day.

  79. Margaret,

    I’m sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis but I know that your faith is strong and you are loved by many, most importantly by a God who abounds in love for His children. He is holding you and will bring you and your loved ones the strength needed now and in the days to come. Sacred echoes will remind you of His presence (SE is my favorite book of yours :)).

    I echo the sentiment of other friends on here…thank you for sharing and allowing us to be part of the journey with you.

    God Bless!

  80. We will seek the Divine in your healing…grace and peace!

  81. Oh, friend, you have my prayers. How brave you are to share this journey–and isn’t this just like you? To offer up yourself to be a light for others? Thank you for the gift of your trust. You are a gift to so many with your lifegiving words. It is my privilege to storm the gates of heaven on your behalf.

  82. Praying for you, dear woman. Take care of yourself, let others care for you, and laugh A LOT! “Young Frankenstein” is a good place to start. Thanks for letting us all know what’s going on so that we can send out lots of positive energy for you.

  83. Margaret,
    I sent an email earlier this morning and thought I would leave you a note hear as well.

    I have been praying specifically for you for several months as I have knew about your up and coming weekend in Maine. I have prayed God would give you wisdom and his power as you lead. I will continue to pray God gives you all you need to serve him this weekend. I will also continue to pray for you and Leif as you both journey on with the news you have shared today. I ask God to give you healing, grace, peace, and joy in the strong and wonderful name of Jesus!

    Your friend,
    Roye

  84. I will be praying for you and your recovery and for your family too..

    God Bless
    Pam

  85. Dear Margaret, I add my thoughts and prayers to the many others who are holding you before our God at this time. May God continue to sustain you and grant you healing and peace.

  86. May you know the peace beyond all our understandings as you journey down this road. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened to see the love and compassion in the Father’s eyes. May this battle resound to the glory of our great Healer.

  87. No words.
    Tears.
    Heartfelt prayers.
    You. Are. Loved.
    Hugs.
    Your twitter buddy,
    M

  88. Prayers! Remember, Jesus is the name that is above all names, even above the name of cancer! Greater is He who is in you! Much love!

  89. Dearest Margaret, thank you for sharing this devastating news with us. We sit alongside you, Leif & Hershey in prayer.

    May you enjoy your time in Maine with your good friends.

  90. Hi Margaret,
    I am saddened to hear of your news. Please know that I will be in prayer for you and doctors. Although I am only words on a page my heart, well wishes and genuine love are sent to you, ((hugs))
    God bless you with His perfect peace,
    Melissa

  91. Debbie Stansell August 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Praying for you! <3
    God is with you! You have brought such joy and insight to so many others! I know God has special plans for you! You will continue to bless others wherever you go! I am sure of that!

  92. Praying, praying, praying for you…as one who is continually Wonderstruck by His work: 17 years cancer free….May He hold you and your family close and use every aspect of this trial for His glory.

  93. Margaret, Thank you for continuing to share your life in such a real and vulnerable way to all of us who love you so dearly. God will continue to use this time in your family as yet another way to show you how much he LOVES YOU. God is with you always, loves you more than words can ever express, and He will continue to show you his path through this important time in your life.
    We love you so much and are praying for you as always.

    The Cyr Family
    Aaron & Rebekah (and Shaun, Adrianna and Zechariah)

  94. Honestly felt like I was punched on the gut and lost my wind when I heard of this news. Our prayers will focus specifically on the cancer, on your well being, on the ministry at hand and on the lives you will touch because of this experience. May God give you peace while knowing he is in full control. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11 NIV). Margaret, we are praying for you and Leif. Love & prayers, George & Katherine

  95. Margaret, my prayers are with you. You are such a beautiful person, your books are so insightful, and much needed in today’s world–you share about God in such a unique & personal way. I am so happy for you that thru this very scary world you are in that you are looking to enjoy your life to the fullest, while you do what you can do (doctors, chemo, and a vacation for your soul) while you rest in God to bring you the ultimate victory. As this life is but only a sojourn til we get to have our real life which is with God and God is keeping for us, may His will be done in you, may your cancer fall away as if it never happened, and may you learn something so important in this walk, your experience, that you will be able to counsel from first-hand knowledge all of us out there who are or will face this same diagnosis. Perhaps their is even a book to come to bring hope to others, when you have walked thru it all. God knows why we go thru what we do, and we are to trust that He knows best. I pray your faith will grow exponentially, for God’s healing over you, and to continue to be the vessel He can use to reach so many others, like He already has. As you’ve said to me from time to time, hugs to you Margaret. We are all rooting for you, as you knock cancer out of the park! (What a wonderful message you are teaching others, thru the dark days you are seeking the abundant life in John 10:10. satan can’t mess with the hopeful and joyful believer! May you abound in finding joy!)

  96. Margaret, you are in my prayer. I truly believe that my God, your God, our God, is more than able. I speak peace, strength, courage and overwhelming love upon you. Enjoy your trip!

  97. Praying for you. For strength. For comfort. For peace.

    My mom had breast cancer at 31 and she is alive and well. I’ve had scares myself and know the fear of the unknown. Sounds like you are in the best hands in Denver.

  98. Okay.. so this is very shocking! I only got to learn of your website yesterday and then came this “bad” news. However, so long as we have Jesus, we have hope. God can turn bad things for good. Isn’t it one of His specialities? I’ll be praying for you! =D

  99. Margaret, my sister, such sad, sad news. Praying that you will feel the power of peace that only the Holy Spirit can offer, and that our Father’s love would just pour out on your life. So many around the world are walking this journey with you, some even in your same shoes. None of this is a surprise to our sovereign God. Be filled with hope!

  100. Dear Margaret,
    Our church is using “Wonderstruck” this summer and I want you to know I’m learning so much and have been wonderstruck by many daily life situations! Thank you! We’re on the chapter about friendship and even though we’ve never met, I feel you are my friend.
    My heart aches for you as you face this difficult situation as I too was in your shoes 7 years ago when I was 38. I know what you’re going through and I also know that the Lord will reveal Himself to you in ways you can never imagine. “This is one of the most exciting aspects of living with divine expectation: We can lean into the idea that whatever God has up His sleeve is better than anything we could imagine on our own.” Familiar? Yes, dear heart, those are your words reminding you that “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20). I’m praying for you friend because this is a tough road BUT YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT! Remember that the “C” in Christ is bigger than the “c” in cancer!

  101. Well, stink!

    Lifting you up in prayer right now. Thank God for the hope we all know you have in Him.

  102. Bob and I will be keeping you, Leif and Hershey in our prayers as you navigate this chapter of your life. Praying for peace… Comfort… Clarity… Wisdom… Joy… Through it all!!! And when you need to be carried The Lord will wrap His loving arms around you picking you up to carry you until you can stand again!! We love you… Bob & Mary from Abundant Life Foursquare Church in Hollister, Ca

  103. Oh Margaret, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m praying! Jesus is faithful.

  104. Dear Margaret, at this stage of your life, let me share with you verse 3, Chapter 18, of Luke: “And there was a widow in que city, and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary,” because as Jesus said, “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” God bless you. Cristine (from Brazil)

  105. I am and will be praying for you Margaret, that God will give you and Leif strength, comfort and hope in your journey as you navigate the road ahead. Our God is mighty to save and journeys with you xox

  106. Dear Margaret

    My Knots Bible study group is reading “Wonderstruck”.
    I love how you expressed about your habitual laborious prayers & how God changed your prayers. Your example of a marriage unraveling could be my story too. Separated for almost 2 years now I am trusting. God is working and I’m still praying for restoration.

    Heal. Grace. Compassion. Reconcile. Restore.

    Praying this for you as you journey through your diagnosis.

    In Hope In Him
    Sandy

  107. My heart stopped at your news. Thank you for being open and sharing this with us so that we may hold you up on prayer in a special and specific way. I write with a DryErase marker on my bathroom mirror people that I am praying for. Because of the amazing way you write Bible Studies, I like so many others, feel I know you personally! You will be up on my mirror like other friends that I remember daily. I know that God is faithful and good. Know that you are not making this journey alone. We will all be with you, every day, every step of the way.

  108. I was so sorry to read about your cancer diagnosis. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. First diagnosed in 1997 at the age of 38 and then again in Jan 2012. I have walked the path you are now taking and while the journey was difficult, I was confident of one thing. God is still good. He sits on His throne and He has conquered death (and cancer!) I pray you experience His sweet presence and remember 2 Cor. 12:9.

  109. Hi Margaret a friend sent me this post. I was diagnosed in March with breast cancer and have been blogging since. I know everyone’s experience is so different, but I thought I’d share my experience with you in case it helps. I’m 31, I get the under 45 thing you spoke about. Please feel free to read or not read my blog. Or you can email me if you would like but no pressure.
    Alisa everydayrecorded.com

  110. I will be keeping you in my prayers. Two weeks ago my 32 year old sister was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. We are leaning hard into our faith. Comforted knowing that God is not surprised and in the midst of our fear His grace is truly sufficient. Peace hope and love to you and your family as you walk this road.

  111. I am so sorry! I have a friend also battling breast cancer. I am praying for you and your family. May God meet you in amazing ways through this trial.

  112. You have my heart and prayers — both you & Leif. Know that you are kept in love as you set about a plan of fight and recover.

  113. Precious Margaret, I too was stunned at your news and then the wave of many emotions crashed over me with and for you. I loved that you are already watchful to see what the Lord has tucked in there (the cancer journey) for you to do/watch/learn/see/experience/etc as He takes your hand in His mighty one and walks through this with you. And He will. Having been through this journey 3 times … I know He WILL and I also know how frightening this can be. (See http://www.MusicfortheSoul.org “Wildest Ride” CD/DVD re: Breast Cancer …really SPOKE to my heart and my experience) . We are all praying for you and standing WITH you against this foe and prepared to do battle with and for you; both kneeling in prayer before our Mighty Father and King we serve … and against this invader. You are loved sweet Sister! Lean in on Him. He will hold you and never, ever leave or forsake you!

  114. Hi, Margaret. I am praying for you. There is so much more than this diagnosis, and as a woman of faith, I know that you will journey this step by step with faith. Please keep us informed. You are not alone. – Rita.

  115. Margaret Polino Nicholas August 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Dear Margaret, I will be praying for you as you make this cancer journey. XO Margaret .

  116. Praying…

  117. I read your email a day or so ago. And today I am reading your blog. Same message, yes. But each time it hits my heart differently and I pray for you again. I’m so thankful for the depths of wonder that God has given you as a gift to experience and write about, for I believe it’s His presence in those wonder moments and places that will continue to be with you powerfully, carrying you through this journey ahead. Along with all of those who are standing next to you, present, praying, loving. And all of us who can’t physically be with you but who care deeply and will be praying. I’ll be one of those.

  118. Hi Margaret:

    I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis of breast cancer. Please know that I will be praying for you and Leif as God walks you through each step; some steps being just a little tougher than the one before. I pray that you will know that Wonderstruck presence every step you take!

    God has used you, Margaret, not only in my life but in the lives of so many others. It is an honor to now cover you in love and prayers.

    In His Grip,

    Sheryl

  119. Lynn Morrissey August 9, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Dear Margaret,
    I am visiting from Shelly Miller’s and I’ve also been deeply touched by Wonderstruck. I am once again struck with the wonder of a God who loves you beyond imagining, who has gotten you to just the help you need, who is strengthening and undergirding you every step of the way (underneath are His everlasting arms to uphold), and who, by His grace, will see you through this, and by His grace is enabling you to courageously share your journey. He is with you. He has gone before you. He will never leave you. I will be praying that our gracious Jehovah Rapha will heal you, restoring you to full health, and to an intimacy with Him that you never dared dream possible. May be you be wonderstruck afresh by His faithfulness. And may our mighty God strike down cancer.
    Love in Him,
    Lynn Morrissey
    PS I will pass your website and news to my praying friends.

  120. Margaret,
    I will continue to pray for you during this season…for the richness of God’s grace and peace to envelope you…for His healing power to do the miraculous in your body…for outrageous joy to saturate your heart & mind…and for divine appointments to present that bring glory to His name as you watch His glorious wonder unfold in the midst of this storm. Rich blessing over you & Leif!!
    Lori Worley

  121. Dear Margaret,
    Arriving back in cyberland from a summer vacation, your post left me feeling sucker punched, just as I feel each and every time a friend or loved one receives this diagnosis. But as much as it may seem to the contrary, I claim Romans 8:28 for you as God’s true promise. I will be praying for your complete healing, peace,restoration and transformation through this difficult journey. Also that you be surrounded with crazy grace in whatever form that may take. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace! AMEN!

    Habakkuk3:17Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
    though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
    though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
    18yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
    19The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.
    For the director of music. On my stringed instruments….I included this because I especially like the image of the angel choir singing all around you to sustain you!
    Peace of Christ to you and yours!

  122. I saw your link on Scot’s Jesus Creed website and want to offer some advice, which might be a bit different from the usual suspects of advice. I am a retired nurse, and worked in oncology at Johns Hopkins some years ago. My advice is to remember to REST, to honor your body, to honor your spirit. This whole path is many things, but it is certainly tiring at times – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is well and good to continue with your plans, and you should. You must. But know that those “plans” do not equal your life, and be willing to suspend them, change them, cancel them. Take a break whenever it feels right. Whether it’s for an hour, a day, a week. Among other things, this will be a very spiritual time for you… be still and know that He is God. And lean hard into Him. Blessings.

  123. The Lord bless you and keep you, Margaret. The Lord make his face to shine upon you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

  124. Just read this beautiful prayer from Christine Sine and thought this excerpt would be appropriate:
    “Lord, let us walk from this place,
    Your wisdom before us,
    Your truth behind us,
    Your breath within us.
    Lord, let us walk into the world,
    Gratitude in our hearts,
    Thanksgiving on our lips,
    Joy in our spirits.”

    You have my prayers.

  125. Margaret, when I first read this I was heart broken for you and immediately placed you on my prayer list. Prayer is a powerful thing. I have traveled that road with my husband and though it is challenging, God can and does do miracles. He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given less than a year. But God wasn’t listening to the diagnosis. That was 13 years ago! But once again we also are facing cancer. My husband had a growth on his toe which was surgically removed Aug. 1. The doctor called today with the news it was malignant. We do not know yet what the treatment will be, but we know our God! You are one of God’s favorites. I know He has much more planned for you to do. Though the way will not be easy, He will walk through it with you and us. And we will not only survive but thrive! May prayers will also be for Leif. I know how it is to watch you spouse go through this.
    Love, Cherie Num 6:24-26

  126. Margaret–The Ladies of Rock This House, Ash Flat, Arkansas, are certainly praying for you. I want to share this morning’s devo with you. It fits perfectly!!! “In the hard times, we learn 3 things. we are stronger than we ever imagined, Jesus is closer than we ever realized and we are loved more than we ever knew.”
    We look so forward to celebrating with you in July, 2014!!!! May God truly bless you with joy during this opportunity of growth in Him.
    Jan Haney

  127. Praying for you, sister.

  128. Praying with confidence that all will be well for you and knowing God has incredible things to reveal to you on this journey and hopeful you will share them with us.

  129. Nice docs you have forbidding you to google or listen to others advices, just blindly put your life in the hands of the Big Pharma puppets that thinks poison every cell in the body is the best way to cure. Maybe you’re not allowed to ask them critical questions either? Such as the true cure rate of the treatment they give you (compared to those clinics your white coats don’t want you to know about).

  130. I appreciate your blog. My wife “K” has been taking care of her dear mother (who has stage IV BC) 24/7 for the last 9 months. K was diagnosed in April with thyroid cancer (thyroidectomy) and now it appears (although we praying for the opposite) that she will be diagnosed with malignant breast cancer based upon a bi rad of 5 from an ultrasound last Tuesday (biopsy next week). The Lord is our Strong Tower and we are running to Him and he is our comfort. We are also searching on the internet and that is how I found your blog. K listens to her doctors and then she prays about it and never makes a decision in a Dr’s office. There is too much pressure placed upon women for instant decisions. In our view it is the responsibility of the patient to measure the advice and the internet has been good to us when dealing with K’s health and her mother’s. God bless you and if you are His then you know he already has.

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