Friday, January 1, 2010


THIS song, You Are My Joy by David Crowder, best describes how I feel today, after recovering somewhat, from having gone through what feels like hell and back in the last few days over my treatment decision. The song sounds best really loud.

This is my decision:
Yesterday morning I woke up, after having hardly slept all night, after spending most of the night talking to God about this treatment decision, with a stomach so knotted up with anxiety that I had diarrhea several times and could hardly eat breakfast. I spent my morning reading about treatment options and could hardly eat lunch. Every treatment I looked at made me want to curl up in a fetal position and just hide somewhere far, far away.

As I read about the treatments and the average progression free time patients experienced from it, I kept thinking that the bottom line is that treatment can only extend life at this point, it is palliative rather than curative.

My understanding is that ovarian cancer is the most malignant gynecologic cancer. My understanding is that I have the most aggressive form of ovarian cancer.

It seems to me that if I recurred six weeks or less after I finished chemo, and if my last treatment didn’t stop the cancer, that with or without treatment my life on this earth is going to be short.

I would rather have a few months of doing the things I love and enjoy with the people I love and enjoy, than a few years of struggling with pain and suffering and treatment symptoms.

Last spring when I was fighting through all of the issues of facing death and dying and the suffering involved, God showed me that He would be with me and have mercy on me. I’m not saying that I think it will be free of pain and suffering, I’m very much aware that it might be a very difficult process.

I’m also very much aware that dying can’t last forever, there is an ending point, there has to be an ending point. At that point, I will leave this earth and be more alive than I have ever been, with a perfectly healed body for all eternity.

When I was praying about my treatment decision this morning, I was reminded of John 14 where Jesus tells his loved ones that he is going to prepare a place for them and that he will come again and take his loved ones to himself. He also says, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

I feel like God is using those words to communicate to me again that I am His and that He will come for me, and that He will come for me soon. I don’t know what that looks like in terms of time, but I know what it means in terms of His promise to minister to me and to take me to Himself when it is His time.

I feel like God gave me, and the people around me, this past year as preparation for this decision.

My decision to stop treatment is the only option I feel peace about.

I feel indescribably blessed to have an extremely competent, very compassionate, very understanding medical team to take care of me through this process. I know that God timed my first appointment last December to put me in their hands. I have a phenomenal amount of respect for each of them as people and as medical practitioners. They are doing a wonderful job.

I feel like I’ve done the things I’ve wanted and needed to do. Although I’ve been wanting to go skydiving and may still do that when the air is warm enough.

I feel like I’ve used the gifts God has given me to the best of my ability.

I feel like I’m at peace with God and the people around me.


  1. But let all who take refuge in Thee be glad,
    Let them ever sing for joy;
    Thou dost shelter them,
    That those who love Thy name may exult in Thee.
    For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O Lord,
    Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield. Ps. 5, love you! Mom

  2. I love you, Martha!
    Praying continually for you...
    Love, Sandi

    "The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
    Deuteronomy 31:8

  3. Martha,
    We know this has been a very hard decision for you and we admire your courage and trust. Know that we love you and will continue to hold you in the Light as you continue down your path. We hope that you find a warm day to fulfill your skydiving dream. Love, Uncle Dave and Kathleen

  4. Oh, what a hard decision you have had to make. How you must have struggled to make that hard decision. I don't know you personally, but I feel your anxiety and indecision. I also feel your certainty in deciding to withold further treatment. Only our gracious God can give you peace in the coming days.

    Linda Niehoff, a fellow worker with your Dad.

  5. Love you... you are always in my prayers. I support you always and always!

  6. You are one tough cookie! I love you much and I know how reflective you are, so if this is the decision that gives you peace...rock on sista, rock on!
    I hope to see you soon, and if you need anything, I mean ANYTHING, let me know.
    You are in my prayers,


  7. All the above says it for me too. God will never leave you and will comfort you in your sufferings. Praying for strength everyday to do, teach and be a witness to those around you. Blessings, Christine

  8. M -

    I'm sure one of your crazy brothers has already beat me to this offer...but I will gladly go skydiving with you anytime! I've actually never thought its something I'd do...but let me know when you're up for it and I'm there!

    Love you

  9. I read your blog and am touched by your courage and positive outlook. I am a cancer suvivor myself. Fortunately I had a cancer that was very treatable and I am one year cancer free. Although when I first learned of it I was so heartbroken. I chose at first to feel a deep sadness, but God was always there to help me and then there was this quote that helped me out..... "Illness is not a punishment, but a stimulant to LIFE". Enjoy the little moments that God has blessed you with each day and as you already know...each second. Make the most of your life.....embrace your students.....teach the children to build their own bird feeders. Leave this world a better place than it was when you first entered it. Touch is GOD's gift. FIGHT for it! Stay positive. Always find a reason to Smile.

    Adiel G

  10. Hey just wanted to say Hi. I appreciate our communication with each other. I will continue to keep up with you until you go home to your Father. I love you and am thinking of you today.

    Chris and Kara Harris

  11. Martha - what courage and strength you have. I watched a dear friend of mine spend her last year going through chemo and radiation, only to die very weak and ill. Fortunately for me, I am 1year 3 months from treatment and doing well. I beleive however, if I have a recurrence my decision will be the same as yours. Living and enjoying life is most important. Have you read the book - Anti Cancer - A New Way of Life - by David Servan Schreiber - I highly recommend it.

  12. hey Martha glad to here yesterday wasn't too bad hope this relieves your pain. your 1st sunday back at church we're gonna bringya down front to the (well you know where i like to sit)& a bunch of us are gonna git up & dance for the Glory of the Lord. I got down on my knees for you(literally) you encouraged me that much. Love,Rachel