March 24: “Yesterday was a busy day to say the least. I had golden beads implanted into my liver. Yeah, golden! Only the best for me! The poor doctor, I kept leaning forward asking ‘Hey, what are ya doing? Are you done yet?’ Over the past week I felt a roller coaster of emotions. In one moment I feel like saying “enough is enough” and in a blink of an eye I become angry and think ‘who the hell is satan to be putting this crap on me?’ There are moments where I feel strong and moments where I feel weak, almost hopeless.
I was sent a card which reminded me of several verses. It is ironic that verses which hold such a strong meaning to me kind of “fly out” the brain during moments where I need them most.”
- “All things are possible with God” Mark 10:27
- “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me.” Psalms 50:15
- “God is our refuge & strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way & the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 46:1-2.
“God wants me to trust him in the midst of all this craziness and uncertainty. Even though some days I feel alone, He has not left me alone. God has so much work left for me to do now. I will use this experience to glorify God and to show His testimony of amazing, healing, grace. By HIS stripes I have been healed! I Will Survive!”
Marlena fought a rare advanced stage of cancer known as DSRCT. She kept a journal of her ups and downs while battling the disease. Marlena died July 27 of this year but the online journal she left behind literally helped and inspired thousands. We pray her words will also help you.
April 16: “Well, if you are looking for a rose colored, the sun is shining, update: you aren’t going to get one here. Sorry! I am still exhausted beyond words and it just doesn’t seem to end. The Dr. reminded me that I’m being hit with a double whammy: radiation side effects and chemo. Now let’s talk about what radiation has done to my FACE! I have sunburn under my eyes, behind my ears, and IN my ears and my bald head is aching like it is sunburned too. GRRRRRR! So in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit miserable. I could use some prayers and so could the students at VT.”
July 5: “Hello everyone! I’m still here and getting better…VERY slowly. We made some progress yesterday with my bladder. I had 4 clear peees. I know, I know: it’s the lil’ things we get excited about. We praise God for our huge accomplishments as well as our little ones. Thank you for your prayers. I know I’ve been in the dumps lately and probably not friendly. Cancer is more than just a physical battle. It’s mental and I have God on my side reminding me NOT to worry about things! Smiles! Please pray for my cancer friends, they are all fighting so hard.”
July 17: This is Jeff’s mom. Marlena was taken to intensive care due to complications during a surgical procedure. Please pray for peace for us at this difficult time. I am at a loss of words except to say that Marlena is in critical condition. Please pray God will grant Marlena and Jeff, peace and comfort.
July 27: Hello, this is Jeff. Unfortunately this update is with mixed emotions. Marlena has been resting comfortably but her struggle will be over soon. In typical Marlena fashion, she is still trying to prove the doctors wrong. Everyday they say it will be her last and every morning she is still fighting as hard as ever. We have not been able to communicate with her but she is surrounded with love and I know she feels it. Thanks for your support. This site, the friends and all of your prayers and messages has really helped her keep going when things have been tough.
July 28: Tonight, my personal angel for nine years was taken home to be with God. Sitting here trying to accept what I’m writing brings forward a feeling that I can only describe as anger, fear, confusion, loneliness, and relief all wrapped together. But before you feel sorrow for Marlena I want to share something with you all that I will never forget and I think is testimony to Marlena’s faith and God’s promise to take care of us.
A little while after Marlena took her last peaceful breath, all the pain, worrying and suffering of the last few years left her face and a smile like we haven’t seen for quite some time appeared in its place. It was a smile of pure peacefulness. I was brought back into the room and at first, I thought the nurses had done this for our benefit but they had nothing to do with it. One of Marlena’s biggest fears was hurting her family and I believe that she was sending us a message letting us know that she was ok.
I will miss her everyday, but I know that she is in a wonderful place and that one day we will all be together again and no sickness can stop that. I may not write anymore on this site but I would like to say to all of you out there fighting cancer or any other illness. “No matter what is thrown at you and even when things seem unbearable, never give up! God can defeat any disease and you never know what is planned for you and how your courage will affect others.” Marlena is a great example of how one person’s faith and winning attitude can positively affect so many people. She was a fighter to the end and that is how she will be remembered. Jeff
Next week: I will add my own comments on this amazing journal from Marlena. Better yet, you can subscribe to receive our Sowing Seeds Ministry weekly devotions by clicking here.
You can read Marlena’s journal and learn more about her by clicking on her site: http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/inputSiteName.do?method=search&siteName=marlenahodges