July, 2006: “Yipeeee!!! I’m officially 50 days post transplant without major complications. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity to live and I think of many who’ve been stricken with cancer who were not as lucky. It is hard to accept that some people survive this horrible disease while others do not. What makes me different that I was blessed with a second chance to live? After all, when I was diagnosed I was only given 5% chance of making it. Knowing all this makes me appreciate each day that I wake up – even if it is at 6:45 in the morning only to run two and a half hours of IV medications.”

Marlena was diagnosed with a rare advanced stage of cancer known as DSRCT in January of 2005. Since then she has kept a journal of her many 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 hope to use her journal as a basis for a book to provide support for others struggling with cancer.

July, 2006: “It has definitely been a long road. God is teaching me a lot and one of those things is what comes with patience during difficult times. I’ve learned that God has a plan for all of us, even if we don’t understand it at the time. I’ve also learned that He never abandons his children and He will always give us the tools we need to get through our troubled times. These are some verses that have seen me through some tough times. I thought I would share.”

  • My grace is sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • And not only that but we also glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
  • Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

In December of 2006, Marlena received the news that not only was her cancer incurable but it was moving so fast, she may only have days or weeks to live. Marlena cried upon hearing the news but then she immediately vowed to make the best of whatever time she had. She continued her journal.

December, 2006: “Sure, I would love (and am praying for) an earthly healing but if God’s plan is a heavenly healing, I’m okay with that too! However, God knows my feisty nature and He knows that I’m not a quitter and I will fight this disease with everything I’ve got. After all, I didn’t get this far by just laying over and waiting for someone to give me the magic cure right? Smiles! I received a wonderful card this week with a quote that touched my heart and so I just have to share it. ‘When God sees someone who doesn’t quit, He looks down and says, ‘There is someone I can use.’”

January 2, 2007: “Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great New Years. I know I did. A big thank you to everyone for their constant prayers and support. Like I have said a million times, I have only begun this amazing journey called life and each day that I wake up is another gift from God. ‘By His stripes I have been healed!’ It is an amazing feeling when you finally surrender your life to Christ and know that He will take care of you. All the everyday worries just melt away and I have found myself laughing at things I once worried about. Do I still get upset about little stuff? Uhhh yeah! Ask my cats why they are outside now (they peed on my Christmas tree!) but wouldn’t be human otherwise.”

January 8, 2007: “’And the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise them up.’ James 5:15. ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful.’ Hebrews 10:23. God continues to be faithful and continues to bless us with more than we truly deserve. Every day I wake up, I’m amazed at our Lord’s grace and unconditional love for us. We had an incredible weekend and enjoyed the nice warm weather. Believe it or not, I walked 18 holes of golf (and yes, I carried my own clubs!) When we were finished, it was my husband Jeff who was home on the couch soaking his feet and me who was making dinner and feeling great!”

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

Categories: Devotions