Be Not Afraid

Happy News and a Singing Dog

Today Mike and I received some wonderful, encouraging news!  The results of my PET scan are in and the very large mass in my chest is now half its size!  A smaller mass that is connected to the larger one has also shrunk to a much smaller size, and a tiny mass that was on my diaphragm is gone!  Needless to say, Mike and I are so happy to hear that the chemo is working!  Knowing this makes it so much easier to face the next cycle that I begin on Tuesday.

My doctor still expects that I will need 4 or 6 more rounds of chemo (and said that the tumor probably won’t shrink quite as much every two months but that that’s expected and okay), but is very pleased and said that my progress is exactly what she’d like it to be.  Also, since my blood counts are good, she will be able to once again up the dosage of the chemo drugs I get for my next cycle.  While this means that the side effects will probably be greater, and there is a good chance I will again become neutropenic, it also means that there is a greater chance that the cancer will be killed!  As this week has been an emotional roller coaster, this news comes at a wonderful time.  All I can do is praise God for placing me in wonderful hands and for His unending, unfailing love.

I am so incredibly thankful for everyone’s prayers and positive thoughts.  I can’t tell you what your support means to me.  Please continue to pray and know that I pray for all of you as well.

Yesterday I received an amazing surprise that absolutely made my day, and I’d like to share it with all of you.  I’ve never experienced anything quite like a singing telegram.  To share in the awesomeness, click the link below!  And a special thank you to Emma and James for bringing a huge smile to my face on an especially dark day-you guys are the best!


  1. Britney Eyster


    I’ve prayed this message would bring refreshing encouragement to your current journey, especially coming from a stranger. My name is Britney, and I’m a good friend of your sister-in-law, Sarah. I was so excited for the McGinley family back in October when Margie and Hugh told me that you and Mike were expecting, but my heart broke for you all when Sarah shared the news of your diagnosis in February. I’m a pediatric oncology nurse at the Children’s hospital in Atlanta, and as I read your blog I can’t help but think of the typical conversation that occurs when I share my vocation with others. Usually I hear something to the nature of, “I don’t know how you can do it, it must be so sad, taking care of kids with cancer.” But the truth is that working with patients and families with cancer is one of the most humbling jobs I can imagine. I am continually amazed at the courage and determination my patients and families show as they face the vulnerability and fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis. Your blog perfectly presents this poignant journey I’ve come to know. You, and the patients and families I care for, are the heroes in my world. You appreciate the situation for what it is, heart-breaking and world-altering, but you stand firm in your faith in God and in your love of life. The balance of these two extremes is beautiful. I wish I could do it. Thank you so much for risking your own vulnerability to show us all how. My husband and I are praying for you, Mike and John Paul.

    And because you seem to gain strength in songs, here is one that I frequently rest in.

    You’ve got that something beautiful.


    • Britney,

      Your beautiful message meant so much to. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to a stranger, and thank you so much for your prayers. It is so humbling to me that my words would mean something to you, and that you would be praying for us!

      I love Need to Breathe….thank you for reminding me of such an encouraging song!

      Thank you also for being an oncology nurse. I can’t tell you how invaluable a compassionate, kind nurse is while facing cancer! Your patients are very blessed to have you.

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