Until Further Notice …

With Margaret’s last post revealing that she has achieved her primary goal of “no evidence of active disease,” we have agreed that it is time to suspend regular medical updates on her cancer journey at this time.

We will post again when there is a significant change – positive or negative.

Last Saturday was the first anniversary of her official diagnosis of Stage IV Breast Cancer, and this past year has been Hell – with the single distraction of Megan’s lovely wedding to a very fine young man! We cannot continue to live from day to day on an emotional roller-coaster, anxiously awaiting test results and doctor visits … so we are doing our best of adjust to “a new normal” in the face of a chronic, often fatal disease.

It has not been easy or comfortable for us to chronicle this journey publicly, but we do also know how deeply many care and deserve to know what has transpired. We do sincerely and humbly thank you for your well-wishes, caring, “likes” on Facebook, comments, meals, visits, phone calls and other expressions of kindness. We thank God for all of you – and hope you will be with us throughout the continued journey.

As Margaret wrote in her last post, the disease is never going away. There is no cure for her cancer, but hopefully she has many happy years left on this planet. She is greatly diminished and weakened by treatment, and she is now focused on getting stronger, healthier and heavier!

FYI This blog (jhbelljr.net), which was my professional blog until Margaret’s illness, will be used in the future to post mostly family-oriented matters of interest. I have started a new blog for professional purposes, and I hope you will subscribe to that! It’s located at johnhenrybell.com. I hope it will be of interest! Add me! 😉

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6 thoughts on “Until Further Notice …

  1. Thank you for keeping us informed during this year from hell. Praying now for your new normal, for a quieter more private life with different dreams and times to simply be rather than need to report to us. Our praying will not cease because we love you so much..

  2. Dear Margaret and John,
    You have been so generous and gracious. A remarkable model for how to go through hell and out the other side! Thank you!

  3. You have both shown such incredible grace while facing a terrifying situation. Thank you for allowing us to share some of this journey with you. We love you! (Also, if you need any tips on gaining weight, I have a few from my twin pregnancy that I’ll share anytime — it is funny how hard it can sometimes be to gain weight despite trying really hard!)

  4. My father died at 45 and my mother at 51. I always assumed that would be my story as well. I consider the last 7-8 years ‘my bonus years’, haha. One truly great gift from those losses was KNOWING life here does end. It’s no longer a pretty poster with the wise words: “Live each day as if it were your last.” I’m a believer in Jesus’ words “I came so you might have life and have it abundantly.” I’ve loved, laughed and cried and cried and cried abundantly and if today is my last day, I’ve told everyone I love to celebrate for me, a full, rich, abundant life and then eternity in peace. But, how to make the days of our lives meaningful besides fully living? It’s God’s work. Like Jesus says to the crowd in John 9:1-12, God didn’t make this happen, You aren’t responsible, your family isn’t responsible, but God has been, and has continued to be revealed through your experience. THANK YOU GUYS for your willingness to share just a glimpse of this unbelievably difficult diagnosis and prognosis. Margaret, you’ve always been so beautiful, kind, and gracious, and I’ll never get over being sad that such a lovely person had to go through these things. But you and John have shown us what real love looks like, have given us helpful things to use in our challenges and above all else, God has been revealed to us in new ways. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts. I’ll pray daily for, in your new normal, that you’ll feel great, experience great joy, and live abundantly in all things. I love you both. xo, Toni

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