"Looking for people that are the same as me."

Marybeth Lanius is a beautiful gift to our church and this community. I have asked her to write this week’s blog. Read it carefully and forward it to all your friends!

In January 2020, when I was diagnosed with advanced staged ovarian cancer, I went from feeling shocked, to terrified, to betrayed, to lonely all in the first day.

Along with a plethora of mixed emotions that followed, I found myself putting more effort into being brave for others rather than getting better. Then I searched and researched everything about ovarian cancer – survival rates, traditional treatments, alternative treatments, side effects, surgeries—but I really longed to find women that were going through this journey alongside me.

My faith in God kept me upright, and I never doubted that He had me and was going to save me either now or later or maybe even bring me into His kingdom sooner than expected. I was blessed with so many people who loved, cared for, prayed, and cried with me, and I will be forever grateful.

Still, I so wanted, and needed, to have just one person that was the same as me.

Today, I am celebrating beautiful remission. It’s been over two years since my last treatment. And even though I feel physically better than before I was diagnosed, the journey is not over.

There is the aftermath of changing my lifestyle, walking away from my career, wondering when and if there will be a recurrence, follow-up scans and the anxiety that goes along with oncology appointments. And I frequently question what am I supposed to be doing now? What is my purpose? Am I doing enough?

One thing I know for sure is that talking to people who have been through a cancer diagnosis can be a very calming experience. Sharing those initial feelings, comparing notes on treatments, praying for one another, and even crying together is healing!

The Survivor’s Group at HCC meets on Sundays after the 10:00 service at the HCC office. This group is open to any woman seeking support throughout a cancer journey. Please, pass along this invite to whoever you may know that is battling this disease. We need one another now more than ever.