23 February 2014

Vicki Marney's Testimony of Overcoming Breast Cancer—Part I

Vicki And Jon Marney In Front Of The Leela Palace In India

Learning to Lean on GodA Survivor's Story
 
Sunday, November 27, 1994—Church and the Perplexing Message: I stayed home with our oldest teen-age daughter who was going through a rebellious stage and had refused to go to church. However, my husband Jon attended, and he had an experience entirely unique in his life.

Here is what he told me later that day: During the service, our pastor had requested that those who needed prayer should come forward. At that point, Jon had a strong impression that there was someone that had a serious problem, 'like maybe cancer or something' and needed prayer. The impression was very clear that God knew about the problem and that it was going to be okay. In addition, the message was that God would be with them through the problem, not around it. Then Jon saw what he described as a vision of something like an X-ray with a large, uneven-edged dark splotch. He felt like God wanted him to share it, but there was an equal impression that the person did not know they had a problem. So then, there was an obvious dilemma—if someone did not know they had a problem, how would they know they needed to go forward for prayer? With this apparent contradiction, he did not feel he could say anything—it just did not make sense. Meanwhile, among those that had come forward was a woman named Lydia. The pastor told the congregation that Lydia had previously found a lump in her breast and was going in for a biopsy and was requesting prayer that everything would turn out okay. Jon thought, Oh, that is who this message was for. Yet this impression was so strong and so unusual, he still felt he needed to tell someone. So then, after the service ended, Jon told another of our daughters—also a teen—and then told the pastor. After Jon came home, he also told me and expressed his confusion about how strange it was to have a feeling that God had a message for someone, but that the person did not know they needed to hear it.

November 29, 1994—Mammogram and a BB: Our insurance coverage was about to end, so I had scheduled a routine physical exam. During the exam, my doctor performed a breast exam and also suggested that I have my first mammogram: “because you are 40, so you might as well have a baseline done." So there I was, on the 29th, enjoying a ‘smashing’ experience. After doing the initial X-rays, the technician returned and taped a BB on my left breast and took several more X-rays. A little while later, she came back with a radiologist who told me they had found a suspicious spot and asked if he could examine me. After he examined me, he showed me where to feel for a lump. It took a bit—because it was not close to the surface—but when I found it, I realized it was nearly the size of a walnut.

The radiologist advised me to have a biopsy done. I told him that there was a problem—our insurance was ending at the end of the month. He said, "Well, then we better get it done before the end of the month." I didn't realize at that point that the end of the month was the next day! So, all of the planning was rushed: I spent the rest of the afternoon at a surgeon's office, at the hospital having pre-op X-rays and having a full set of blood work done. I was feeling very overwhelmed doing all of this alone. I only had time to make a phone call to my husband alerting him of what was going on, so he could arrange to go with me to the hospital for my surgery. They had me in surgery the next afternoon!

November 30, 1994—A lump in my throat and another in my breast: The morning before my surgery was our ladies Bible Study, so I was able to attend before going to the hospital. I was feeling very nervous because I had never been in the hospital for anything except the birth of my first child—the other four were home births. The ladies at the Bible study prayed over me before I went to the hospital, which helped to calm my nerves a bit. One of the ladies prayed that it would turn out to be nothing, but all along, both Jon and I felt this was going to be one of those times that God was going to ‘carry us through’ not ‘remove’ or ‘help us around’.

After my surgery, Jon was waiting for me to wake from the anesthesia, when he told me what my surgeon had said: "I have been doing this for a long time, and you get so you can recognize when it is cancer, and I am very sure that this IS cancer—of course we will have to wait for the biopsy to come back, but I am pretty sure this is cancer." After Jon told me this, I said, "Jon! That message was not for Lydia, it was for me! Lydia didn't have cancer, but I DO! The message was for us!"

Because of the message that God had given to Jon for us, I never experienced the ‘why me?’ or, ‘oh no—I'm going die!’ But instead, ‘Oh no! We don't have any insurance anymore—how are we going to pay for this?’ God had already told us that He knew, before we even imagined there was a problem, and He had told us that it was going to be okay—we just had to trust Him. My thoughts were occupied with ‘Oh dear, is this going to involve a lot of pain and vomiting?’ (I'm a wimp when it comes to pain and I hate vomiting) and, ‘What am I going to have to go through—to get to the 'other side' of this—to get to being okay again?’ We had a year ahead of us to learn to trust God fully.

Please be sure and return to read my testimony of Overcoming Breast CancerPart II, when I will share thoughts about chemotherapy, radiation, and having less hair than my husband! I will also provide a link for meaningful suggestions for friends and family supporting a loved one going through a life-threatening or chronic illness.


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:4-6


Vicki’s Bio:
I live in the lovely Pacific Northwest (Oregon) with my husband Jon, (when I'm not following him around the world, wherever his job takes us). After 40 years of marriage we now enjoy spending time with our five children, and look forward to our ninth grandchild, due Spring of 2014. I love to read and I am exploring my possible writing skills, looking forward to possibly being published someday. I am currently working on a book for young girls.  I am also working on a book of my 'memoirs' from my breast cancer journey, to coincide with my 20 year survivor anniversary at the end of 2014.  I look forward to seeing where God's direction takes me from there...


Vicki's Contacts:
Facebook Writing Page: Victory's Memories - VM 
Blog Page: Where in the world is Jon and Vicki? (Still a work in progress)

37 comments:


  1. VICKI, thank you so much for agreeing to be with us this week and for sharing your candid and personal testimony with our viewers! Surely breast cancer is one of every woman's worse fears, and I appreciate your willingness to talk about your difficult journey.

    Note to readers -- VICKI and I became best friends when we lived in the same apartment complex in CA. about 35 yrs or so ago. At the time, we both had one small child. Her godly spirit, kind heart, and great sense of humor drew me to her, but unfortunately I moved all the way across the coast and we got separated for all these many years. Vicki found me on FB, and to make a long story short we actually reunited in person in 2013, when her husband Jon's work took him to nearby NC. What a joy it was to see them again, and be able to keep in touch via FB! AND to find out we both LOVED Christian fiction!!

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    1. Thank you Diana for asking me to do this--I have been 'planning' to write out my story and this was just the extra push that I needed. (I am now working on a more detailed version of my 'story' and hope to have it published to coincide with my 20 year anniversary at the end of the year. I hope my testimony will touch the hearts of others and provide inspiration for those facing life-altering illness.

      I am so glad that we were able to 'reconnect' in person and now stay in touch via FB, and I can't wait for another opportunity to pop up for us to recconcet once again physically.
      Vicki

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  2. Excellent description of your thoughts upon finding out it was cancer. I am in the middle of tests for uterine cancer and before I got the opposite message, they are now most sure it is NOT cancer, my mind ran in the same circles My biopsy is this Tuesday and then I will have closure. I, too, was not fearful of dying, but of the pain and discomfort of the treatment itself, fear of how the medical costs would rob my family of a lifetime of saving, and fear of how much this would hurt my husband and girls. I have not shared this with anyone just yet, but felt I needed to after reading your blog. I'm leaving this anonymous, but will identify myself privately to you on a fb msg.

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    1. Praying for you! Come back and give us your results, please! Blessings!

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  3. Thank you ANONYMOUS, for sharing with me. It was for women just like you, that I wanted to share my story with, and I will be praying your results turn out to be okay. Thank you also for sending me a PM on FB and identifying yourself--I had no idea you were going through something like this. I truly do not know how anyone who does not know Christ gets through times like this--it is great to know we have someone who cares for us and like the Footprints poem, will carry us over the difficult times.

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  4. Thank you, Vicki, for sharing your testimony with us! It's so good to see that the Lord carried you through it all. I look forward to reading part II. Blessings!

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  5. Thank you Marian--I enjoyed writing my testimony and hope that others will find comfort and inspiration in or through my words. I appreciate being asked by OWG to share.
    Vicki

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  6. Oh Vicki, I just read this part of your testimony and what a testimony it is. This is such a witness of what it means to lean on the Lord and listen to that small voice. I am so glad that a FB game has brought you into my circle of "sisters in the Lord". What a blessing. I love reading about all your travels but this journey you traveled will mean so much to others going through their own trials. I can't wait to read the next chapter!! I don't know how people survive without the Lord in their life.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

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  7. Thank you Jo! Even though I don't play hardly any of the games anymore, I have made some great FB friends from when I did--you included. I pray that my words will bless others as they go through such trials. I have always thought the the reason I went through this, was to be able to help others in similar trials, and I pray that by me writing this out, that I can touch even more.
    Vicki

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  8. VICKI it's so good for you to be here with us on OWG. Isn't it amazing when GOD lets us know HE is in control of every situation? Thank you so much for sharing with us and I can't wait to "hear" the rest of the story! :-)

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    1. Thanks for the great welcome Teresa! I think that was one of the most special thing that happened in all of this, was to know that God had it in His hands even before we had any idea there was anything going on. How special is that? Even now, when something "comes up" I just have to remember this time and be reassured that "he's got it!"
      Vicki

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  9. Wow, what a great testimony, Vicki. Isn't God wonderful? Giving you reassurance even before you faced this trial. He is so good!

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    1. Thanks Nancy--I agree--we serve such an awesome God who knows how to bless us when we are really in need of His blessings. We only need to remember to ask Him for His help--He is waiting for each of us.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I'd known you survived breast cancer but hadn't heard any of this. I'm truly in awe of what an all knowing God we have. I'm also grateful to have people of such faith in my life. Living by faith isn't always an easy task, especially in circumstances such as this. You and Jon are a great example of living by faith! I look forward to hearing more of your story.

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    1. Lindsay--thanks for reading my testimony and leaving a comment.. We are happy to have you in our life too and look forward to see where God leads in the future. Someday, I think that you need to write out your testimony too. ;-)

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  11. Vicki, You are an outstanding lady and I feel honored to have you as my friend. Your story is will inspire others to trust God in the stormy times...That He doesn't always take the weather away... He shelters us under His umbrella of faith to get through it. Can't wait to read part 2.

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    1. Jenny, aka Ruby Wives, thank you for your kind comment. You are one who knows the difficuly road of difficulties, and learning to depend on God. You are one of those friends that has been a spiritual inspiration to me and I feel so fortunate to be able to call you friend. Keep up with your Ruby Wives Ministry and writing words of encouragement for hurting wives. Love you girl!

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  12. Difficulties--sometimes spell check and change doesn't always work as we want it to when trying to correct, typo's. ;-)

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  13. Vicki, thank you so much for sharing your testimony here on OWG! I pray it will touch, bless, and encourage many also. I love hearing how God works in our lives to give us what we need to cope with life and it's many trials. I had a terrible scare once... partly my fault as I went searching on the net to see what these strange lumps were appearing in different places over my body.. What I read wasn't very hopeful and fear took a hold, but I sought God, prayed and cried, and then suddenly a powerful peace descended upon me and I felt the Holy Spirit say it was going to be okay.
    I'm thankful every day to our God for His unfathomable love toward us all!! Bless you Vicki, and I hope to read much more from you soon! :-)

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  14. Thanks Noela for the encouragement in my writing--I feel God is leading me to pursue more and to use it for His glory. I appreciate everyone's prayers that I will follow His leading.

    As to using the internet for info--it is great that it is available to us, yet we also have to trust God in the ultimate plan for our health, and give all the fear to Him. After all it his He that can do something about it and if there is a problem and our worries gain us nothing but more worry.

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  15. Vicki, I would like to congratulate you as you're approaching your 20 year breast cancer survivor anniversary! Your part I testimony is a powerful tool to reach people who are struggling with similar life circumstances or who have friends/family coping with this disease. Sharing such a personal time in your life will give hope and inspiration to those reading it.

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    1. Thank you Rachell--we plan to have a party to celebrate when we get closer to the anniversary date, and if you happen to be in town visiting your mom, you will be invited. ;-).
      Sometimes in my written 'story' it sounds like it was all easy, but there were many tough times, so it was great being able to know that God was on our side, and to be able to hold to that promise that was given to us, at the beginning when we were feeling weak..

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  16. Powerful testimony, Vicki. I can't wait to read the rest! God is so good and that is so cool how He spoke to your husband's house!

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    1. Ooops, spoke to your husband's heart! Thank you for sharing with us, Vicki!

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    2. Thank you Carrie. It was such an encouraging thing to know that God cared enough to send a special message that was 'just for us'. We have never experienced such a strong and powerful message such as this, before or after, and it gave us such a feeling of knowing that it was all in His control and that He was going to take care of things--sometimes even when we didn't know we needed His help.

      And your oopsie was true too--the message was for our house as well as our heart. ;-)

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  17. What a story and blessing, A needed one today, it seems like many woman are dealing with BC and sharing the story of survival is a needed thing right now. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, for being open and ready to be used of the Lord and being a godly woman who is truly a Ruth for today. A woman to learn from and glean from. I look forward to Part 2.
    Love in our Lord
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for the kind words Linda. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to share my story.here on OWG and I pray that this, as well as part two, will minister to someone who needs to hear these words. God is ready and waiting to meet our needs if we only trust Him with them.

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  18. Hi, Vicki!!

    Such an inspirational testimony you have - and a very timely one for me, as I have an appointment with an oncologist on Thurs. for a breast exam, due to a lump and another abnormality I have found. I also had kidney cancer in 2000, and had a kidney removed - and like you, I never feared death, because I knew God was on my side, and I was prepared for death, if necessary - rather, the pain etc. - as I am a "wimp" also, with a low pain tolerance level and several traumatizing experiences when I was a child (some of them life-threatening).

    I'm so glad you are a 20 year cancer survivor, and am looking forward to the rest of your testimony, Vicki!! God works in amazing ways, His wonders to perform, doesn't He??

    Bless you, Vicki!!

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    1. Bonnie, I am so glad you found my testimony to meet your needs at this time--I will be praying for you as you see your oncologist on Thursday. God is so good and giving us the peace and comfort we need when going through times like this. If my words help only one person (and I believe it will bless more than one...) I will feel like every ounce of work towards writing my story is worthwhile. Please let me know how it goes, and if you want to contact me at any point to talk about things, just let me know. (see my contact info above).

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  19. WOW, Vicki, what a story -- it gave me chills about the message being for YOU! I am anxious to read part 2, although I must admit you are keeping me in WAY more suspense than I keep my readers, girlfriend, so what's that all about???

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. Julie--does that mean I should work on a suspense novel? ;-) It means a lot to me, for a published author to like what I wrote. When I realized the message was for me, it blessed me so much--I was surprised that God would give us such a special and personal message, which as I said before, I clung to especially during that first month as everything was just spinning by us..

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  20. I am so very sorry Vicki. I really thot I had answered you. Forgive me. Sorry you went through this, but so thankful that GOD was there taking care of you. It has been in my family too. I too think of myself being strong in dealing with sickness and meds, but must admit I am wimpy when I think of having the big C. We do know GOD will take care of us according to HIS will. There has been 10 in our family that I know of and don't have much information past grandparents. Four of these were my siblings. Now my son has Prostrate and will have surgery in April. Lost my hubby with that in 1997. But, still our family has had many of GOD's miracles through the years. GOD bless you sweet lady.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, thanks for coming back to leave a comment. I'm sorry to hear you have had to deal with cancer within your family--it is such a difficult illness to deal with, no matter what type. I will be praying that all goes well for your sons Prostate Cancer. Prayers for guidance and wisdom for his medical staff and a peace for all your family.

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  21. Vicki-I remember you telling me this story a while back. and as I read your powerful! part 1 testimony. I get chills reading the part of Jon's taking in all of this. a lot of people would have ignored that small voice. like we all do at times. Jon had to be very much in tooned to get that message when he did.

    I hope you inspire all those that read your testimony to help those that struggle with breast cancer. CONGRATS! as you aproach your 20th year. I'm looking forward to reading part 2

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  22. Hi Vicki, I knew you were a survivor of cancer, but never really knew the story. I can't imagine the feelings that must have run through both of you, but I'm glad you both had the strength to go through this journey together. I look forward to reading part 2 when you write it. Thanks again for inviting me to take a look.

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    1. Thank you Leo for taking the time to read my testimony and leave a kind comment. We miss our waltz classes with you and hope some day our paths will connect again someday (Imagine crossing paths in Paris? LOL) Yes, those days. weeks and months were a rough time, that included many tears. I am very thankful for having a wonderful, supportive husband and family to be by my side (and God too!) during this journey and look forward to many more years of exploring this world with Jon. Who knows, maybe we will find ourselves in China someday, however, between the your crazy travel schedule and ours, it will take some doing to have it happen while you are home. :-)

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  23. What a great testimony of God's provision, Vicki! I'm so glad you're sharing your testimony. It will build faith in everyone who reads it. God bless you and your wonderful husband!

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