When it’s cancer. Again.

My extraordinary wife Sonya joins me today.

People who do not know us well may not be aware that Sonya is a 30-year cancer survivor. When we were in our early 20s, not long after the arrival of our firstborn, Sonya correctly diagnosed herself with Hodgkin’s Disease (now known as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma). It is cancer in the lymphatic system.

She diagnosed it after reading in Redbook magazine of a case that matched her symptoms.

Several lymph-nodes were biopsied, as was a section of bone marrow taken from her hip. The cancer was Stage 2, treatable. Not in the marrow.

The treatment regimen in those days called for spleen removal, and radiation. No chemo.

After the radiation was over she had CT scans every six months for about two years. At the end of five years the cancer had not returned and she was pronounced cured.

Hodgkin’s is odd in that if you ever beat it (seven years clean) your chances of recurrence are no different than a person who has never had it. (Or so we were told.) Still, we’ve had a couple of scares over the years when doctors could not be sure about one thing or another with her health.

Everything through the years turned out to be false alarms.

But, that radiation.

Because of radiation treatments Sonya has been at an elevated risk of another kind of cancer.

This past December she found a lump. Mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and CT scans later: Stage 1 breast cancer, two different kinds. Three very small masses. Encapsulated, considered non-aggressive. The doctor said, “If you have to get breast cancer this is what you want to have,” which sound good enough, except no one in their right mind wants to get it in any shape, form, or fashion.

Sonya joins a minuscule number of people who have experienced three different kinds of cancer. It is my prayer she will soon be among those who’ve beaten three kinds of cancer. Would you join me in that?

Over the next weeks and months Sonya will have a lot of stuff going on, little of which will be detailed here. Not all of it has been decided, but none of it will be easy. The ball rolls April 18 with surgery.

Needless to say, this was not on our To-Do list. Not this year, not ever again.

Yet, here it is.

Today we forego the theological reflection, and simply ask for prayer.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Pam Blume

    Praying right now! For peace and strength for you and Sonya, for wisdom for the doctors, and effectiveness of the treatment!

  • Cathy Farr Fothergill

    Praying you both of you!

  • Laurette Carver Archer

    oh my girl, Sonya!!! You are (and always have been) one of the bravest, strongest women I know! Changed from the inside out by the love of our good God! Cancer sucks. I already told God that when I read this! Praying for every little single thing you need from the One that can heal!! I love you!

  • Derek Spain

    praying for Sonya, and for you. The Lord is your healer. Love you guys!

  • Phil Davis

    Prayers for sure to you and your family, Marty!

  • Mike Ebert

    Praying it goes well!

  • Gary Snowden

    Praying for Sonya and you as well, Marty, in these days. May God’s grace, strength, and healing be abundantly experienced.

  • Praying. My dear wife also had three kinds of cancers, first breast cancer, a cure, a metastasis to her back, and two years after that, leukemia- secondary from the treatment of the earlier cancer. In between her first and second I had stage 2 Hodgkins. Praying the God of heaven and earth blesses your wife with health.

  • johnfernandez


  • I will join you in praying.

  • Carol Whisenhunt

    Praying for that true peace that only our Lord can give. Praying that God will open all the doors you need for this full recovery. Walk full in His grace and remember Jesus is always right on time.

  • Nancy

    You are all in my prayers.

  • Jeff Little

    Marty and Sonya, I am certainly lifting you up in my prayers. Having just completed my radiation and chemo and one week away from my surgery, my heart broke and I couldn’t finish your blog before lifting Sonya up in prayer. I’m looking forward to lifting praises up for all of us. If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact us! What hospital will you be at?

    God bless and continued prayers for you!