Last Trip to MD Anderson

Yesterday was an amazing and difficult day.  Flying to Houston was quite a journey in itself because of all the thunderstorms.  But we made it, heard what The Wizards had to say and came home.  It is a day I’ll never forget.

The trip to Houston was a heck of a flight.  Thunderstorms were all around us but Bob Longwell skillfully navigated around the dangerous parts and gently set us down in Houston safely.  It was certainly not a flight for the faint at heart.  Out of a butt pucker 1-10 scale, I’d rate it a solid 8.5.  I’m so thrilled that Bob was there to handle the flying part.

At MD Anderson we got things kicked off fairly quickly with the standard blood tests, EKG, xrays and urine samples.  We then immediately checked into the waiting area for the doctor to encourage them to see us quickly.  We learned upon checking in that they had pushed back our 5PM appointment with Dr. Kurzrock (the whole reason we were here!) to 5:30PM.  Nice.  Not to be easily deterred, we asked to see her earlier.  After a little while, we asked to see her nurse.  Eventually, the nurse came out and we explained that we had a flight to catch and people waiting on us.  Thankfully, she got us in around 3PM.

Dr. Kurzock came in with only one person this time.  Missing was her clipboard touting entourage.  Interesting change.  She briefly quizzed Maggie on the latest developments and without pausing, she told Maggie that she is in the very, very late stages of this disease.  The problem is two-fold: the lungs and the liver.  Most critical, Maggie’s lungs are very full of disease and that disease is making it harder and harder for her to breath.  Second most critical, Maggie’s liver is filled with tumors and is very likely near the point where it may suddenly shut down.  The liver, she explained, works differently than other organs in that it doesn’t slowly fail.  It just reaches a point where it can’t function and shuts down.  Dr. Kurzrock feels we are close to that point.

She went on to say that we really have only two options at this point: do nothing, or try one last long-shot at chemo.  The chemo she suggested is the type that Maggie was initially given in the hospital.  It worked great then but, for reasons I’ve explained before and don’t feel like explaining again, it’s generally not widely accepted that it will work again.  Once a chemo card has been played, it’s off the table.  But, she said, in very few cases it has been shown to work again.  It’s a long shot.  Making matters worse, this particular type of chemo, out of all the ones she’s had, was the most difficult for Maggie.  It really kicked her hard and she was down for a solid five days afterward.  Work or not, it won’t be a pleasant time.

Finally, Maggie asked “How much time do I have left?” to which Dr. Kurzrock replied “one to two weeks.”

Thus ended our last visit to MD Anderson.

The trip back to the airport was very long.  The rain that had been in Austin was now drowning Houston.  Streets were flooded.  Traffic was at a stand still.  Lightening was everywhere.  Neither of us were very chatty.  I felt a little sorry for the nice lady who drove us but only for a second, simply because I was too caught up in my own crap to offer much energy to her.  Somehow, during our long drive, I fell asleep.

Bob was waiting for us at the airport.  Because rain was pouring down and the lightening was relentless, I expected Bob to tell us that the flight was off.  But he didn’t.  Maggie then relayed our day’s fun to Bob who offered gentle, kind words in return.  Maggie spent the next several minutes calling a few people to let them in on the day’s events.

Bob and I headed off to the weather radar room where he explained that the storm was moving past which should eventually permit us to leave.  There, he also shared with me some kind words for which I’ll be eternally grateful.

Eventually, the rain broke.  It didn’t look any better outside but the wind had died and the rain had all but stopped.  We saddled up and hit the runway.  Embedded in the dashboard of the plane is a large color monitor that showed a picture of the current weather radar.  On that radar screen was a very large red-colored cloud peppered with little lightening symbols.  Our take-off trajectory pointed us directly toward that cloud.  Outside, it looked equally as menacing.  (While I’d seen worse before, I was standing on the ground at the time.  I think being any distance off the ground adds about 20 intensity points to any sort of the inclement weather.) 

Fortunately, the good folks at traffic control had our backs.  After a series of right turns we were no longer headed into the storm-cloud-from-hell.  Instead, we were rather bumpily breaking through the cloud layer at about 5,000 feet into a wonderful nether land of fluffy ground cover and party-cloudy skies and, best of all, no turbulence.  After we leveled off at about 8,000 feet the flight took on a near magical quality.  The mountainous clouds below us churned slowly hiding any ground-related nefarious activity.  The sun occasionally peaked out from behind the cloud cover above us drawing strong shadows from cloud peaks to cloud valleys.  Occasionally, we’d spot fellow travelers, most much bigger in size than us, all headed their own direction, either below or above us.  It was peaceful and surreal.

In dealing with our Great Cancer Adventure, I find that I relate many real-life situations to parts of our journey, past, present, and perceived future.  Allegories abound.  I suppose it’s my own mind’s way of sorting and sifting and maybe even keeping sane during these turbulent times.  Or maybe it’s a way of grabbing fleeting momments as we whirl down this river at what seems to be an ever increasing speed.

One such moment from yesterday sticks out.  We had just climbed above the clouds, the ride had smoothed down, and the sun had just peaked out, shooting rays of sunlight onto the cloud blanket below us making it sparkle.  To describe the scene as breathtaking would be robbing it of existential qualities.  But just as I was remembering to breathe, an angel’s voice that sounded a lot like Maggie’s came through the headset.  The voice said, “See, I told you things would get better.”

113 thoughts on “Last Trip to MD Anderson

  1. Awe she is an angel indeed! Big hugs and lots of love to you both. Mostly I am at loss for words but glad you got to see all that beauty above the storm

  2. Tears flowing and my hands are shaking. I am without words. I just want to tell you both how much we all love you and would do anything for either of you. There are not two people I know in all of my life that are as surrounded by as much love as you two. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

  3. God bless you both for your courage and love for each other through this journey,I started following in Aug. when my brother 41 was DX. with same as Maggie,I will be caring for him when needed and our journey is just starting so It helps to know what might happen along the way.Your love for each other is amazing and I thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. Sad. Beautiful. Scary as hell. I pictured Maggie, during that long drive in the rain, looking with tears in her eyes at Chris as he slept.

  5. I am just heartbroken reading this. It just seems so
    unfair. My love, thoughts and prayers are yours.
    I am truly blessed to have you… You have taught me
    so much with your spirit, love, drive and ambition.
    God Bless!

  6. Although I’ve not seen y’all in a while, I’ve held you both, Lori and your family in my prayers. Just wanted to let you know there’s one more heart sending love and comfort your way.

  7. I am saddened, though unfortunately not surprised, by this news. As painful as it is, I’m relieved that your doctor was completely honest with both of you. Now having said that, “doing nothing,” is actually doing something. It will make a difference in that Maggie will not be brutalized by that God awful 1st chemo that will take away any quality of life. When end stage came for my sister, and chemo was a “long shot,” she chose to stay at home with hospice. Those two weeks became two months. During that time she was alert, lucid, and humorous. So many people came to visit with her. She was so grateful that she had that time, as we all were. This is what I pray for you and Maggie. I thank you for letting all of us in on your journey. I will continue to read your blog as long as you continue to post. I know how hard this is for you. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. You are both warriors.

  8. don’t give up on GOD and miracles He is capable of performing…pray, pray, pray. Get a very large group together and go to church..any church, and do nothing there for hours except praying.

  9. Wow…this is one of the hardest posts that I have ever read in my life.

    I don’t usually post here, but I read your blog every day. I pray for you everyday.

    I see your love for Maggie and it floors me, I can say it takes my breath away, and this is just not fair.

    No wonder people say don’t wish for everything to be perfect, because once it is perfect, something is sure to happen.

    You two are perfect for each other and then to go face and fight something like this….I am just out of words.

    I just want to say that you are both in my and I am sure everyone else’s prayers, and I hope that God is there for both of you at this very difficult time.

    I wish that a miracle can happen……I am crying and my heart aches for both of you.

    Thank you Chris for letting the world into your private life and sharing your love for Maggie with all of us.

    OMG what can anyone say at a time like this?

    May God be there for both of you, and just know that you have touched so many people with this.

  10. maggie [and chris], i would really, really looooooove for you to spend time and work to post your paintings here on your site so everyone can see your many talents and we would ALL be able to purchase them since we don’t live close enough to be there. PLEASE let everyone buy a painting and if you don’t have enough paintings, justg paint your feelings out. Tiny ones, small ones, medium, etc.

  11. Here in England I am facing the same thing that you are going through now Chris, and my husband is walking Maggie’s path.

    I truly hope that we can do this with the same grace, love and humour that you have. I look for your posts every day.

    God bless both, take care and keep strong.

  12. I occasionally like to log into Facebook and scan the updates from friends to see what’s going on in their lives. I saw something from Jolie that pointed to this website. Imagine my shock and surprise to see this.

    I went to high school with Maggie, and although I never knew her very well, we had a couple classes together and I knew some of her friends better. I recall her usually full of energy – I mean she did put a photo of her and Adriana in the back of the yearbook with bikini’s on under their graduation gowns – if I recall correctly. In fact, my history with Maggie goes back slightly further. She likely does not remember this, being an odd connection to make, but I actually first met Maggie in 7th or 8th grade at Rachael E.’s house and shared a small kiss with her in a lascivious game of spin the bottle! How do you like that? Ha!

    I spent a little time looking through your website, reading about Maggie’s graduation from law school, her adventures with cancer, and looking through a number the photos you’ve posted of vacations, her family, and her friends, including some familiar faces from my high school days.

    All I really want to say is that I’m so sorry to hear Maggie’s been struck with this disease. From what I’ve seen here, you should both be proud that you’ve handled the situation with such grace and aplomb. I believe a lot of people out there care, even if she was only a tiny part of their lives, like she was in mine. Peace.

  13. chris and maggie, you are both such beautiful people, with beautiful souls. each of our times here on this earth is limited. you have enjoyed it to the fullest and made the best of every moment and for that you should be happy. thank you for sharing such a personal quest with all of us who dont deserve it and have no way of understanding what you are going thru. You both have everything that truly matters: Faith, Hope and most of all Love. we will all be together in the end. we are all with you in spirit. not a day goes by that you are not in our hearts and prayers. much love and peace to you both. God Bless you! Jesus Loves You!

  14. Dear Chris and Maggie,

    I stumbled across your blog after a family member was diagnosed with stage IV CRC. Though I haven’t chimed in before- I’ve been a cheerleader on the sidelines for months. I’m so tremendously impressed by the way you’ve been able to face this horrible disease honestly, and also by your persistence in the enjoyment of friends, family, food and each other. My family is learning a lot about the human spirit as we negotiate our own “Great Cancer Adventure,” and you both represent the best it has to offer. All my love and hope.

  15. I send all my love. My heart is breaking. Words don’t come, but know that God loves you both, and He will continue to give you the strength and peace that has taken you this far. Prayers continue for both of you.

  16. I don’t personally know either one of you but for some reason I feel like you are friends. Maybe it’s because you have let us all in on your life and have shared something so very personal. After reading todays post I just wanted to say God bless you both and I hope you know how much your story means to me. My husband thinks Chris is a born writer and this will soon be a best seller! 🙂 Much love to you both!

  17. Thinking of your both as my family also navigates a similar journey. Your grace, honesty and love are an inspiration to us all.

  18. I have a lot of love for you both, and this post breaks my heart. I hope Bob Longwell knows that he earned a different kind of wings with this flight.

  19. Maggie, this seems silly, but it’s been on my heart for a long time, and it looks like now is the time to say it. Thank you, for graciously and kindly teaching an awkward adult woman how to pluck her eyebrows. You have touched so many lives, including mine, in so many ways it can’t be counted.

  20. Maggie, all little girls grow up to be women….but few becomes ladies. you are part of the few!
    Chri,you are a true GENTLE-MAN!
    Iam honored to be called your friend.Thank you for bringing me into your lives.
    Maggie, your bravery has touched me beyond words.
    There are no words for how I feel……

  21. Dear Maggie and Chris- From our room across from MDA we watched the storm pour down and wondered and hoped you all had made it home safely- thank you Mr.Longwell!!
    loosening the grip on the paddle doesn’t mean giving up or that days are no longer bright…it just means that your hands are now free to hold each other. it still leaves me in awe that such simple gestures, small moments and words are so beautiful and powerful- and so precious. It is a lesson for all of us.
    Maggie, today when the sun briefly and brilliantly appeared, there was a huge rainbow across the sky. We are thinking of you both every day.

  22. Dear Chris and Maggie,
    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since I read this. Your strength and spirit is truly admirable. You are in my prayers. Please let us know how we can help.

  23. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers, and we love you both. Let us know if we can help.

  24. Maggie, my love. You and Chris are never far from my thoughts. Sending lots of prayers and xoxo’s your way.

  25. Maggie and Chris,

    Thank you for showing us all how special even a horrible moment can be. I spent some time with Maggie’s sister and some of your close friends last night. I wish you could have been there to see them together supporting each other and praying for you.


  26. Maggie & Chris,

    I have been watching your struggles for what feels like years hoping for a different outcome. Unfortunately, they have followed a path eerily similar to what my mother and father went through a few years back. From the diagnosis (my mother was healthy except for the stage IV cancer in the kidney and lungs), through a myriad of treatments, to the reluctant (but well received) acceptance of assistance from hospice, you have been shadowing what my parents went through.

    I never thought I would see this again, but you two have shown as much tenacity and devotion to each other as my parents did after 50 years of marriage. I can honestly say that I can’t envision any truer love and I am humbled and honored to witness such a display. You are both blessed to have each other, especially in the circumstances you are in now.

  27. SO many thoughts, prayers, well wishes come from North Texas. Everyone at the college is praying, my students ask every day, and my colleagues ask every day. They’ve all come to love Maggie and Chris and are inspired by such devotion, love and determination. It’s a type of devotion that, no matter what, never ceases to remind us how important we are to each other, not just our spouses, but also to our friends and family.

    There are no other words except to say that I’m glad Maggie has been brought into our family and we have been graced by her presence.

  28. Chris & Maggie,

    You (Chris) are a wonderful husband and Maggie you are truly an Angel that will live forever in my heart. I am praying for you both. I remember when I met Maggie over 10 years ago and we had this funny conversation about serving dishes….we were kind of youngish but we were both so excited to talk about kitchen appliances and cooking. I remember the smile that came to her face and how she talked about she would never need anything if she got married. Obviously she never knew how much she would need you and what you have done to support her is amazing and I will be in forever awe of the bond you two share and the love you carry for Maggie is shared with all that know and love her.

    Truly you two are an inspiration and Maggie is a real Angel to all those she has touched.

    My prayers are with you both.

  29. Words certainly are not adequate tools to communicate in a situation like this, but I wanted to send my love and reiterate that all who have been touched by the two of you on this journey have been immensely blessed. My prayers have been with you both since the Baylor Law School community received the initial shocking news that Maggie had cancer. I am so proud of Maggie. The strength, poise, and grace the two of you have shown in all this are hard to fathom. My love and prayers are with you both.

  30. Maggie and Chris,
    I don’t even know what to say…this is the most heartbreaking news I have ever read. I am crushed. Please let us know if you need ANYTHING. There is nothing we wouldn’t do…


  31. Our hearts hurt with you. May peace invade your lives in the midst of this. Your strength is so encouraging. Love you guys.

  32. Maggie and Chris,

    I am heartbroken to hear this. I pray that every moment is special for you, but I suspect that with a marriage like yours, this was always the case anyway. I will be thinking of you as always, but particularly in the time ahead. Maggie, you were so special to many of us during law school, and I hope you know how kind, brave, and beautiful you were then and are now.

  33. Sending many, many prayers your way. The love and strength you two have is truly amazing.

    I feel so blessed to be part of both of your lives. A day doesn’t go by I don’t think of you two, and how much Maggie has touched my life. For it is Maggie which I owe for introducing me to Austin, swirl Margaritas & an absolute great group of friends.

  34. Maggie and Chris – may you feel God’s presence as He takes you in His arms for the rest of your journey together – I pray it is long and glorious.

  35. Maggie, you have not left my thoughts since I read the blog last Wed. You have not ever left my prayers. I am praying constantly to God for a miracle for you and Chris and I have our friends and family praying too. Monty and I love you.

  36. I am so very sorry to hear of this most recent news. Please feel the warm loving and prayers that are so obvious in this, and all the earlier posts.

  37. As I sit here and type this, I look up to see a picture on my wall framed of Maggie and I from my bachelorette party nine years ago. It was you Maggie who organized the whole thing and it is truly a night I will never forget. You were one of my first friends when I moved here from NY welcoming me with open arms. It wasn’t until softball and our weekly outings to the Tavern that I started to feel at home. It is too difficult for me to even imagine this world without you in it. I feel embarrassed to even say that when here you are having handled this with such grace and bravery from the very beginning. Please always know that you have taught me so much. I will continue to pray for you both. Love you Mags.

  38. Chris,
    Even though, I have never met Maggie, with each update you have posted, I feel like I know her. What a lesson in love I have gotten from your love. You both are remarkable, simply amazing. Never give up, you have touched so many of our lives. You are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

  39. I too have prayed for you both since being in Carrie’s class 2 years ago. My heart is heavy today for you. Bleassings to you both today and always…

  40. I’ve been silently reading this blog since it’s creation. Maggie and Chris you are both two amazing people I hold so much respect for; you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  41. I have been reading your story and it is inspiring to see how you have both taken this burden and made the very most of the cards you have been dealt. God bless you both.

  42. I too, am one of the anonymous who doesn’t know you personally. My only connection is my sorority sister Florencia, and through her I’ve come across your blog. I’ve been reading your blog constantly and have held both of you in my prayers. May God bless you both, and just know you have touched me beyond words. Thank you for the inspriation and true love you have shared with everyone.

  43. Thinking of you both today, and always here should you need me. God bless you both and renew your strength.

  44. Always impressed that you deal with adversity with such positivity, insight and strength. You are both an inspiration and my thoughts and best wishes go out to you.

  45. I have been following your story since my mother was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in June 2007…and reliving all the stages you have lived through. This last stage for us seemed like it was going in slow motion ….but then again too quick to really absorb and comprehend…You want to be able to stop time and can’t … Please have someone tape a conversation with Maggie so you have her voice with you always…and I pray that the “one-to-two weeks” turns into the wonderful “three chemo/treatment and pain free months” we were blessed to have with the support of hospice. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  46. Maggie, you are a beautiful person and you have fought this battle admirably. You never gave up, so please don’t now. Believe in Hope, Believe in God’s Miracles. I continue to pray for Him to give you and Chris that Miracle. You are so lucky to have someone love you like Chris. God Bless you Maggie, keep that beautiful smile…..

  47. Maggie, you are one of the most beautiful and memorable women that I have the honor of knowing. Your honesty and kindness is an inspiration. I pray daily for you and Chris to have peace, comfort and strength.

  48. I too am an anonymous reader who came across this blog when a loved one was diagnosed with stage IV CRC. Thank you for your sharing your story. You’ll never know how much you have helped others, many who are perfect strangers. May your trip along the stream be very peaceful. I pray for you both.

  49. Maggie and Chirs, the word “amazing” can’t even begin to describe you both. And the word “unfair” falls amazingly short. I’m honored to be able to call you my friends, as distant as it may be. I know a real-life angel. Not many people can say that.
    God bless.

  50. Realizing how much love you share for each other, I imagine that this time is very difficult for you both… I’m sure ‘difficult’ doesn’t quite describe it. I hope and pray that in the time you have left, you are able to laugh out loud as you have your ‘remember when’ discussions. I hope you are able to hold hands and each other as much as humanly possible and squeeze out every ounce of happiness from every moment you have together. Much love and continued prayers!


  51. Maggie & Chris,
    Your story is one of the greatest love stories ever told. Our hearts are breaking in a thousand parts right now over your latest news. You have shown us that grace, strength and love will carry us through when my own cancer journey winds down. We are blessed to know you. You have touched the lives of thousands of people. We love you. Deena & Brent

  52. Maggie and Chris,
    I am thankful to you both for the love that you show each other and to others. I have been reading your blog for a while. I want you to know that you both have been great witnesses to my husband and I. Chris your love and strength and ability to encourage Maggie through all of this is amazing. My husband is a different man from knowing you. My husband has learned how to be more caring in those times when I am suffering. Maggie you helped me realize that even when I have trials I should just get back up and be like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. You have showed us how to cherish each other even more than we did before. You are both in our hearts and prayers. Peace, A Pilots Wife. Isaiah 40:31

  53. Chris and Maggie,

    May you both begin to feel in your heart and soul the PEACE that only God can give you. He’s walked beside you through this journey and now He will carry you both through the rest of it.
    Bless you!

  54. Maggie and Chris: There are no words to tell you both how sorry I am to hear this news. However, God’s amazing grace awaits for both of you. Maggie, your journey on this earth has inspired so many people. You are truly one of God’s special messengers having touched so many lives; mine included. I am so thankful to have met and known you for only a short time but you have definitely touched my life with your beauty and humor. We have all followed this blog and gotten to know you during your courageous fight. Your wonderful husband is an inspiration to all caregivers and thanks go to him for allowing us all to know the day-to-day of the battle against this horrible disease. Both of you have touched so many people by showing us your unwaving stamina and courage. Maggie, thank you for your beautiful and glorious smile, despite it all. It will be only one of the things that I will remember about you along with your laughter and spirit of never giving up. Despite it all, you are and will continue to be a blessing for all of us. Your work on this earth will not be forgotten. Chris – thank you for sharing your journey with Maggie through this ordeal. Your words have truly given us inspiration and have been a guide in how to go forward with love, respect and devotion in times of worry, uncertainty and devastation. Both of you should know that you have inspired so many people by loving unconditionally, having faith eternally and continuing to have hope no matter what. Thank you for sharing. We are all better for it. Please know that you have been and will continue to be my prayers. In God’s time, when Maggie no longer walks with us, Heaven will be rejoicing in her brilliant smile, amazing love and caring heart. Peace be with you both.

  55. Chris and Maggie,

    Thank you for showing us what it means to love unconditionally. You guys are the definitions of perseverance. You haven’t let this get in the way of living your lives and both of you are truly inspiring. My heart is heavy and I’m praying for both of you.

  56. Maggie,
    This is upsetting and inspiring at the same time. You are a true angel on this earth that brings peace, love and joy back into to hearts; it is so easily forgotten at times.
    Don’t give up and I know you won’t; God bless you for all you are.
    Love and happiness.

  57. My heart breaks for both of you. I doubt that Maggie remembers, but she visited my office shortly after she began her first round of chemo. She told me a bit about her treatment, and we laughed about this and that. At the end of our visit, I was amazed–and I told her so– at how she inspired me. Thanks to both of you for sharing your story. No doubt you have taught many of us how to live fully and love deeply, even through adversity. God’s peace to you.

  58. The wizards at MDA are wrong again. Maggie’s strong will to live will give her much longer than 1-2 weeks.

    As Chris quoted earlier from a country/western song:

    “If you’re going through hell
    Keep on moving, Face that fire
    Walk right through it
    You might get out
    Before the devil even knows you’re there”

    Bless you both for sharing your story and many prayers are sent your way.

    1. That’s what I’m saying! Anytime that the Docs have given some kind of ‘time duration’, our Maggie has blown that completely out of the water! She’s not a sprinter … she’s a marathoner … 1-2 weeks, my ass!!

  59. Maggie and Chris, while I haven’t met you I have also followed your story and was able to participate in making a special quilt for you. I feel very bad that you have had to endure so much but know that God never puts us through more than we can handle, and he has us all in his master plan.
    I also recently lost a very dear friend to the same battle that you have faced. He too, became such an inspiration for us all, just as it is evident that you have done the same for so many.
    May God bless you and keep you close and may you know that you have thouched the hearts of so many.
    Chris, thanks for sharing this amazing journey with us all.

  60. Maggie,

    You are so amazing. You have such class and dignity. What a wonderful man you are married to. You are so clearly the love of each others lives. Praying for you both.

  61. Maggie/Chris – I’ve never met you but I’ve heard so much about you both. I always wondered “who in the world are these people?”. Today I was finally directed to this website. I’m speechless – really. My emotions have gone in a roller coaster. Strange to me were the tears that I experienced – I don’t think they were tears of sadness but tears of joy. Joy that people like you can exist amidst these trials. Everyone has a purpose in life and you’ll never know what impact you’ve made and will make on so many – even those you’ve never met. I thank you for your life and you will endlessly be in my prayers.

  62. I’ve been lurking here for a while and I think today is the day to say hi. I hope these next few weeks are full of love and grace and can be good memories for Chris and the others you will leave behind Maggie. It’s clear you are loved and will be missed and have made an impact on many people, what more could anyone want from life???

  63. Maggie and Chris-
    I have followed your journey since my sister-in-law Karen was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Many times I have sat in front of my computer crying as I read your blog. You two are such an amazing example of married love! My thoughts and prayers will be with you in the days and weeks to come.

  64. Hello Chris and Maggie,
    Lean to God from whence your help cometh from. Stay with the Lord and He will take care of you no matter what cometh and pray that His will be done and to give you strength to rely souly on Him and His will and that you accept His will. Put the Holy Spirit to the test, Jesus said he would not leave us alone so he sent the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit. Maggie, put these true words from Psalm 139: 14 & 17 – 18 in your heart.

    “I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
    How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
    If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with thee.”

  65. Chris,

    This message is for you. I am grateful that through Maggie I was able to meet and get to know you individually. I am very thankful to have you as a friend, and I owe you a lot. I remember your words of encouragement above the rest when I graduated law school, your constant words of advice, and your very wise views on life. Yours is a friendship that is rare, and one that I value dearly, even if I am too proud to tell you face to face. I love you and am here for you always.

  66. Sometimes it takes witnessing a beautiful sunrise, sunset or storm to awaken many of us from the busy, distracted state in which we dwell. Maggie and Chris… your journey has been a lesson (to so many people) of courage, love and embracing the moment. Because of you, we all love deeper and try to be better people. Bless you both, and thank you.

  67. Put your faith in the Lord and cherish each other and the time you have together, and you will triumph regardless of when this journey rests. The pair of you have inspired so many in more ways than you will ever know. I pray with great hopes that oriental medicine/techniques will extend the time you have together. You are both amazing!

  68. Amen – I am definitely still praying and believing in both of you!!
    I also would like to say thank you — the consistent strength of your relationship has really been a driving force in my daily life. It is unbelievably inspiring to see two amazing people like you; I think we all hope to find something that is even a small fraction of the relationship that the two of you have built.
    Further, I will never forget your smile, Maggie. In the weeks/months/years to come, I hope that you will have many more occasions to show it off!

  69. I think one of the greatest measures of a person’s life is the love they inspire. Maggie, it is clear from this blog and these messages that you have elicited so much love from people in your sphere, and that can only be the direct result of the love you have given and the incredible spirit within that makes you who you are. Yours has clearly been a life very well lived. Well done, beautiful lady. You are an inspiration. Likewise you, Chris. Your devotion, compassion, humor and strength shine through in every blog entry. The two of you have helped the rest of us remember what is truly important in life, and we are grateful. You both have touched so many people, and that, Maggie and Chris, epitomizes a life well lived.
    You both remain in my heart, and I wish you peace.

  70. Chris – if nothing else on this blog you’ve helped me appreciate my family, A LOT. I’m trying to work less and get home to spend more time with my wife and kids because I’ve been able to read about your adventure. Thank you so much to the both of you for taking the time to share.

  71. Chris and Maggie–

    Thanks for sharing this journey. I’m pretty sure you don’t know how many people you have touched, and how.

    I do know for myself that I find my heroes among those around me, in bits and pieces, but you two are high in the pantheon. We live in a society where power, money, beauty, and strength are valued above all else, and one has to search hard for heroes of grace and humor and love. Thank you for being those heroes.

  72. I had the opportunity to spend the evening with Maggie & Chris, Maggie’s sister Lori and ‘Nurse’ Jolie (looong time friend of Maggie’s). You would have never guessed this girl just had chemo a few hours before. We talked, drank tea, ate Papa John’s pizza (which Chris felt was a not up to it’s usual standard *grin*) and looked through old yearbooks. Maggie was radiant to me as ever. Folks – this girl is NOT giving up!! And neither should we! I had a conversation with her that left me feeling surprisingly light, encouraged and faith-filled. I believe even more now – that if anyone can pull off a miracle, it’s Maggie! There will be no throwing in of any towels! Maggie is a Warrior. Period. Keep Maggie, her family and friends in your prayers and start believing in miracles! Put the energy out there so that amazing things can happen!! Here’s two really awesome and beautiful pictures of Maggie taken by our friend Leslee on April 7th: and with her lovely sister, Lori –


    1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God…..

    [rest of very long post deleted by Chris]

    1. Note from Chris:
      We very much appreciate well-wishes, prayers, bible verses, jokes, stories, memories, and almost any other message apropos our Great Cancer Adventure. It is also a forum for friends (even those we’ve never met before) and family to share in our journey.

      It is not, however a pulpit from anonymous, drive-by proselytizing. Please refrain from posting on our forum again.

      1. I assure you that it was not my intent for your forum to be my pulpit for drive-by proselytizing, and I apologize. I won’t ever post such a message on the forum again.

        Please know that my message came from a place of great love and concern for Maggie, who DOES know me very well. We went to LBJ high school together but haven’t spoken since.

        If I had the cure to cancer, how much would I have to HATE Maggie (and others) to keep that good news to myself?

        I view “the way” to salvation and eternity in heaven (vs. hell) the same way. How much would I have to HATE someone to keep that GOOD NEWS from them?

        Because I care about her, I want Maggie to spend eternity in Heaven – where there is no more pain, no tears, no suffering. I sincerely apologize that this offended you, and will never mention it or bring it up again.

        My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I wish there was something I could do… I’m glad Maggie has a husband who loves her as deeply as you obviously do, Chris, and so many wonderful friends and family members with her during this difficult time.

        1. To “A Friend Who Loves You Both” – I don’t believe it was the idea of Maggie being in a wonderful place that was a not taken well by many, but rather that the word ‘sin’ and ‘sinner’ were mentioned nearly twenty times in your post and the inference that this Angel would ever have any connection to ‘hell’ that is completely unnecessary. I’m sure the intention was sincere, just the words were not appropriate.

        2. Jennifer, thank you for posting and clarifying this issue for me.

          To Chris & Maggie especially, but also everyone else – My intention WAS truly sincere.

          During high school, I never saw Maggie without a smile on her face. She was always full of energy and she lit up every room she ever walked into. She was very popular; everyone loved her. But, she wasn’t that mean, snooty, stuck-up kind of popular. She was always kind and thoughtful and accepted everyone just as they were. Maggie is one of those people who changes your life just by being in their presence – and you are lucky if you come across two or three of those people in your lifetime.

          When I came across this blog, I was heartbroken. This isn’t fair. No one deserves this, least of all the people like Maggie who make this world a better place.

          I am a Christian, obviously. I didn’t know whether Maggie or Chris are, so I wanted to share my faith and hope in Jesus Christ with them.

          I did not, of course, mean for the words “sin” or “sinner” to be offensive to or hurt anyone. I would never intentionally do that. And, I certainly was not trying to imply or say anything bad about Maggie – I completely agree that she is an angel!

          The thing is, and this is the very basis of the Christian faith, that everyone on the face of the planet is a sinner – that’s the whole reason we need a Savior! The truth is the truth, and I can’t change that, nor will I apologize for it.

          I do apologize, however, to anyone I hurt, upset or offended.

  74. Your travels together will never cease…
    As Rita Marley (Bob’s Wife), always said, “There will always be sunshine after rain.” May peace be with you both. Love, Tony

  75. I have been following your blog since my brother who lives in England was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Each time I get on the computer it is the first thing I check. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Maggie, people are praying for you all over the world!!

  76. God bless you both for sharing your story. I wish that the news from MD Anderson was different…I wish that a lot of things were different!

    As always you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  77. Maggie and Chris you are two of the most inspiring people in my life that I have never met. You are both incredibly generous and Maggie, your grace is just humbling. You are a beautiful tenacious lady and I send you every positive wish in my heart. The two of you have impacted so many lives… I’m sure the many many many blog comments represent only a tiny percentage of the lives you have touched. Sending so much love and light down from the North!!!

  78. I’ve never posted here but read your blog for quite some time. I work with Carrie….I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you letting me catch a small glimpse of the love you share with each other. It’s truly a sight to behold. It’s funny, I’ve never meet you and probably never will but I can sense, read, and feel the love you have for each other. It has made me a better person to be involved in your cancer adventure (if only by reading it) because I can feel the capacity of love Christ has given to his people to shower upon each other. And wow, did he give it to the two of you. May peace be with both of you.

    1. Dear friend,

      Thank you for sharing those kind words. And thank you also for sharing our lives. I have so much to be thankful for, friends like you, and the 2 angels that we are praying for every second, minute, and hour of the day.

      I love you,

  79. I don’t think we’ve ever met although I’m being treated at the same location – SWRCC. I can identify with you BOTH since I am both a stage IV cancer patient AND have been a “caregiver” for decades to my disabled husband who is now a vent-dependent quadriplgic, due to post polio syndrome. (Since the ventilator entered our lives, others have administered his day-to-day physical care, but I am still active in dealing with his disability and he, of course, is unable to help me at all). I’ve also been through the “You have X weeks to live. Go to hospice now.” thing with 2 doctors so I know how absolutely devastating that is. In my case, I got another opinion, and, by the grace of God and the persistent care of Dr. Thomas Tucker, I’ve been granted a reprieve and am still alive today. Who knows how long this “stay of execution” will last in my case or anyone’s case? I would help you if there was any way I could — I can barely take care of myself. All I can do is offer my humble prayers for your healing, whether that healing be physical or spiritual or both.
    Blessings, Carol

    1. Carol – you will also be in our family prayers. Stay strong and remember that God is with you as well as all those who read these words.

  80. Chris and Maggie— I hope you can find inspiration in the words of this called “Hymn of Promise”
    In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
    In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
    In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
    Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

    There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
    There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
    From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
    Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

    In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
    In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
    In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
    Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

  81. God bless you both during these hard times. It is amazing and so comforting that there are people out there with such an amazing zest for life! Even in the face of a scary illnes, you guys are so overwhelmingly uplifting. Maggie-you are a true gift from God! He knows you a strong, beautiful person and chose YOU to leave your footprints on the hearts of so many; those close to you and strangers alike. God bless you girl!

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