Question of the Week: Does My Wife Have Cancer?

I was pretty sure I was done with blogging, but now find myself compelled to share with the friends I’ve made here the awful news that it seems quite likely that my wife Cat has cancer. BUT IT HASN’T BEEN CONFIRMED, so it’s not like I’m secretly shopping for a tombstone or anything. Last week and this we’re going through all the tests and consultations to confirm her condition and decide what to do about it. Seems pretty clear that, no matter what, her life is going to change substantially.

If you’ve spent about any time reading my blog (like if, say, you read Top 10 Qualities to Look for In a Wife, or How I Met My Wife (Young People: Don’t Read!), you have an inkling of how much I love Cat.

We celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary this week. And we lived together for some three years before we got married. She celebrated my 21st birthday with me. Four months ago I turned 51.

So you see it’s been awhile.

I suppose. Time flies. Or stays still forever. I have no idea. Love seriously skews time—that much I know. I just met the girl. I don’t know her. I’m dying to impress her. She’s funnier than I thought a person could be. She’s so smart she’s forever freaking me out with it. When I see her, every single morning for 30 years, my heart leaps and flutters a bit. She’s ridiculously beautiful, every freakin’ time.

It’s insane, really.

Anyway, here’s this … new thing in our lives.

And suddenly, lately, I look in the mirror, and see the years.

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  • John:

    You and Cat are in my agnostic prayers. If there's anything else I can do from so far away, please let me know.

    Your friend.


  • Karin

    Wow. Seems unbelievable. Through whatever may come though, God will be right there with you two.

  • Feeling for you today, John.

  • Mel

    I'm praying that whatever it is, it will prove to be non-malignant. May God protect you and Cat, John, and grant you strength, wisdom, and faith. God bless you.

  • Praying for you both.

  • Wow. You guys are … well, choking me up, actually. Thank you.

  • Richard Lubbers


    I find you completely remarkable. And through your writings about her, I admire Cat too! She must be an amazing person. You are truely a blessed man.

    Your news today causes concern, but more so a rally cry for prayer. I just spoke it, as will others throughout the coming days and weeks. Our collective voices rise before the throne of God, where our advocate Jesus prays for us. What an amazing God we have!

    May He grant you peace, strength and courage.

    Your friend,


    And of course healing for whatever ails Cat.

  • JasonS

    Praying for you and your wife.

    May God richly bless you with the sense of His presence at all times.

  • Latoya

    I am so sorry to hear this John. We serve a mighty God who is able to heal…He is Jehovah Rafah. Trust His hand even when you dont understand it. Praying for you both

  • John,

    I have complete and utter belief that she is going to make it. And it'll be hard while she does- but you guys will be alright. If you're seeing the years; it means you're in old in a still young and kicking kinda way. Either way Cat will be fine. You guys caught it early, and you've got all these prayers on your side. I'll be sure to tell my brother to pray for her too. Since my prayers might not do much.

    But dont over stress about this. It's going to be okay.

  • Karen Holmberg-Smith

    Started praying — for good prognosis, for strength and peace for you both, no matter what.

  • Oh, dear Lord, please intervene with healing for Cat as only you can. Along the way, please comfort and strengthen John and Cat as they navigate through these difficult days searching for your guidance and help.

  • "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17

    This was a verse we hung on to when our 12 year old daughter had emergency open heart surgery this past December. Life can be altering, but He is still in control. I've walked through many shadows of death – but Jesus was always there. We will pray for the peace that passes ALL understanding.

  • Sarah Childers

    John, I can't imagine the uncertainty and fear you're feeling right now. I can only pray for you and your Cat that God will shed his light on you both. Jesus' lap is big enough for both of you. I'll be praying for your continual peace. God IS big enough for this.

  • Greta Sheppard

    There's a lump in my throat and a knot in my gut, John…honestly, I want to weep… because, as a woman, I've experienced the same agony of soul when twice I have been told by my doctor "it looks like cancer" . . . and both times it wasn't. I shall ask my friends to pray for Cat…God is well able to do what needs to be done…. I have not met Cat, but, the way you talk about her, I feel she 's a daughter!

    Love and prayers are going your way . . .

  • Lauri


    You have done so much for your women (& male) readers by and through your immense love for Cat, as you've explained a woman's precious value as a wife & friend. May your intimacy, respect, joy, and love for each other thicken & deepen trough this whole crazy, unexpected experience. May it all be so profound that even you can't sum it up in summaries, analogies, acronyms, recipes or one-liners! God is that way. May He bless you both through this over & above anything you could ever ask, think or imagine.

  • Judy

    James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that

    you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer a righteous man avails


    John, there are many fervent prayers going to God on yours and Cat's behalf. Hold on.

  • I am so sorry. You have my prayers.

  • John,

    You and Cat are absolutely in my prayers and a thousand good and hopeful thoughts. Send me your mailing address. If ever there was a time for cookie therapy, this would be it.



  • Liz

    John, I don't what to say. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying for a good prognosis and healing and the love and peace of God during this difficult time.

  • Lynn Wynar

    John, I am sorry to hear this. Most likely words will not help. Grieving along with you.

  • Brother John,

    This breaks my heart. Rest assured that my small group will be lifting you and Cat up. May the Lord pour out his grace and love upon the both of you.

  • I'll be praying for you.

  • Tim

    John, I have gotten to know you through your blog at tines here in Finland. Please don't stop blogging. You are a breath of fresh air in the Christian world. My prayer goes up to heaven for your wife. I am 54 with a lovely wife and feel for you.


  • Dan Harrell


    Another passage. All other hopes and dreams disappear in the reality of the struggle of life and death. The struggle you thought would only come with old age, or accident. Your thoughts hope for the best, your sense of reality fears the worst. As time passes, and if treatment comes to be, your view of the past and future clouds with uncertainty. There is only today. We learn to live in the present, to pray for little victories.

    You and Cat are never the same again.

    Deb and I went through this two years ago. The chemo, the radiation the mastectomy. God blessed us with his mercy and healed Deb. Our faith in the unseen brought us through. It made every day bearable. A lot of goodd friends prayed for us and helped us through the very worst times. Deb today is back to swinging for the fences.

    Our prayers are with you always.


  • Chritsine

    John…what do you say to news like that except….ouch that sucks. Love to you both, you bring so much joy to us, I hope now we can bring some support to you.

  • Rosi Buchanan

    I'm all teary-eyed after reading this and I'm praying for you all.

  • John, I've been out of the loop! I'm so sorry to read this….and I'm going to put you and your wife on our prayer list at church. We pray for those on our list and meet together Sunday mornings at 8 to pray. I know you are close to your wife….and I know what it's like to have your spouse be not only your best friend, but the only family member with whom you feel great connection. I almost lost Don to sepsis about 10 years ago. But, advances in cancer treatment should give you great hope. I'm going to read your other posts. I'll be praying for you and Cat.

  • John,

    You are in my Prayers you and Catie. May The Lord give you strength to go through it.

    Pole sana (I am so sorry)