Dan Stoppenhagen Dan 2022 cancer journey

First post: Dec 6, 2021 Latest post: Mar 15, 2023
November 20, 2021

Hi friends and loved ones.

You all may remember this quote from Jesus in the Bible:  “In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33].  Well, if you haven’t already heard, you are about to find out that I am facing a bit of a “storm” in my life, and I take heart that Jesus is with me. 

About 2 months ago, I found a pea-sized lump in my armpit.  I went to see a doctor (not mine, because he was not available for 2 weeks), and that doctor said that he didn’t think it was anything, but to monitor and come back if it didn’t.  Two weeks went by, and it didn’t go away, and in fact got a little bigger.  So I went to see MY doctor this time.  He was concerned and ordered an ultrasound and a chest x-ray.  The chest x-ray was fine, but the ultrasound determined that the lump was something solid.  He referred me to a surgeon, who recommended that he just remove the whole lump and send it for pathology.  On November 11, I had the lump removed in a 90-minute surgery.  After a week, I was informed that the pathology determined it was B-Cell lymphoma – a blood cancer.

Since then, it has been a whirlwind of appointments, further tests/scans, phone calls and forms (SO many forms and so many “fasting tests”, so lots of hangriness).  On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, I start chemotherapy.  It will be 6 treatments, every three weeks – so four months.   I didn’t want to tell anybody anything until I found out what it was and what was going to be done about it, and there are only so many hours in the day to make phone calls, especially with all the appointments and scheduling issues.  So, I decided that this was the place to keep you up to date on what is going on with me.

I know that many of you will be scared and concerned by this news, and I certainly understand that.  But I assure you that I am not – at all.  In this battle it is me, God, and my team of prayer warriors and our skills of love, faith, and hope, against Cancer with Satan and their tired bag of tricks of fear and doubt.  That gives me the clear advantage, and I am determined to listen to and trust God and beat this.  My faith in God is as strong as it has every been, and I am ready for this.  I’m in overall great health (according to my doctor’s read of my labs), but have been detoxing and preparing my body for the chemo these last two weeks.  I have made some pretty dramatic changes to my diet and lifestyle, and I spend even more time now in prayer and devotion.  I can honestly say I have never been so ready – spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  The people who have talked to me say that they can hear it in my voice so much that it actually makes them feel better.

God didn’t intend for this to happen to me, but I also know he will bring something good out of it according to his perfect plan.  He always has produced something good out of every storm that has come into my life.  He “stands at the right hand of the “Father interceding for you and me” (Romans 8:34).

I know a lot of you will want to know if there is anything you can do.  Honestly, the best thing you can do is to pray for me and all those who suffer with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  Please don’t worry about me (and if you don’t believe me, you can ask my kids or my sister, Laurie who have spoken to me and, like me, have heard how good I am in my voice).  Rather than worry, spend that time praying.  Just remember that when you pray to believe and to trust God to do what is best according to his will.  Jesus said, “Have faith in God.  I tell you the truth.  If anyone says to this mountain ‘Go throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart that it will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” [Mark 11: 22-24]. 

I also know that many who are reading this will want to call or to text or to e-mail me.  Please don’t be upset if I can’t take your call or don’t get back to you right away.  There are just so many things to deal with in this situation, and I also need time to rest, pray, and pray. But also please know that I will read every text and every message left here, and can feel your prayers strengthening me.

I love you all so much, and will do my best to update you regularly.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.  They are helping me and will continue to help me.