Mandy Schafer

First post: Jun 30, 2018 Latest post: Dec 25, 2018
Dear family and friends:

Recently, Mandy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma.  She will be starting chemotherapy on July 9th. We would love your support and prayers as we walk this unexpected journey.


A few notes:

--Please direct ALL correspondence to this new email address: (notes of encouragement, questions, offers of help, etc.)

--Donating money on this site supports the website, not the Schafers

--All updates will be posted on this webpage in the journal section

The story:

In January 2018, Mandy noticed a non-painful, swollen lymph node on her left shoulder. Her doctor said it was likely due to her recent sinus infections and to come back if it didn’t go away after a while.  About the time she might have had it checked again, our son Leo was born and we were busy and distracted with caring for a newborn. In late May, Mandy saw a different doctor for a minor infection. While there, Mandy asked about the swollen lymph node, and the doctor was quite concerned.  She ordered a CT scan the following day.

The CT results were concerning and Mandy was referred to the hematology department at St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo. The next several weeks were busy with daily tests (3 CT scans, an MRI, a PET scan, 3 biopsies, 6 ultrasounds and multiple lab tests).  Her final diagnosis is Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma. Follicular Lymphoma is an indolent, or slow-moving cancer. Her doctors determined the best treatment is four months of chemotherapy, to be started as soon as possible.

Because of the urgency, it is best for Mandy to receive treatment here in Tokyo.  She has an excellent medical team and the hospital is very reputable. Her two primary doctors are both fluent in English, very thorough and compassionate.  Many of the hospital staff speak English and all have been very kind. We consulted with an American hematologist who agreed with our hematologists at St. Luke's concerning the diagnoses, treatment course and the need to pursue treatment in Tokyo expediently.  After the four months of chemotherapy we will get a PET Scan to determine the state of the cancer.

Mandy will begin chemotherapy on July 9th.  She will receive treatments every 3 weeks, for 6 total cycles.  She will be hospitalized for the first treatment and the rest will be day-long outpatient procedures.

We have been shocked and grieved by this news.  We don’t understand why, but we know that we can trust our Lord.  He goes before us in all things. He is with us always. He cares immensely for us and calls us daily to take our burdens to him.  Part of our calling as missionaries (and as Christians) is to invite others to walk with us (in the highs and lows) as we walk with the Lord. Thank you for walking with us.

We plan to post all updates in the journal section of this webpage. Communicating with you all is important to us. In order to simplify communication, we ask that you please use the email address above ( for all correspondence (notes of encouragement, questions, offers of help, etc.).  We are grateful for the support team we have here in Japan and for all your prayers and support from afar.

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