Please feel free to move about the cabin…

We have been on this airplane for hours on end, squished between our neighbors and anxious to set our eyes on what lies outside the plane. The pilot comes over the loudspeaker ‘Attention all passengers: we have arrived in beautiful Holland. Unfortunately, we will not be able to exit the plane for a few more hours due to complications on the runway. Please feel free to move about the cabin, and we thank you for your patience. Again, welcome to Holland.’

Tuesday was the day. The day our journey back to full health was to begin. The day Joey’s cancer would begin to be killed off by chemo. The day we could start looking towards the end of the tunnel. However, on Monday afternoon (in true Monday fashion) we received a phone call from the hospital saying his chemo would be delayed until Thursday due to an insurance conflict. The day suddenly became Thursday…and today it became Monday.

After so many conversations between the hospital and insurance company, I am still not 100% sure why my husband isn’t being allowed to begin chemo when promised. I have no idea why some man in Utah gets to decide what medicine codes will be covered and which won’t. I have no idea why we can’t start without the insurance company’s go ahead; quite frankly, that irritates me to no end. But, what I do know is that God cares. He cares that we are frustrated and scared and angry and hurt. He cares that my heart breaks watching my husband deal with this sickness. He cares that Joey has to go another week hurting and uncomfortable because something didn’t go exactly right. He cares for us more than we will ever know or understand, and that is what will bring peace to our hearts. That is, in fact, the only thing that brings peace.

‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?’ Matthew 6:25-27

So, it currently looks as if Joey will begin chemo Monday. Joey and I are continuously thankful for every single prayer and word of encouragement we receive. Thank you all for the support you show and love you share; we could never thank enough. Please continue to be in prayer for us as we wait patiently for God’s timing and seek peace during a time of chaos.

-Jacquelyn Stracener


We found this nifty sign at my nephew’s ballgame this weekend. It is encouraging to know we are in charitable hands.


Welcome to Holland!

In my class Tuesday night, we read a story about life throwing us curve balls. It was explained as planning a trip to Italy, but ending up in Holland. Now, Holland is not a bad place, but it certainly is not Italy, my friends. It seems as though we have been on a month long flight to Italy, and we landed in Holland last Tuesday.

On March 4, 2016, our lives changed forever. I was running late to the hospital with a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. After racing through the parking garage and up the elevator, I found my husband sitting in the examination room. The doctor came in and got straight to the point: ‘It isn’t good…you have Lymphoma.’ I, of course, fell apart knowing what this disease was and what it is capable of while my sweet, laid back husband tried to understand why it was so hard for me to hear. We have learned so so much from that day to now.

After many scans, tests, doctor’s visits, surgeries, phone calls, tiring days, and weeks of waiting, we finally have our answer: Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (the most common kind, praise the Lord). This is the cancer that has been picking a fight with Joey since before we even saw the bumps, but it is the same cancer that hasn’t put a stop to my husband’s life. Joey has worked at Chick Fil A, volunteered at the Aquarium, pushed through the holidays, worked out regularly, and even began a marriage all while dealing with this not so great disease. He is my hero, my husband, and the man who is going to beat this with all that he has! We do, however, have a tough road ahead of us filled with both good and bad days. Regardless of the type of day, we have a Father who cares for us much deeper than we can ever imagine or know.

‘Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.’ Psalm 103:1-5

Since Joey will be limited in what he can physically do and the amount of people he can be around at a time during chemo, this blog will be a resource to all who care to keep updated on our journey. We love you all, and we selfishly ask that you keep us in your prayers.

-Jacquelyn Stracener




Blithely unaware of reality; willing to fight whatever came our way.