The Ongoing Battle

Dear Faithful Family & Friends,

It has been seven days since Herceptin #2 and I am continuing to feel extremely well.  I am very grateful and I thank you for your continued prayers!   I feel well enough to resume swimming in the outdoor, heated city pool. If only it were not so cold — snow is possible this week!  I am a bit wimpy at the moment but I promise to make up for that when the warm season begins.

Now, I know the question on everyone’s mind:   Is Margot’s hair growing? I am happy to report that it is!  The new growth is as fine and soft as the down of a gosling.  If I were a horse, you could name me “Diamond” because of the clear shape on the crown of my head.  Inside the diamond is the pure “salt” color.  Surrounding the diamond shape is the “salt & pepper” — with enough “pepper” to show a stark contrast to the “salt” in the diamond.  This is not a new development, however!

Oddly, I have settled into a strange malaise or ennui, after recovering from the ravages of chemotherapy.  On the one hand, I am elated to be finished with chemotherapy. In fact, Stephen & I are celebrating by going to Disney in two weeks!

On the other hand, it does not seem that very much is happening in the battle, since the ravages of Herceptin are undetectable to me. With chemotherapy, you have the formidable presence of a strong, fierce ally, in spite of the fact that you spend half the time fighting the side effects.

During the chemotherapy phase, you never forget that you are fighting against cancer.  However, at this stage, I have to remind myself that the battle is ongoing.  If even I need to remind myself, is it possible that the interest of my friends & family will wane, now that the drama of the surgery and chemotherapy is over?

Thanks for being with me thus far in the battle! I will continue this blog, updating about once every two weeks; I will write on a variety of topics.

ONE in EIGHT women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and it is my hope that this blog will help one of the women that you know and love.  Dear friends & family, do something loving for St. Valentine’s Day: Encourage the women [over 40] in your life to get regular mammograms!   It was this test that detected my tumor, while it was still Stage One.

By the way, you can subscribe to this blog so that you will automatically know when I update.  You can also subscribe by using a RSS reader.

Deus noster refugium. Psalm 46.1-2

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains be toppled into the depth of the sea.

Coram Deo,


P. S.  I finally wrote something in the “About” section.

My grandson, Benjamin, celebrated his first birthday yesterday!  For photos, see my daughter’s blog:


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11 responses to “The Ongoing Battle

  1. Elizabeth Clarke

    Congratulations on your progress with Herceptin #2! It’s wonderful that you are swimming again. We continue to pray for your recovery and healing. Grace, Beth and Steve.

    • margopayne

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Thanks for your encouraging words! I have not yet started to swim but I plan to! I am very grateful for your prayers!

      Coram Deo,

  2. Debbie Trostle

    Hi Margot,

    Thank you for the reminder to have mammograms. I’m scheduling mine for March. Jeff got to meet with JI Packer this morning. Wow! He was excited. Let me know when you are available for lunch. Call me.

    • margopayne

      Dear Debbie,

      I am very glad to hear that you scheduled your mammogram. We were out of town on Sunday & Monday and did not get to hear Dr. Packer. However, his sermon is on the SPAC website so I look forward to hearing it.

      I would enjoy having lunch and I will call you.

      Coram Deo,


      • Debbie Trostle

        Dear Margot,

        The reason I haven’t called you is that I am still getting over a cold. What’s left is mild coughing.

        Andrew and I are going primitive camping this weekend. This should be interesting. what I’m excited about though is that it is just he and I.

        Jeff got to meet with Dr. Packer on the following Monday to discuss Jeff’s dissertation. Jeff was very excited.

        What we like about the Anglican church is it’s foundational tradition with the church calendar.

        Question – Why do they cover the cross during Lent? I would think that is when one would want to show the crucifix – to remind us of Christ’s very painful death. He did it for us.

        Until later,

  3. Chris Facer Watkins

    Hi Margo,
    I am not sure if you will remember me from the old Cabrillo days. I was a cheerleader and graduated in ’68. I too had breast cancer. I had stage 1 but it had not spread into the lymph nodes. I had two kinds of cancer in one breast. I had so much that I had to have a mastectomy. Boy was that fun! (not) I did have reconstruction which is not for the faint of heart. My neighbor also had breast cancer and the chemo nearly killed her. Her husband just died of throat cancer and she is now thriving! She could hardly walk during her chemo…I wish you could see her now. In a year you will have recovered to the point that much of this will be a nasty memory but your life will be so full and happy. I retired but went back to work and then ran for the Utah Legislature, I won and I have completed my first term and running for a second. I consider cancer to be one of those bumps in the road just to prove I am still tough and resilient. I wish you well on your road to recovery and will add you to my prayers.

    • Dear Chris,

      Thank you so much for commenting! I’m on my iPhone but will write a more lengthy reply when I’m on a real computer!

      Coram Deo,

    • margopayne

      Dear Chris,

      OK; I am on a real computer now! We have not had Internet service in our home, ever since we moved to a 1947 home, six years ago! I hear you about the breast reconstruction: that is for the Marines of women. I said “no” to reconstruction for a number of reasons, one of them being that I am a serious swimmer [and coach but not officially] and I was eager to get back into the water. Reconstruction would have decreased my arm, back, and abdomen strength. It has been a year since my surgery and it is all a distant memory. It has been six months since chemo and even that nightmare memory is fading. The bright spot in all of this is the birth of my first grandchild and my daughter, her husband, and grandson moving to Tallahassee. Now, both my children live here and we are only a few minutes from one another!

      I am impressed with your zeal for serving in public office; you are really making your life significant! You are right about this test proving us to be tough and resilient.

      Are you going to the Cabrillo High School Reunion? We will be at our Family Reunion in NC during that time.

      Thank you for reading, writing a comment, and, most importantly, for praying!

      Coram Deo,


  4. Mary Humphries


    We have a mutual friend (Lindsey H.), and she thought I would enjoy reading your blog. She was right!

    I am going through chemo right now, and like you, mine was found in Stage 1, through a mammogram. Praise the Lord for those uncomfortable things! I have received 2 chemo treatments, but my third had to be delayed due to a low white blood count.

    Your friend Chris who said that a year from now it would be a nasty memory was an encouragement to me. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving when all of this should be behind me!

    Thank you, and May God bless you.

    Mary Humphries

    • margopayne

      Dear Mary,

      Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. It is my greatest desire that, through my blog, other “fellow-sufferers” would be encouraged and strengthened. Chemo can indeed be a nightmare and Thanksgiving seems a very long time away. I will pray for you, that you would be able to bear the ravages of chemo, as it accomplishes its purpose. I also had [two] one-week delays in my treatment course and these respites made all the difference. Please write again and keep me posted in your progress.

      Coram Deo,

    • margopayne

      Dear Mary,

      How are you doing? Please leave a comment for me, to keep me posted, so that I can continue to pray.

      Coram Deo,

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