Providing Marriages & Families with Gospel-Centered Resources

A unexpected friend

Originally posted on Facebook on August 3, 2021

Please consider sharing after reading. If Covid was bad, try Covid and cancer! Matthew Tobey and I were strangers before our paths crossed on a cold winter morning waiting for the doors to open at the John Hopkins cancer treatment center. Matt and I both expressed our frustration over the lack of community, conversation, and smiles in this building because of social distancing and masks. Our conversation continued inside and then by text after our treatment that day. This began a much needed relationship and communication for both of us. Both Matt and I have a terrific support group, we lack nothing except a friend who is going through the same thing that you are!! We texted regularly about how we were feeling, what we were doing, and we always finished our texts with prayer and an encouragement to keep fighting. I have cholangiocarcinoma (a rare liver cancer) and Matt has pancreatic cancer, we were both diagnosed at later stages. Both of these cancers have a survivability rate in the single digits. This bad news wasn’t stopping either of us, we both went through Gem/Cis chemo, some of the harshest stuff on the planet, radiation, and we were both hopeful to have potential life saving surgery. Unfortunately, during Matt’s surgery it was found that the cancer had spread to his liver and the surgeon was not able to finish. Matt continued to fight for several more months with clinical trials and more chemo and his texts stayed positive. Unfortunately, in July, Matt got a bad infection and could not recover. Matt passed away on July 29th. Matt was one of the best and truly humble, do you know that in all our daily and weekly texts, it was only after his death that I learned that Matt was a star high school and collegiate wrestler with 3 state championships and was awarded most outstanding wrestler at University of Penn. What a fighter on and off the mat! Today, only 5 days after my good friends death, is my potentially life saving surgery. I will be the first cholangiocarcinoma patient to have a liver transplant in the history of John Hopkins. As I go into surgery, I am proud to wear Matt’s cancer bracelet in his memory and for a common cause for early detection and to find a cure for these cancers! Please share this post and raise awareness for cancers like pancreatic and cholangiocarcinoma that take so many, too soon! #TeamMatt #Togetherwefight #pancreaticcancer #cholangiocarcinoma💜💚💜💚

Categories: My Journey of Suffering
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