Tale of Two Cancers

By Reba Phelps

Over two and half years ago when JohnDavid and Tiffany Warren held hands and recited the vows, “in sickness and in health”, never did they dream those words would become their reality, sooner rather than later. 

The now married couple met just a few short years ago while at church camp in Crowley, Louisiana where they were both in leadership. Tiffany described JohnDavid as “a loyal and faithful friend to many with a servants’ heart.”  While it wasn’t love at first sight, it was definitely friendship and respect at first sight that grew through the years. 

When they met Tiffany was aware of JohnDavid having cancer in the past. She knew the struggle he went through and never imagined she would be where he was. 

Earlier this year, Tiffany noticed a lump on her foot. She wasn’t initially concerned and considered it a nuisance. But she took a photo of it and sent it to a friend in the medical field. Again, not much to worry about until a little later. She woke up with stabbing pains in her foot, she still wanted to brush it off but her foot became so swollen you could not see the lump at all. On Valentine’s Day she was sent to an Orthopedic Surgeon who told her it was a Ganglion Cyst, sometimes referred to as a “Bible Cyst”. 

The doctor proceeded to tell her that she could just live with it or have it removed and it was quite common. The swelling never subsided and the pain intensified so she went back to the doctor. This time further tests were ordered and they expedited her visit. Tiffany began to realize that it may be serious but cancer was never in her thought pattern. Once the scans came back they were certain of the diagnosis. Non-Skeletal Ewing’s sarcoma. 

Tiffany actually felt relief knowing the cause of her pain. Through the month’s she felt like her condition was minimized. 

Tiffany’s husband, JohnDavid is a Patrolman for the Natchitoches City Police Department. While his job is to protect and to serve, he knew he needed divine intervention and protection for him and his wife. As soon as this news was confirmed, he immediately began praying. 

“I always rely on my faith. I wasn’t scared but definitely surprised. I knew that my God could get us through this,” shared JohnDavid. 

Get us through this….The Warren’s battle quickly became an “Us” battle. During this time JohnDavid was having symptoms that he was all too familiar with from his previous cancer, Hogdkins Lymphoma. Even though he beat it five years ago, he never forgot the symptoms and how he felt. 

During a June PET Scan it was revealed that an active infection in his liver, abdomen, lungs and bones is mostly likely a relapse of Hogkin’s lymphoma. At this time he is relying on a well crafted treatment plan from his MD Anderson care team. 

JohnDavid shared, “I am doing well with my symptoms. The doctors are still 90% sure it’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma but there are other things happening that bring up questions, especially with my bone marrow and immune system. This weekend I will have a biopsy to confirm.”

The tale of two cancers is also a tale of two different treatment plans. Tiffany had surgery to remove some masses and is undergoing chemo treatment at LSU Oshner in Shreveport. JohnDavid will begin with a couple of cycles of chemo followed by an 11 week period where he is required to be in Houston. Once Tiffany has completed her treatment the plan is for her to go to Houston to be with JohnDavid. 

The Warren’s both admit that their parents have been life savers. While they have been shocked and blindsided by all of the news, they are very optimistic and not discouraged when it comes to the health of their children. 

While their whole marriage has been about faith and caring for each other, this cancer has given them the chance to focus on each other’s wellness instead of their own illness. This cancer is giving them purpose in each other. “We are definitely making sacrifices for each other and it is making our marriage stronger for sure. Allowing both of us to care even in weakness”, said JohnDavid. 

Tiffany and JohnDavid are convinced and have peace that God has a plan for them. They do not believe this is coincidental and can already see God working for them. While they are both still shocked that they are fighting the same health battle, they know that God directed their steps to Natchitoches where they would find the love and support they didn’t even know that they needed. When they first arrived in Natchitoches neither of them had jobs but they knew they were being sent and they began trusting the Lord. That trust was already in place long before they were ever diagnosed. 

Tiffany shared, “I am so blessed that I already knew God’s character and I’m not trying to get to know him through this. God is who he is, he is love and faith…regardless.”

During all of this, Tiffany and John David still have hope and humor. Tiffany recently Googled, “What are the odds of a married couple having cancer at the same time.” There was nothing. No articles to read, no jokes to be had. Nothing was available at all. Their hope is found in their faith. The humor is found in the fact that no one has really traveled this road before them. They are okay with this because they have each other, with their faith they know they are not alone on this road. 

The Warren’s are eternally very grateful for their friends, the Meal Trains, and the wish list of “comfort items” donated to her as she started her treatment, and the outpouring of prayers for their family. They ask that you continue to pray for God’s perfect will for them. When asked what scriptures they pray or keep close to them, Tiffany simply replied, “God has plans for us, he has thoughts about us, he has more thoughts about us than we can even imagine.”

How can you help? Friends and family of Tiffany and JohnDavid have organized a BBQ Pulled Pork Fundraiser to be held on Friday, July 14th at the Creston Baptist Church, from 11:00am until 2:00pm. For the low cost of $10 you can enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, chips and dessert. Deliveries can be made to Goldonna, Winnfield, and Natchitoches. For bulk orders you may call Delores Sampey at 318-663-4584.