Faith, family help man battle cancer
By Keith Turner
Delta Digital News Service
JONESBORO — When doctors told an Arbyrd, Missouri man that he had cancer in his lower-right lung, he laughed in disbelief.
The diagnosis came last June after doctors discovered a spot on Michael March’s lung during a checkup after he had issues with blood flow.
It shocked him; he didn’t feel anything was wrong.
“I didn’t even feel sick,” he said.
But before long, he was whisked away into a series of tests, scans and doctors appointments.
“We weren’t leaving one appointment before they were calling us for the next one,” said his wife, Yuronda March.
Everything lined up and moved very quickly, the couple explained. March’s treatment consisted of six weeks of radiation and two rounds of chemo.
“When we walked into the chemo lab for the first time, I realized, ‘Mike, you’ve got cancer,'” he said. “But when I walked in there and saw the faces on them, there was so much hopelessness.”
March cried when he realized what the patients around him were going through, and then made a vow to always have a smile on his face in the radiation lab.
“There were so many in there that were going through far worse than what I was going through,” he said.
He realized firsthand the impact that positivity can have on cancer patients and committed himself to providing that positivity. While undergoing chemotherapy through St. Bernards Healthcare, the couple stayed at St. Bernards Villa.
“It was a blessing, it was such a blessing,” Yuronda said.
They utilized their time at the Villa to minister to others, even holding church in the Villa’s chapel. The family was stunned by the kind treatment they received at the Villa.
“The workers there didn’t treat us like we were cancer patients; they treated us like we were family,” March said.
The care and treatment they received at St. Bernards boosted their hope and morale. Committed to remaining hopeful, March stayed strong emotionally and in his faith.
March has been ministering to others for 18 years, and said his faith played a major role in giving him the strength to get through his journey. The children at his church, New Life Christian Center of Rector, wanted to do something in support of him. So, they gathered and prayed over a prayer cloth to give to him.
“That spoke to my heart and spoke to my wife’s heart,” March said.
March saw the battle with cancer as an opportunity to minister with others, and now hands out prayer cloths that his church has prayed over to other patients.
“Had it not been for God allowing us to go through this journey, I would have never stepped in a chemo lab, I would have never stepped in a radiation lab. I would have never seen it,” March said.
For many years, March worked hard and provided for his family. It was how he was raised to be, he said. When he received the diagnosis, he worried about how he would take care of his wife.
So he was beyond thankful when his daughters, sons-in-law, friends and family all stepped up to offer as much help as they could.
“Out of the woodwork, just blessings,” Yuronda said.
During treatment, March got a craving for a classic treat, Banana Flips. After telling his cousin and his wife about the craving, the family members realized the product is no longer sold in the state, or anywhere nearby. So, the two drove all the way from Doniphan, Missouri to Jonesboro to deliver a special, homemade Banana Flip cake, which March shared with the other patients.
The experience has given March and his family a new outlook on life.
March is healed by the Lord, he said, and has decided to no longer receive chemotherapy. He will soon begin receiving a form of immunotherapy.
“We take advantage of what’s in front of us and we take for granted what we have,” he said.
March still experiences pain, cramps and coughs caused by the radiation. But whenever the doctors tell him how much he’s improved, he tells them the same thing:
“It’s only because of God.”