In the past 90 days, we at Beyond Words have sold around 300 books on Amazon and through IBJ Publishing. Becky and the Schenck family’s story has reached thousands on social media, and the feedback has been terrific with 15 out of15 reviews being 5 stars. From the resource posts and book sales, thousands of individuals and families have benefited from this inspiring story.
Beyond Words has also risen in its Amazon rankings by becoming the number one book when you search for brain cancer books and number two when you search for terminal brain cancer.
Our goal is to continue to reach those in need of this book, and we are happy to announce that we have a new way of doing so.
Because of the book’s success, we have been able to make Beyond Words into an e-book. It is now available on Kindle, Google, and through other major e-book distributors. We hope that through this new outlet, we will be able to reach and impact even more individuals and families who are in need of the hope and resources this story provides.
We believe this is so exciting that you, our friends, are helping to continue Becky’s legacy by reading, supporting, and sharing Beyond Words and its message. Thank you for all of your support!
The Beyond Words Book Team
Next, the Schenck family looked to their doctors in the Indianapolis community to help them in finding the best treatment options and care for fighting Becky’s aggressive brain cancer.
Indianapolis Medical Resources
Two of the doctors that were instrumental in Becky’s success are Indianapolis-based Dr. Tim Kelly of Community Health Network and Dr. Jennifer Morgan of IU Health.
Dr. Kelly, a long-time family friend, recommended Dr. Morgan to be their local oncologist. The Schencks describe Dr. Morgan as someone who immediately made them feel safe and hopeful in her presence. "She was brilliant and compassionate," Steve said. She was critical to Becky's ten year journey.
Dr. Morgan, Dr. Kelly, and Sam Odle, former Chief Operating Officer of IU Health, assisted the Schenck family with the decision to have surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and participate in a new trial drug by Eli Lilly in Indianapolis.
In the next ten years Becky had three brain surgeries, six years of two chemotherapy drugs, over 130 MRIs from Community Health, radiation and medications for her ongoing seizures. During this period everything that most of us take for granted, like driving a car, speech and being able to walk, were taken away. The last five months of her life, she received excellent care and compassion from the team at St. Vincent Hospice. What inspired so many that met Becky during her whole journey is that she never said "why me" or complained.
With the help of these Indianapolis-based medical providers that became close friends, along with Becky’s excellent medical team at UCSF, Becky defied the odds.
The Schenck family is so deeply grateful to God and this medical community for the extra time they were given with Becky.
Caregivers are often thrust into a role for which they could not have prepared or have imagined. They must quickly become an expert and advocate for their loved one.
This was the case for Steve Schenck, whose wife, Becky, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer and given 12-15 months to live. Upon her diagnosis, he retired early from his job, helped to make crucial, quick medical decisions, and went on to care for her for 10 years.
Steve acknowledges that while some may view caregiving as an obligation, it’s important to recognize that it’s a gift. He agrees with a University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Caregiving Handbook that says, “there is no work more important, more challenging or more meaningful than caring for a loved one who is ill” or dying.
Nothing can prepare you for when a loved one is given a terminal cancer diagnosis. In an instant, your life changes.
The same was true for Becky Schenck and her family. She was told she had terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, and that she most likely had around a year to live.
Taking Action after a Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
In Becky’s case, the decisions she and her family made in the three weeks following the diagnosis resulted in Becky living ten years.
Below, Becky’s husband, Steve Schenck, shares the family’s early actions that they credit for giving them ten wonderful, additional years with Becky.