home of the brave – Joey, courage and cancer

home of the brave – Joey, courage and cancer

It’s been almost a month since my last post.  And though I had planned, and even written, some entries to share (like my trip in May to the Amish with my sister Marcy and the day I spent making homemade strawberry jam with Joey), it didn’t seem right to post stories like that right now…. not with the story that has been unfolding in our lives for the last six weeks.

In May, at a routine appointment with her gynecologist, Joey’s doctor discovered something that concerned her.  She said there was a mass on Joey’s cervix and that she wanted do a biopsy, and would let us know the results when she got them back.   A few days later, Joey woke up from a nap with a message from the doctor, asking that we come in and talk with her that afternoon.  When we walked into the her office, the doctor was clearly upset.  Before she could even say the word “cancer”, her eyes welled up with tears and sobbing she said, “I’m so sorry Joey…”.   My wife bravely smiled and said, ” it’s gonna be okay, just tell us”.   And so she did.

Joey has cervical cancer.

It’s a strange thing when your doctor starts crying before you do.  Especially when it’s a doctor you don’t really even know.  This was only the second time we had ever seen her.  Strangely, the first time was when we were at the hospital after the birth of Indiana, and she is the one who took me out into the hall and told me that she believed that our baby had Down Syndrome.   I was completely caught off guard.   In the excitement and joy of Indy’s birth, none of us had even given her little almond eyes a thought.   But from that moment on, I knew our lives and our story would forever be different.  And once again, as we heard this sweet doctor say “it’s just not fair” through her tears… we knew that our lives and our story was taking another unexpected turn.

When we got home and the news finally sank in, Joey only worried about one thing.  It wasn’t “why did this happen to me” or “am I going to be okay”, or a hundred other questions that I would’ve had.  Joey only thought of our baby.  She cried and cried worrying about Indiana, and what this might mean to her… what if she couldn’t continue breastfeeding her, or will Indy’s sleep schedule be interrupted, or worse yet…what if she won’t get to watch this precious gift grow up?

I can honestly say that in the six months that we’ve been off the road and taking a break from the music business, I haven’t picked up a guitar once and Joey and I haven’t sang a single song together.  But when I came in the house that day and saw Joey holding Indiana in her arms, singing “I Need Thee Every Hour”… I went into the closet, pulled out a guitar and came and sat beside her.  For a half-hour straight, we held our little one and we cried and we sang these words over and over.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain

I need Thee, O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now, my Savior
I come to Thee

 And then, like turning off a faucet,… we said a prayer, dried our tears and decided to put our trust in Him.

Joey surgery day-12

A few days later we were in another office seeing a gynecology/oncology specialist in Nashville and he told us that though the mass was already 4 cm and growing aggressively, we had caught it early.  He recommended that Joey have a radical hysterectomy right away to remove the cancer and surrounding areas.

Joey surgery day-6

And so, this past Friday, we loaded up our four-month-old baby, and along with our older girls and Joey’s mama… drove to Centennial hospital in Nashville.  And soon after, my brave little wife, kissed us all goodbye and smiled as they wheeled her away to surgery.

Joey surgery day-2

About 6 hours later, they wheeled her out of the recovery room and though she was still groggy and in some pain, she waved to us and smiled again and we walked with her as they wheeled her to her room.

Joey surgery day-8

The next morning about 11 am, she got to come home to our farmhouse.

It’s been five days now, and Joey’s getting stronger every day.  Her swelling is going down and spirits continue to go up.  We had a follow-up appointment with the oncologist yesterday and he said that the margins and the lymph nodes he removed came back clean, so there’s no more cancer in her body and she won’t need chemo or radiation.   There in the waiting room after the appointment, we held each other and our baby, and we cried once more.

I heard a preacher tell a short story one time about God and a tandem bicycle.  I’m reminded of that story today.  It’s only 3 minutes long, but the lesson has stayed with me for years.



Yes, it has been quite a year for us so far.  In the past six months, God has taken us places we never dreamed we would go.  It’s been terrifying and thrilling all at the same time.  We never know what tomorrow will bring…none of us do.  But what an incredible journey life is.  We are just going to continue to trust Him and hold to each other and… pedal, pedal!




  1. Praying for you’ll we watch you’ll all the time it is so sad to hear that God will take over and we will pray for you’ll

  2. joey may God put his loving hands around you and keep you and your loving family in his heart. joey i have been there where you are at now and yes we have a loving God, i amcrying as i have read and kept up with your life story . i wish i could change places with you ,i have never prayed so hard for anyone in my life as i have prayed for you. God is a loving God and he will take care of you. GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU

    • Hey this is from crystal me and my mom are big country fans we even listen to u guys don’t worry God will always take good care of your family die or not it will be all OK God will look over everybody in your family and take care family of Joey it will be all OK love u

  3. Joey and Rory I have sit and watched your videos and I have read your blog and it has touched me so hard. You have a beautiful family and thousands of friends and your family so full of gentleness and Love for each other I feel so full of emotions through your songs and through your story I just fell led to say God Is Our Healer and our Savor and he said to stand in prayer together and he would be there and he said we should ask for in his name is ours I am standing in prayer with everyone to say Lord here we are all before you asking for you to take the horrible cancer from Joey and heal her body from the top of her head to the tip of her toes and that you make her strong and that you give her the strength to stand and fight. And that you would speak to her and let her know that you are there and that her family knows your there and let her life and story be a testimony to so many thousands of people that you do still have the Ground beneath our feet and the power over the darkness. And allow her to live a long happy life with Rory and the girls and and be able to look back on this time as a growing time to bring the family close to you. Allow her to raise her beautiful baby and give her all the love she needs. I ask this all in Jesus name and your word also says that you want us to have our hearts desires and she shows her hearts desires are loving and caring for her family and bringing joy to all of us in their music Lord take the sickness and breath a fresh new gift of health into her veins take the sickness away in Jesus name AMEN and AMEN ! Joey and Rory do not give up know that God is the Almighty and that nothing is to hard for him and he holds all the power still no matter how dark it seems he is there with you. I have seen first hand a very close friends niece believe and pray and make the most unbelievable come back from cancer you ever seen this sweet lady was at her last days according to Dr’s and Hospice and it was just a matter of hours family was called to say good byes and its been 4 yrs plus now and she is doing great by the grace of God. Joey hold your head up believe, believe,believe and stand on his word and may God bless you and your family…. Gods Love and Grace Shine on you all…

    • My heart and prayers are with you. I lost my precious wife to Ovarian Cancer on August 11, 2013. She was diagnosed in 2009, and we made the most of the additional years God gave us. I know what your are going through, trying to digest the news and trying to understand what lies ahead, but I tell you that our God is a great God, and He sees us through things we never thought we could get through. He is still working in my life even today. I will pray for you each and every day that you will ever be aware of God’s presence in your life. He can bring the peace you need in these trying days. God bless you.

    • Beautiful prayer and post Tonia! I stand with you and thousands of other believers in praying for that miracle for this sweet family!

      • May God work a miracle and rid Joey of this cancer. Please Lord, place your hand on her shoulder heal her.In your blessed name I pray.

  4. You have been in my prayers and on my heart since reading your story. I wish you and your family Gods peace, strength and love that keeps us together always.

  5. I weep as I read this story of great faith. Both sadness and joy has collided to yield such peace for you all, and strenghth for others. Amazing how hour trial can be the hope of strangers across the world. You all have prayers for continued grace and mercy.

  6. Dearest Joey, you have made a difference in my life. I know our Lord Jesus Christ is with us 24/7. Your unrelenting faith has been a blessing. Your husband is a jewel. Indy is SOOOOOO PRECIOUS. I am sure that is the hardest thing. I pray for peace for you and your family. My love to all. God bless you.

  7. For Joey and Rory and all their family members We would just like to say thank you for all the wonderful music Blessings. and We pray that God would grant you a PEACE that passes all understanding as you walk through this dark valley. may the Lord’s will prevail in your lives.May His comfort and peace fill your every need.
    Friends from Michigan, Frank and Betty

  8. My thoughts have been with you all every day ever since I came across this
    very sad blog. I pray for peace and comfort in the coming days. Little Indy
    is adorable and is surrounded by so much love.

    • Yes part of it is sad but there is so much more to this family that we need to see. My thoughts are that there is so much love, patience and belief in our God and joy in their home that no matter what happens, Joey and Rory and the girls have and always will lead happy, loving lives. First of all, thank you for all the songs you have given us and how we have truly enjoyed every note. Secondly, thank you Rory for sharing the daily or weekly progress of your lives, your eternal love for one another, and your girls. Thank you for showing us there are not more important things in life than the lives we have, the loves we know, and the peace that there is an Almighty God and savior that we can have faith in and know that our days are planned and He never makes a mistake. Third, I would like to say to Joey that I have really enjoyed your magical voice and the tenderness and love for Rory when you two are together. You both are baring your lives so we can see that love does conquer all. May God bless you all, hold you in His arms, and I have prayed for a recovery for all of you. Joey, your spirit has opened my eyes to so much lately and thanks Rory for allowing me the opportunity to read your blog and feel like a part of a family. We that believe are sometimes surprised by the Lord with miracles and I pray He will heal Joey’s body and let her keep enjoying Rory and Indy and Heidi and Hopie!

  9. Wow! Ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t have something nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.”? Hearts are changed through LOVE!!!

  10. Joey, I pray for you daily and hope that God will reach down and heal your body. Stay strong in your faith. He is a God of miracles and I am praying for one now. Rory, I pray for strength and peace for you and the girls. I am a huge fan of both of you. Thank you both for keeping us posted. We will continue to pray. God Bless you both!!

  11. Joey and Rory are in our prayers and we know that she is in GOD”S hands and HE will give her comfort and peace

  12. There are not enough words to express to YOU how much your HUMILITY, LOVE, DEDICATION, ENDURANCE, FAITH is reaching out and are touching so many during this challenge in your lives. I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer – Stage 3 with the tumor approximately 12 inches long and wrapped around my cervix. When I arrived at a building that had New Hanover Cancer Center on the side of the building ; yet when I walked through the front door, I did not know that it was the same building. In meeting (Dr. G- no one could pronounce his name)the Oncologist/Gyn in his office; I noticed that the Lord Jesus walked in with him. For the peace that flooded the room was breath taking and the Lord Jesus had spoke in my spirit in 1994 that he would never leave me nor forsake me; that he would be with me always, even until the ends of the world. To be facing this challenge, it was indeed a blessing and a foresight that no matter what I was going to be alright. So seven surgeries, forty treatments of radiation (10 internally and 30 externally), 30 treatments of chemotherapy; the Holy Spirit spoke on a Thursday a week after being diagnosed to tell me that he was going to heal me; but I had to go through it to get to it. For the people that he would be sending my way in the future, needed to hear my testamony. So their is Always Hope, as long as each of us have the Faith in Jesus Christ to get it reversed, removed, healed, to count it done. Dr. G stated that Paula you did everything right, you do not smoke, you do not drink, nor do any type of drugs; you got your yearly physicals and mammograms as you suppose to. Yet here is bad things happening to a good person; and we the doctors do not understand why that is so. But, see Joey it is OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, that we know that he is always with us and will never leave us. Even when we are going through the storms and valleys of LIFE. Joey, it is my prayer for you that the peace of OUR Lord and Savior will tough your body from the inside to the outside. That his blood will heal you of this physical attack by satan and cleanse, heal you from the width, depth, length,breadth of your physical temple. Comfort and Peace would be poured a fresh upon you, Rory, Indiana, Heidi, Hopie as you stand firm in your Faith, Love,Support, Dedication, Endurance. Most Holy and All Wise God; Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we come to thee just as I am with out one plea but that thy blood was shed for me…..Lord we come to lift up Joey upon your throne of grace and mercy father…seeking healing, peace, and comfort in the midst of this challenge. Heavenly Father our healer and strength, we come not of our selves but for Joey, Rory, Indiana, Heidi, and Hopie…..who has gone through so much in this valley. You have stated that you will never leave us nor forsake us; and that you will be with us Always unto the ends of the world. Father we do not know your plans. But we do know that your Holy and Righteous Word states in Jeremiah 29:11-14
    11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
    13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. So Heavenly Father we are going to stand believing , having strong Faith that You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL that we could ever ask, think or imagine. Let they Healing touch incompass Joey right now in the name of Jesus. We will forever give you the Praise, Honor, Glory.For You alone are Worthy of ALL PRAISE Lord Jesus.Let this fight come about to bring others unto you Lord Jesus. Enable Joey, Rory to raise and Love Indiana here upon thee earth. Father we believe and know that you are able to heal Joey, Let your Perfect Will be done.Father, you have stated in your word that we are to come unto you boldly and let Our partitions be made know. Father you heal me of Stage 3 Cervical Cancer and I am believing that you are able and willing to Heal Joey.Let Her Light so shine that Others that are believers with grow stronger in their FAITH. Those that did not believe, will except you as their personal Saviour; and those that was straddling the fence, that they will stand on your side the warm side and be the beacons to others. For your sheep knows your voice and a strangers voice that will not listen to nor follow.
    In Jesus Name We Pray and Ask by your precious blood. Amen!!!
    Lord we ask your heavenly Angels to stand guard over this word that it will not return unto you void; until it has done what your Holy Word states that it can do……
    Respectfully and Prayerfully With You,
    Paula Frazier

    • Amen!

      • Amen and Amen

  13. She will be ok… She will continue in this world for a while…


Leave a Reply