Beloved bounty hunter Beth Chapman alarmed her many fans once again on Tuesday when she posted on social media a video of a forbidding, stormy sky and said she was postponing her long anticipated 13th wedding anniversary. Beth is engaged in a tough battle with Stage 4 lung cancer, which she recently told a church audience was the fight of her life. And on Wednesday, her fans sent many prayers and expressions of faith to Beth, who’s been open about her reliance on her Christian faith during her cancer journey.
“Anniversary is officially on Hold due to bad weather !” Beth wrote in a comment accompanying the video, which showed a blizzard-like, snowbound landscape, believed to be in Colorado where Beth is filming her new reality show, “Dog’s Most Wanted” with her husband Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman.
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“Happy anniversary and God Bless today and always!” a fan replied.
Beth is currently battling cancer for a second time. She was first diagnosed with throat cancer in September of 2017, but she had surgery at the time and was declared cancer free. She was again diagnosed at the end of 2018, this time with Stage 4 lung cancer. Even though Beth has been really open about the struggles of battling cancer in the public eye, she has not been totally clear about how she is being treated.
And Beth is not alone in turning to God during a cancer battle. Many members of the SurvivorNet family have told us that being able to turn to faith is what got them through the hardest part of their cancer journeys.
“People often ask me about prayer– in terms of therapy. I have a large amount of Jewish patients, I have large amount of Christian patients, Hindus, and I even have atheists,” said Dr. Zuri Murrell a nationally recognized colorectal surgeon and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Colorectal Cancer Center. “I believe that prayer is very helpful, but also, in some patients who don’t believe in prayer, I believe that a positive attitude is what’s really important. And I believe that for a lot of people, prayer helps them develop this.” Dr. Murrell was not commenting specifically about Beth’s case.
A few hours prior to her sharing the gloomy video of the stormy, snowy sky, Beth had posted a happier image — what seemed to be an anniversary bouquet, likely lilies.
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This photo led Beth’s fans to call out to God to help Beth in her battle with cancer. “Wow beautiful flowers my favorite. Prayers for God to lift you up and heal your body!!! He is not finished with you yet. Lord heal Beth body and let her continue her work!!!” wrote one fan about her illness.
“I watched you Mothers Day speech..and I cried..YOU my Lady are a legend in your own time…I was overcome w emotion..Your purpose here is FAR FAR from over..I LOVE YOU and am STANDING IN AGREEMENT W YOU AND YOUR FAMILY..GOD does miracles..He just HEALED me 100%…love from Texas,” wrote another.
Beth has been going through her cancer journey for a long time, and we still don’t know all the details, but we do know that there are a few types of throat cancer, and that some kinds are totally curable. “Hopefully, [the cancer is] just involved in the neck and in the lymph nodes because if that’s the case, then we can use our treatments to cure the cancer,” says Dr. Jessica Geiger, a medical oncologist specializing in head and neck cancer at Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. “But if the PET scan shows that the cancer has moved to the lungs or the liver, then our approach would not be to cure cancer but to treat it and to keep it under control.”
From Beth’s and Dog’s public comments, it does appear her Stage 4 cancer has spread.
“Patients who have disease that has spread outside of the head and neck region, meaning below the clavicles, into the lungs or into the liver, we call that distant metastatic disease and by definition those patients are considered incurable,” Dr. Geiger continues, “So our efforts at treatment would be focused on palliative therapy, controlling the disease but, unfortunately, not curing it.” Dr. Geiger was not specifically discussing Beth’s case.
Often, throat cancer is caused by HPV, or human papillomavirus. It usually goes away by itself, but sometimes it leads to other diseases. “The most common type of head and neck cancer patients that we see are patients who have HPV-related throat cancer. So this is cancer that starts in the back of the throat such as in the tonsils or the base of the tongue,” says Dr. Geiger. “They often don’t present with symptoms until they have lymph nodes in the neck that are involved. So they come in because they have a neck mass that they felt just incidentally, with or without pain. Sometimes they have a sore throat, but sometimes all they have is a painless neck mass.”
“The most common symptoms for throat cancer are a painless neck mass that the patient may just feel when they’re shaving or washing their face. Sometimes it’s painful, but a lot of times they don’t feel anything except just a lump there, and that brings them to the attention of their doctors,” says Dr. Geiger, “Their doctors often then will order imaging such as an ultrasound of the neck or a CAT scan and we can see the mass there.”
As for Beth, it turned out her joyous anniversary celebration wasn’t totally called off. Later Tuesday morning, Beth posted a touching photo of her and her husband with a heart design reading “Happy Anniversary, Dog and Beth!” She also included a caption reading, “It’s coming #wgnamerica#dogpound #dogsmostwanted.”
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There have been a lot of question as to when “Dog’s Most Wanted” will premier, and whether Beth’s illness had anything to do with the disparity in the start dates that she and her husbands reported.
“Happy Happy Anniversary!! Looking forward to the new show” wrote one fan on the post.
“Happy Anniversary Dog and Beth, may your love continue to grow and guide you through this journey you are in. My prayers are with you both,” wrote another.
The prayerful tone of these comments comes after Beth shared a sad message on an Instagram earlier this week, before her wedding anniversary, without any caption, that read “watching someone you love die is an image you never forget.” Beth didn’t provide a caption or any context for the quote, but fans are worried that it may be related to her disease. Thousands of comments and prayers filled Beth’s page as soon as she posted the photo, including some well-wishes from Jamie Chapman, the wife of Dog’s son, Leland.
“All I know is I love you and each day I thank God for giving you the strength to keep going. There is a reason for that. This battle isn’t over yet! And Leland and I will be with you every step of the way,” Jamie wrote.
“Guys Beth [needs] prayer warriors out there!” wrote a fan, perhaps alluding to Beth’s deep Christian faith. “She has a huge fan base that loves her so much! How about tonight at 5pm where ever you live we all lift her up in prayer! Come on let’s do this in Jesus name let her be healed! Who’s with me! This beautiful daughter of the Lord needs us right now!”
“You fight Beth…you give all of us the determination to FIGHT!!!!” wrote another fan.
Even as she battles the disease, Beth has said many times that she still plans to continue her life’s work — bounty hunting — and she’s been doing it with a really amazing, positive attitude. And that’s crucial during the cancer journey as well. Professionals, like Murrell of Cedars-Sinai have told SurvivorNet that facing this disease with positivity can make a world of difference when it comes to how someone responds to treatment.
There’s been no real confirmation that Beth’s health has taken a turn for the worse. She’s still active on social media — and even tweeted out some bounty hunting business news just a few days ago. Last week, she shared a really uplifting message featuring a famous pal, Carrot Top — the comedian sent Beth a video where he mentions how he’s thinking about her as she battles the disease, and just wanted to shoot over some love and support.