Monday, April 8, 2019

LIVING with cancer

In 2008, my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever been through and I honestly thought my life would never be the same again.  Here’s the crazy part: OUR LIVES are NOT the same, but they are so much better!!  Believe me, it’s hard to explain.  Getting a cancer diagnosis, and I know it wasn’t ME that got it, but I felt like it, can change your whole life.  Sometimes people assume the worst, but that was not the case for us.  Thankfully, my husband has the best attitude of anyone I know!  He would NOT accept his diagnosis when his Doctors gave him a year and a half to live. He said, ” I have kids, I’m husband, a friend.. and I have a LOT of living to do!!”. So that is exactly what we have done.   I couldn’t be more proud of him. The cancer he still has (they weren’t able to get it all), shockingly has not started grow yet.  I say yet, because, unfortunately, it will start grow. We just don’t know when. The doctors said usually it will grow again within 2 to 3 years – well, it’s been over 5!! He defeats all odds! He is my hero!
Don’t get me wrong, it has been hard.  This has been a journey that I would not want anyone to face.  But, how Darren faces it every morning is an amazing testimony to him.  We know that worrying doesn’t take away troubles, it takes away today’s peace. We created our podcast to share our story with you, along with navigating marriage, parenthood, and all of life throughout this journey! We would love for you to check it out!
   Every 3 months, when he goes in for his MRI,  I keep thinking it will get easier, but they never do. Unfortunately, when it comes to brain cancer the further you get out the more likely it is to come back. And, unfortunately, if you are following me on social media (Facebook, Instagram), you know that this fear has come true. BUT, as we have committed our last many years to, we are NOT letting this stop us. We are staying optimistic and positive and not letting this defeat us.
We are now committed to sharing our story and hearing other’s stories.  If you have cancer, are a care taker, or have been affected by it, then we would love to connect!  We share how we stay optimistic with this diagnosis and want to create an environment where everyone is loved, supported, encouraged, and motivated to do the same! You should also check out this BOOK – it is one of our FAVORITES and has helped us with learning more about cancer!

How does he do it?
1. He does NOT let cancer define him. The term “cancer survivor” does not apply to him. He does not just “survive” he “thrives”.
2. He wakes up every single morning with the most incredible attitude! It’s not that he doesn’t think about having cancer everyday, but he chooses to make it a great day!
3. When he is having an off day (forgets why he’s in a certain room or what he’s supposed to be doing or puts toothpaste in his hair instead of hair gel…happens a lot)…he laughs.
4. He eats healthy (80% of the time) and works out.
5. And most importantly, he laughs out loud EVERYDAY (sometimes all day).
When something bad happens, you have three choices: Let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.  Choose to let it strengthen you!  What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to WHAT LIES WITHIN US.  And when you bring what is WITHIN out into the world, MIRACLES HAPPEN.
“It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Your friend and coach,

Jen Delvaux

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