by Darrell Murphy
Sometimes life is interrupted by the unexpected. One never knows what tomorrow will bring.
In March 2015 I went to the doctor for a mid-year physical exam. I felt stressed and my blood pressure was a little high, so he did some blood work routine stuff. A blood test determined my PSA level was high and a prostate exam showed that something wasn’t normal. That meant more tests and visit more doctors.
But I felt fine. I was still living my dream. God had given me a great family, health, a good job, and a great church. I had two beautiful daughters with awesome futures, an awesome wife who is my best friend, and fantastic friends.
In June, I got the results of my biopsy and found I had stage three prostate cancer. I was worried about taking care of my family, the pain, feeling sick or being different because of treatment, keeping my job, paying my bills, even dying.
After seeing three surgeons at three different hospitals, they determined that surgery was the only solution to rid my body of cancer. At that point, I knew I was not in control. I had to give it all to God. I knew he was my only hope. My God was bigger than my cancer.
My surgery was scheduled at Mayo the second week of August. After the surgery, the physicians were positive. They felt they had removed all the cancer and I would be okay. They lymph nodes they removed showed no signs of cancer.
Seven weeks after surgery, I went back to work but after two weeks, I retired to focus on my health and family. About three weeks later in November I returned to Mayo for testing. Surprisingly, there were still signs of cancer in my blood work. It was determined that I would do 40 days of radiation to kill the remaining cancer cells.
As I went through treatment, I saw fellow patients with looks of despair and hopelessness. I wanted to share my reason for hope, to share my story. So, I began volunteering at the Gabriel House of Care (a lodging center for cancer and organ transplant patients). I also volunteered at Mayo's cancer center in the chemotherapy lobby helping patients feel comfortable and providing them with hope.
After surgery and radiation, I was tested again, and the cancer was still there. My cancer thrives in hormones, so we began a chemo type therapy called antigen deprivation therapy to basically kill the hormones. The injection is given monthly along with all the tests to track the level of cancer.
I have been on this therapy for two years. I’ll never be cancer free but I’m fighting every day and right now it’s under control. I struggle daily with the side effects of the treatment and I still get anxious because of the scans and tests, but I know God has a plan.
Through my cancer journey, I have met and been inspired by hundreds of cancer patients and their families. God has called me to serve Him by being the hands and feet of Jesus to others who are going through similar experiences.
We are starting a cancer ministry at Chets called Our Journey of Hope. We want to inspire hope, compassionate support, and encouragement to cancer patients and their families and friends through a faith-based cancer care ministry. Three of us were trained at the Cancer Treatment Center of America outside of Georgia on how to train and prepare others to minister to those with cancer.
We want to reassure patients that God's love for them is constant, limitless, full of compassion and the source of hope and strength that we all need. There are many sick people who have little hope. We can provide hope through God’s mercy and grace.
Since beginning my cancer journey, I have met many people who I pray for and stay in contact with through emails, texts, phone calls, cards or visits. People are contacting me from my business life, high school and college days, and from this community. Cancer has become a blessing to me. God has a plan and it’s good. I found my purpose in helping others with cancer.
If you're interested in being part of our Cancer Care Ministry at or have questions, you can contact Eddie Hastings at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next training class is on Mondays at 7:00pm, August 20 to October 15. Classes will be held at the Hodges Campus.