I’ve gone back and forth dozens of times on whether or not
I …we (Daniel & I) wanted to share our story with everyone who follows us & Chandra’s Collection as a whole. We were debating as a couple whether or not we should be transparent & share everything that we are going through…if we should expose one of the most difficult times in our lives together to the world or fight this fight together behind closed doors in private with our closest friends & family. I’ve tried to start this post over & over only with the same re-occurring outcome…I just haven’t found the right words for my fingers to type & end up deleting everything after I’ve written a sentence…I feel like my words can’t do my/our feelings justice right now by any means…they just can’t even scratch the surface, yannow? I’ve also worried that if we do share our story, it might be too *heavy* of a post to share with people who follow my business. I still don’t know. But, I do know that this is REAL LIFE. Although, I keep hoping that this is all a dream that I will wake up from eventually…a roller coaster ride of emotions that I’m wishing we both can get off of at the next stop…but every morning when I awaken, I have the same gut-wrenching pain deep down in my stomach & heart telling me that this, infact, is really happening to us. A lump in my throat, trembling from the inside out at the thought of it all. Sleepless nights, outburst of tears on a whim…it’s a roller coaster ride that I never thought I would have to be forced to ride. But, here we are. This is life and sometimes, we don’t have any choice but to be strong.
Daniel has stage 4 cancer.
Here’s the scoop about what is going on: About two months ago, Daniel started experiencing pain in his groin area. Of course, we thought – oh, this is just a hernia or a strained muscle since he works so hard during the week…but we went to the Med-Clinic anyways just to get it checked out. They said the same thing – diagnosed him with a sprained muscle and told Daniel to take it easy as he would be back to 100% in just a week or so. The pain eventually subsided after a few days. When we were in Vegas a couple of weeks ago on vacation — the last day we were there, the pain came back. We honestly didn’t think too much of it as we were positive it was just a sprain since he works so hard day in & day out, we thought he may have not given it enough time to heal. The pain was so bad, it was to the point where it was hard for Daniel to walk. We took it easy and promised each other that Daniel would go get it checked out the next morning when we got home. So, we did. Same diagnosis. For some reason, I had an uneasy feeling about it all and scheduled an appointment with a specialist (Urologist) just to make sure that everything was okay.
The first time that we saw the specialist, he said that he was POSITIVE it was either a kidney stone or some sort of kidney infection – but he ordered Daniel to have a Cat Scan done “just incase”. That Thursday, we immediately left the Dr’s office and he had his scan done. We left concerned, but we were positive that Daniel would have just something as simple as a kidney stone and that would be that. We had to wait to hear back from the doctor since it was July 4th weekend. So, he called us the next Monday (July 6th) & ordered us back into his office. This concerned me right off the bat as usually, if it’s not serious, they will just relay the results over the phone. As we entered his office, my stomach immediately filled with knots as he told us to stand right behind him & his computer as he pulled up the results of the Cat Scan to show us. As I grasped Daniel with all of my might, holding onto each other as tight as we could all the while, hoping for the best…it felt like eternity for the doctor to read us the results. As my hands were shaking & without the ability to say a word…the doctor said he found a mass the size of a racquetball – it was right next to his kidney and behind his intestines. Tears immediately started rolling down my cheeks & my hands were shaking uncontrollably as this was the last thing we were expecting to hear.
Dr.Best tried his best to keep us calm, as he said this is probably nothing but definitely wanted to check it out more and ordered Daniel to do another Cat Scan with iodine (the chemical that illuminates the mass to show if there is blood flow to it or not). We left the office and immediately started praying. I just knew God would give us a positive outcome. That Daniel would be okay. How could he not be, yannow? He’s a young, six foot one & 1/2 muscle man of steel who seemed invincible to me. My protector, my soulmate, my best friend…the man who I fell madly in love with nearly 4 years ago & everyday, that feeling only gets stronger. This mass would be benign and he would have to have surgery to get it removed…and voila, that would be that.
We had to wait a until Wednesday to get the results in since the Doctor was in surgery all day on Tuesdays. I woke up Wednesday with a huge lump in my throat. We got the call at 8:47am. The staff told us we had to come in right away. We live about an hour away from the doctors office….and that drive seemed to be the longest drive of my life. I wished I could just wiggle my nose and we would be there! After what seemed to be eternity, we finally got to the office. As we entered, they instructed us to go get more blood tests & one last ultrasound right away. We asked if there was ANY way we could find out what the HECK was going on today. They rushed the results so we could find out by the end of the day. My heart couldn’t take another day of wondering what in the world was going on. I knew deep in my heart though, this wasn’t good…although I tried to push out any negative thoughts throughout the day & stay positive, I was subconsciously preparing my heart for the worst…telling myself that whatever the results were, we would get through this. All the while, Daniel is still as happy as a clam…without a worry in the world. That’s just how he is. It’s something I admire so much about him. He is a ray of bright sunshine in any darkness. Positive, happy, funny & perfect. That’s my amazing husband in a nutshell.
As we waited for what again seemed to be eternity after the final tests were done…Dr.Best called us into his office. Once again, he asked us to stand behind his computer as he described what we were seeing on the cat scan.
Daniel has stage 4 testicular cancer.
My heart fell to the floor & shattered into a million pieces. I busted into tears when we heard the news. It felt like a gazillions daggers to my heart all at once. I promised myself that I would stay strong for Daniel…but that went out the window as those 6 words listed above left the doctor’s lips. My world, our world – came crashing down LITERALLY in the blink of an eye. Everything that we had dreamt about together, hoped for, planned for – all came to a screeching halt in a split second. We were scared. I don’t even think scared would be the right word to use…we were trembling with fear as we cried together and held each other as tight as we could. We were in shock. We had a million feelings rushing through us in a matter of minutes.
Immediately after we heard the news, the next thing the doctor told us jolted me to another universe or something like that, I swear. He asked if we have had any kids yet. Everything was moving so quickly, I couldn’t comprehend why the doctor was asking this right away after he told us the news. Of course not, we have only been married a year & 1/2 but have been planning on having kids soon though! To the point where we have been talking about it on a weekly basis. Daniel & I have always talked about having kids together & shared the same feelings of being in complete bliss of being able starting a family together. We even have our future kiddos names picked out…we are that kind of couple! LOL Daniel told me a few days before all of this unfolded (unaware of the news we would receive), that I better video record him when I tell him we’re pregnant because we are going to freak out with excitement & cause a ruckus when we get the good news! After hearing what the doctor asked us & explained more – we were devastated – (again, devastated doesn’t even scratch the surface of the type of feeling, but it’s the only word that I feel can even come close to it all). He said we need to get to a sperm bank right away. Ummm, wait – what? What the heck is a sperm bank???!! I have never even heard of such a thing. And then it hit me. We may not be able to have kids the natural way. Something we have been dreaming about together was just crushed in a single instant. The doctor said that after Daniel would have surgery to get one of his testicles removed, as well as have chemo – he will most likely be infertile. It’s not a 100% thing, but it’s highly likely. We are believing that this will not happen, but since it’s definitely a very high possibility – to be safe, we will have to store our future kiddos safely in a cryogenics bank. That sounds so flippin’ weird to say outloud. But that’s a real part of this all. It’s very real. Although we can’t change what is happening now, we sure do thank God that someone came up with the brilliant idea to create something like this to help people who are going through a situation like this! We are really trying to see the positive in it all. Yes, having children the way we thought we would may not work out like we had planned, but it will work out! I’m trying to take my emotions out of it all and think logically & positively. We’re not the only ones going through this. There are millions of couples who have to do this – and it works and I definitely can’t have a pity party over every single thing that doesn’t go right. Right?! However, this was & still is a really hard pill to swallow for me. We go to the Cryogenic Bank on Monday morning. I’m honestly trying not to think about what is going to actually happen…just kind of go do it & not think about the reality of it all.
Staying positive is truly an intentional act and it takes a lot of work. It doesn’t come naturally all of the time. I find myself FORCING myself to think positive. To not let the negative thoughts creep into my mind and overtake my emotions. I truly do not know why God chose us to go through this together…but, I do know that God is the one who will get us through it all. Daniel WILL beat this. That is all there is to it. He is in the fight of his life & I will be next to him every step of the way fighting for him.
Daniel is the most amazing human being I have ever met in my life. He’s loving, passionate, romantic, funny, happy as a clam and I adore everything about him. I truly never knew a love like ours could ever exist…not even in my wildest dreams. After having jaded views of love in the past, Daniel has proved every single one of those things insanely wrong. I truly have been living in complete bliss with Daniel for the past 46 months (as he always tells me since he keeps up with how many months we’ve loved each other – he’s so precious). Everyday, I want to pinch myself when I think about how blessed I am to have such an amazing, beautiful soul in my life. Really, Daniel could make friends with a light pole if he needed to. Everyone who meets Daniel falls in love with him instantly, his personality, his zest for life, his funny sense of humor, his ability to make everyone feel loved upon the first instance of meeting him. Out of all of the people in the world, I just can’t believe he chose me to spend the rest of our lives together!!! I feel like I need to pinch myself everyday that I have him in my life. He’s amazing and no words could ever, ever, EVER justify how wonderful he truly is. He’s my best friend, the love of my life, my soulmate, my protector, my biggest supporter…the list could go on and on…but to sum it up, he’s a gift to me from above & I could never thank God enough for bringing us together in this big ole’ world. I truly admire him with all of my heart and he makes me want to be a better person every single day of my life.
We still have lots of questions…we’re still are unsure of what’s next…but no matter what, we are going to remain positive, keep our faith strong & lean on Him & of course each other, our friends & family to help us through this & we will get through this, ya’ll!
We did get some AMAZING news today – by the way!! Daniel had to get another Cat Scan yesterday to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread into his chest or lungs – and IT HASN’T!!!!! Praise the sweet Lord! I will say this has been such a hard week…I feel like I’ve aged 20 years by all of the stress…but I have found that leaning on the Lord for my strength, our strength is the only way to do it! He is our rock, the truth, the light and no matter what comes our way, the Lord will be at the center of it all…comforting us, healing us & seeing us through this most difficult time!
Daniel & I decided that we will be posting updates here for all of our friends and family to read – so it’s kind of like a central location to let everyone know what’s going on instead of having to tell the same update a hundred times & it’s easy for everyone to access whenever they have time to read about the updates 🙂 Also, if anyone else is going through this same thing…we hope to share with them to let them know that they are not alone! All we can ask for now is many prayers sent our way & Daniel’s way. Please pray that Daniel will have divine healing in his body! All the while, we can use this trial & turn it into a triumph…& ultimately a TESTIMONY! We’re praying that God will keep us strong and we can spread the gospel! It’s crazy how God works in mysterious ways, but after drying our eyes & seeing more clearly, we know that He is using it for our greater good. Feel free to share this post – we need all of the prayers we can get right now! Thank you so much to all of our friends & family for their amazing support! We love you guys!!!
I have added a “Subscribe” button on my website! (It’s on the left hand side sidebar of the screen labeled as “Stay-Up-To-Date”) Once you enter your email address, you must verify your email address by clicking the link that is sent to your inbox in order to activate your subscription. Once you do this, voila! You will receive the latest updates on Daniel & my journey without having to remember to check the blog for updates. 🙂
UPDATE: There was a Go Fund Me account that was started for us yesterday afternoon. I see those ALL of the time and never expected that we would be in a situation where one would ever be made for Daniel & I. I am truly FLOORED and we are so thankful for the outpouring of support. Of course during this time, Daniel is not able to work or bring home a paycheck through the duration of all of this, so for people to want to support us, oh my goodness, it is such a blessing – there are just no words for it all. If for some reason you feel it in your heart to donate, I have posted the link below. There is literally nothing too small. If you can’t donate, we just ask for your prayers. They are really getting us through you guys.
Chandy & Danny
Here are some of ours & our families favorite Bible verses that we love & have been leaning on heavily:
2 Corinthians 12:9
Psalm 103: 1-5