Stage 4 Prostate and Breast Cancer Thrivers Chuck and Hannah!! 😁🍎
0:50 Chuck's story!! In 2015 Chuck was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and told he had 3 months to live. He wrote a book to include all the details. Here's some of his story. 😊
Aspirin stopped working, was uncomfortable with pain. Went to the ER in Pheonix, they ran scans and x-rays. X-ray showed that he had 2 fractured vertebrae in his back. At 5am the ER doctor said it was all cancer-related. Wondered if it was a short journey. Specialists biopsied bone marrow and lymph nodes. His doctor said "I don't know how you're walking around. I've never seen anything like this before in my life. The scans and biopsies came back; first of all the spread was so bad that we couldn't find where the cancer originated from because there's so much of it in your body. It got in your bone marrow and your bone marrow carried it all over your body and you have cancer in 90% of the bones in your body. You're at stage 4 and you have about 3 months to live; go home and spend time with your family." It was an emotional, head spinning, confusing nightmare. Decided to go back to Ohio to hang out with his family. Gave away everything he owned.
How is important is all of this material stuff that I grinded and worked my tail off - worked weekends and didn't see my family - and this material stuff means absolutely nothing.
5:00 "Something popped and I hit the floor… It felt like somebody was stabbing me in the back with a knife and running it up to my head and back any time I budged." Including taking a breath. Was scared to move. Waited 12-15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. His spine had collapsed. Went to John C. Lincoln Hospital and took more scans and compared them to the previous scans. Hospice nurses had just been at his house... Had just turned 50 years old. Was down 35-40 pounds. Other things started shutting down in his body and he was very very very pale.
We want to do a couple surgeries tomorrow and start chemo the next day.
Went into 2 surgeries back to back.
*7:30 Got a weird, frigid bone chill, then a miraculous encounter... The spinal collapse caused him to need liquid morphine, was in terrible, excruciating pain. But in that moment he began to heal. He got up the next morning with his pain gone and since then has never touched a pain medication!!
*10:45 How it changed his spiritual life and how he found his purpose.
"You've wasted so much time in your life. But you're going to get it back little by little. And I want you to focus on what you're truly passionate about." He was in the hospital for 10 days and left knowing that he wasn't going to die of cancer.
Went through 6 months of chemo and had to work on healing his body. Started helping people all over the place and couldn't shut up about what
"Never seen anything like this," his doctors said.
His cancer was so bad, his doctor will never declare him cancer-free.
I push myself because I ask God, "What am I going to do with this?"
And He says, "You're going to share your story and… touch people's lives." I push myself more because of that… I want to be that guy who went through stage 4 cancer and had a miracle happen and prove to people that my God is an awesome God."
Three months into chemo they said we've never seen anything like this before in our lives. Your blood work is like a normal healthy guy's.
They couldn't find any cancer in the scans after six months! They stopped his testosterone. One of the surgeries stopped his testosterone. If the testosterone gets back to the cells they could start growing again. Even today they won't let him take any supplements or hormone therapy.
The Holy Spirit gives him what he needs. :)
After 6 months of chemo they said we can't find any cancer. He signed up for a mud run and the doctors sent him for a bone scan and said maybe you can do some [physical activity.] The radiologists look at his scan and talk to each other then look at him. Your spine and your pelvis were the worst areas… If we didn't know you and see your previous scans we'd think you were a liar. Your scans are perfectly clean.
Male mentality of "It's ok I'll take care of it later," allowed his cancer to spread as far as it did.
When he walked out of the hospital he kept hearing "Lazarus, come out!" I was the dead guy. I was planning a short journey but all of a sudden they can't find anything wrong with my bones or anything in my body.
18:00 It was such a life changer that I couldn't shut up about it. I wanted to share it with everybody I could. I get calls from all over the world. I made a little card that said "Cancer Coach." I didn't like it at first. I would hang up the phone and start bawling. But God keeps saying keep going, keep getting better and stronger. And I did.
19:30 What gives him the strength for it? If you see miracles then it opens up your eyes. "God, if you can do that, You've got my attention now. My own life I did Chuck's plan." Then God starts saying that "My plan is so amazing, but you have to listen to Me." I'm allowing God to orchestrate my life and putting my faith to the test. And the most amazing, beautiful things started happening and the most amazing, beautiful people walked in my path within the first few months up to the first year. And now it happens to us all the time. We don't even question it. It's God's plan. It's God's plan.
21:15 Where Hannah came into the picture? [The nodes paralyzed 50% of her vocal cords so it's harder for her to talk later in the day.] His cousin told him that she had a friend who had stage 4 breast cancer who was doing well and writing a book. He wrote a book called "Hi, I'm Chuck." It was another… it was one of those blessings that God had planned for me when I got my stuff together. That person that she introduced him to was now his wife.
22:25 They met and started getting coffee. He said I’m completely falling in love with this girl. He was building a ministry and you have to find someone who is running toward God or it's tough. I’m blown away. He started advertising for landscaping jobs where she lived. He would come over after dinner and she invited him to stay over since he lived 45 minutes away but he slept on the couch. 😄 Until we're married, that's my room, that's your couch. And that's what we did for 3 months. Hannah's sons lived there so there were always people in the house. ;)
24:30 They got married January 1st which was a blessing because the coronavirus hit soon after that. Hannah's cancer journey started in 2016 (August). The beginning of the year her husband of 21 years dropped the bomb that he was leaving her. It was a total shock to her and she wept for 3 months. Didn't have a great marriage but it was still a total shock. Then she found a lump in her breast. As a nurse she thought it was probably just a cyst. It didn't go away so she got it checked out. Got diagnosed in August, stage 3 triple positive and it was aggressive. Did surgery, no chemo or radiation. I'm really crunchy by nature, try to avoid medication. Was eating organically and exercising. Had a healthy lifestyle and everyone was shocked. September got the divorce, October had her surgery. Got new full-time job in November to support her kids. One year later all of a sudden everything blew up; a bunch of nodes in chest and lungs (metastatic); went on oral pill because the type of breast cancer changed again. Sometimes had no disease, sometimes was stable according to scans. Lived healthy lifestyle. During that time her best friend took her life. She was in another relationship and he dropped her like a hot potato. A lot of bad loss in those 2.5 years - also lost her job as a nurse because she was tired from her treatments. This is what blew Chuck away about her - 5 huge losses. I deal with people and they go through 1-2 things that gets them off track and they may never get off track. But Hannah has a glow and she's beautiful, and other people notice too. How do you go through the most ridiculous challenges in your life and still glow? She said, "Every time something happened, I got closer and closer to Jesus." I said, "You are… I love you, will you marry me?" He asked her that a few times before they even met in person. :D Her walk… One of her best friends said I wish I could walk around like you, you wear your faith like skin. That became the title of her book and the phrase on her shirt.
31:50 The last 12 weeks have been so different for her, starting with her broken neck. Her neck broke because she had a tumor in her C6 - her cancer started spreading 3 months ago. Pain in her neck got worse, so much pain was violently throwing up and ended up in the ER for emergency surgery (can see her scar on her neck). Had to put a cage in and fuse her C5-C7. Had swelling problems then changed the cancer again (to triple negative) and her treatment plan. Changed to chemo and radiation.
33:15 I know the statistics but I don't like to believe I'm a statistic, I don't live that way.
The tumor was pressing on her pulmonary artery and airway causing her heart rate to spike at 120 just walking. 118 now is her normal, which is crazy. Would double over walking so she had to do something. Started losing her voice in February. Threw everything at her at once and usually they don't do radiation and chemo at the same time but for her they did. Radiation gave her really bad ulcerations, she couldn't swallow food properly and had to get a feeding tube because swallowing saliva burned her esophagus so badly. She was down 26 pounds. Chuck was a mess, watching her melt. 2 weeks later she gained one pound and he went crazy. "Tubey," her feeding tube came out yesterday and she's learning what she can eat.
35:45 This is part of God's plan. They started their nonprofit, Living Hope Cancer Foundation. Started doing life coffee chats on Fridays, talking about essential oils, juicing and prayer. The first one was 500-600 people, then 1200, 1500, then 12,000 when the coronavirus hit and Hannah's cancer started spreading. Every 2 weeks they do them. Part of this is God's plan. He's a big fan of Steve Furtick (Elevation Church).
The number of people praying for Hannah is astronomical. They have a huge army praying for her and it's really humbling. Trying to live transparently through this is something they're trying to do. Seeing how people responded to her shaving her head is when people really started following along.
39:30 We need to be real. It's ok to cry. You can't go around pain. You have to go through it. And for us, going through it is with God. He's given us each other to go through this to hold each other's hand. I want to live my faith out loud with people. I've never been through so much physical pain and it's never brought me so low. But God taught me how to praise Him in it. When I started thanking Him for all the other things I had, it totally changed my whole emotion and my heart and the way I looked at life. I'm learning a lot of lessons. I thought I had a lot of loss already but now I lost my ability to sing and eat, and I love food.
42:00 Q: Did you do anything else besides chemotherapy? He leaned into his doctor's plans for the first few days until God stepped in and said "I got this." He started on bone strengtheners, steroids, blood thinners, his face swelled up like a big balloon. The plan after that was to start on chemo. He did 6 months of chemo. It was hard because he was feeling good and exercising. He couldn't live much but did it. Was still doing all the drugs on chemo. The doctor said he needed to be on the bone strengthener the rest of his life but he said no way because of the side effects. Then he started finding out from family that if the doctor can keep him around another year or so then she's doing a good job. But God told him that he wasn't going to die of cancer, and he believes he's going to live another 30 years. His next visit he told his doctor to stop all the meds because he was done with them. He went off everything. He doesn't tell everyone to do that but he knew that he was not going to die of cancer and stay on a bunch of meds. He was swimming 20 laps in the pool. The blood thinners had him goofy walking back to his apartment.
44:50 When he talks to people about their game plan he tells them the doctor's game plan is half and your game plan is half. Don't rely on just your doctor. Prayer, love, juicing, essential oils, exercise, get off the couch and get up and live. Now you're engaging something in your brain. "I gave you the entire mechanism in your brain to heal your body," God told him. It takes months to talk someone off the ledge (of cancer). They wanted to give her 8 more doses of radiation but they talked about it and she was convinced that it wasn't going to be good for her.
Ask doctors tons of questions. Get in the support groups and talk to people who have been through what you're dealing with. His doctor wasn't used to people asking them questions.
47:10 Hannah advocates that people advocate for themselves. When picking a plastic surgeon and oncologists she said "Hey I'm here to interview you… (You work for me.)" She told her doctor she wasn't going to do radiation and she wasn't going to die. Chuck FaceTimes with her while she's in with her doctor (because he's not allowed in with her because of COVID). [People should do this! Have your advocate or someone with you to help with listening and asking questions.]
I don't want a prognosis. I'm going to take care of that, me and my walk with God.
48:30 I've been on stage talking to big groups of people telling my story. People ask about back problems ask what he did for his back. I've never had surgery, no pins, nothing to strengthen it. I was touched by Jesus and I was cured. Then started doing yoga and swimming and taking care of all the human stuff. They have been juicing since before they met. That and exercise has helped both of them. After her neck surgery she had a brace and Chuck got her a wheelchair. She was bruised up and called herself a bruised banana. "We coach people every day so what can we do to get up and live?" She starts crying seeing the wheelchair. He got is so they could go watch the sunset and get out and do things. It was still too bumpy for her neck the first time just to sit and be wheeled in the wheelchair. Then slowly progressed to going farther and then walking on her own. Two weeks later they went to Orange County. She wanted to be able to ride bikes for 6 miles. They set a goal. You have to find the exercise that works for you. That helped her build up her muscle mass faster. "Move the body" doesn't mean going to the gym. The body is designed to move and heal. It might mean laying on the floor and doing controlled breathing or stretching or yoga for beginners. Baby steps. Everything baby steps.
53:00 Hannah worked her way up to strengthen her muscles before even being able to go walking outside.
53:40 Hannah used to do IV vitamin C, minerals, takes alpha lipoic acid (to help prevent neuropathy). Chuck's chemo kicked his butt (3 hours) and it kicked his butt. The next 1-2 days maybe make dinner and do some things around the house, but by the third day he couldn't get out of bed. Had slip-on walking shoes but couldn't make it to the door way. He loves it when he talks to someone and can relate to them.
Day 2 and 3 she feels sapped but they do a lot together and she's learning her limits. She's on her third cycle and lives one day at a time.
Chuck is watching his wife melt down and when he wonders if it's a short journey for her and he was an absolute mess. But she had her faith like skin and he's talking to God and says it's an absolute complete test of his faith. They travel a lot and he encourages people not to cancel their vacations. Do things!
56:50 One of the stories he loves to tell people is the story he hears. I was diagnosed with cancer and told I had a year to live and that was 15 years ago (has heard about 50 of these). Everyone who shuts down on the couch. We don't know God's plan. Modern medicine - give them 50%. The other 50% starts with prayer. It's tough to go through a challenge like cancer or coronavirus. It's tough to go through these things without faith. God brought us into this world, He takes us out. God is in control; He is in complete control. It's a complete trust of your faith.
58:50 How can people pray for them? Complete healing for Hannah. Guidance for their nonprofit; maybe get a camper van (office on wheels). Bigger goals: cancer camp for people to come to them and be coached on prayer, living, juicing and sent home with a vision of life after cancer. Guidance, strength, vision of God's plan. www.livinghopecancerfoundation.com has a lot of information and resources for what they talk about. For a signed copy of one of their books, find them on Messenger or their website, ask for a signed copy and they send them in the mail! Can get a book on Amazon but can't get a signature. They're lifestyle coaches, not just cancer coaches.
1:01:50 They helped with another book, close friend Cort Davies came up with 1 Habit to Beat Cancer that Hannah, Chuck and Bailey are in. Would like prayer for Bailey for God's plan starting to mature to be as beautiful and amazing as possible and to bless people and be blessed.