When Cancer Invaded Our Lives

How Matt Chandler’s wife dealt with his diagnosis
When Cancer Invaded Our Lives

The morning of Thanksgiving 2009 changed my life forever. The tumult from the living room piqued my curiosity. I knew my husband, Matt, was there with our three children. Why was there no explanation for the racket? I expected to hear, “It’s okay, honey!” Instead, silence. Finally, my then six-year-old Audrey called out with confusion, “Daddy?”

Walking into the room, I spotted my four-year-old watching cartoons, my six-month-old bouncing in her Johnny Jump Up, and Audrey gazing at the space between our coffee table and the fireplace ledge. That narrow distance cradled my precious, strong husband in the most vulnerable position of his life. His body shook with force. As much as he comes across as being self-controlled and competent, in that moment, he was as defenseless and weak as a newborn.

Dropping to my knees I shielded his thrashing from our children. I yelled for my phone and Audrey supplied it. My voice was calm, collected, everything I wasn’t on the inside. The fire station was so close I could hear the sirens as the ambulance started toward our home. Home. The last place one imagines seeing emergency vehicles parked in front.

Medics rolled in with their stretcher and black bulky bags. On that early morning of one of the most perilous days of my life, I asked the Lord to preserve Matt’s life, his voice, his mind, and believed that no matter what the outcome, the Lord would still be good. For the next week, I met with doctors and surgeons. Matt had a brain tumor that needed to be removed immediately.

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