John Murray's Battle With Cancer

On April 14, 2011 we learned that my husband John Murray, Jack, had advanced bone cancer.  We were told that without treatment he only had 4 to 6 months to live and with treatment (chemotherapy) he may have a year if he responded.  They then handed me information on hospice.  We decided not accept that diagnosis.  That night I called Cancer Treatment Centers of America ,CTCA, and by the 4:00 p.m. April 15, 2011, we were accepted into CTCA's program.

CTCA flew us to the Tulsa location of Sunday, April 24, 2011.  On Monday, April 25th CTCA began the evaluation of Jack's condition.  On Thursday, April 28th we were told that we did not need hospice. They had planned to start radiation treatment and chemotherapy the 1st week in May.   The doctors thought they could get the cancer in remission.  Up unto the last 3 weeks of his life, I updated daily.  I always tried to put a postive spin to the situation.  The last three weeks I could not find anything positive to say.  He was throwing up and growing weaker daily.  Despite that we continued to believe that he would be healed and win the fight with cancer.

In June of 2011 while we were in the midst of this fight, we learned that his mother had advance cancer too and was not expected to live.  In the middle of July we were told she did not have much time left.  Even though John was very ill, he flew with his daughter Julie to Ohio to be with his mother during her last days.  Our son Luke joined them a few days latter.  I stayed in Colorado until his mother, Doris Murray died on July 24, 2011,and then I joined my family.

Despite my objection, Jack rented a Uhaul and brought some of his family memories back to Colorado.  Jack had his CDL and insisted that he could drive.  By the time we reached Kansas, he was so ill.  I called my daughter and she and her husband met us in Kansas, where Jack was able to lie in their van.  Julie helped me drive home.  We arrived home on a Sunday only to fly out on Monday for what would be Jack's last chemotherapy in Tulsa, OK.  For there it would be down hill.

Despite the aggressive treatment, the cancer took over his body.  On August 28, 2011 at 6:00 a.m. Jack went to heaven.  Below is his story.  You will see photos of Jack and his family.  During this time Jack grew very close to God and was a witness to all of us.  I missed him more than I ever could have imagined.  Jack was my friend, my lover, my helper and my cheerleader.  He was always taking care of me.  I never worried with him around.

The kids and I don't regret fighting for his life.  What would have been the other choice.  Waiting for Jack to die?  We lived those 4 1/2 months, we loved, we laughed and we hoped.  As a family we grew very close and we reunited with our niece Jodi and our nephew Marc.  We enjoyed our time with their family.

Although in this story we didn't see the happy ending we hoped - Jack healed and running again, in this story we did see love, the Grace of God and Faith.  Our friends were amazingly supportive.  My employer was so supportive.  My friends who also show their dogs, bathed my dogs and took them to training classes.  Those people who are members of the Irish Setter Club of America came to my assistance especially those who lived in the Tulsa area.  All were so wonderful.  We will always remember the kindness of our friends, family and even strangers who heard are story and were willing to help us.  If you find yourself in a similar fight and need to talk to someone, just give me a call at (970) 589-6356.  UJnfortunately I know what it is like.  God bless.

Video of Jack's Life

John Murray's Photography


CTCA in Tulsa