For anyone the term “cancer” seems so far away, but for Robert Murphy it was closer than he could imagine. Originally from Lebanon, Murphy now lives in Hartsville with his wife, Sherrie. In July of 2012 at the age of just 58, he was given news that would change his live in more ways than he could imagine. He had been visiting the doctor for some pain in the left side of his chest as well as some coughing. After various tests as well as x-rays, doctors informed him that he had stage three lung cancer. What was the most shocking part of the diagnosis? They only gave him seven months to live. “I remember feeling as though I had climbed down a mountain,” said Murphy, “I had no family history of the disease and was confused as to why I had obtained it.”
Between driving back and forth to the doctor and paying medical bills, many things begin to get put on hold. For Mr. Murphy, outdoor hobbies are a big thing he misses. “When you go through all of these treatments, your body just changes. I have even had a few knee surgeries, so right now it is difficult for me to complete the tasks I once enjoyed, like working on the lawnmower.”
During troubling times such as these, it is almost impossible to find peace in everyday activities. Music has been that kind of stress reliever for Murphy. He enjoys playing Christian music and light rock on his electric guitar. Raising miniature schnauzers is also something that brings him great joy. “I grew up around dogs and for me that has been a form of companionship that is priceless.” These are just a few things that keep him moving forward every day.
When asked what the hardest part about his journey has been, Robert Murphy said it was the entire strain that took over his body. No longer can he accomplish what he once did and this has been a hard reality to accept. “I never wanted to be a burden,” said Murphy. A diagnosis of cancer takes a toll not only on the person diagnosed, but their entire family - even their close friends.
One day, while at a weekly doctor’s appointment, he was approached by a Sherry’s Run representative in the waiting room. Murphy recalls, “I had given to the organization in previous years, but I never thought that I would be the one who needed them.” Sherry’s Run was able to help Robert Murphy and his family not only emotionally, but financially as well. They were able to assist him with prescriptions, groceries, gas and even electric bills. “All of the people at Sherry’s Run have been uplifting and have given me so much guidance and encouragement.” Without the help of Sherry’s Run, he wouldn’t have been able to get to the doctor for treatment. “They gave me a lifeline,” Murphy says.
One would think after going through several intense physical and emotional struggles like Mr. Murphy has endured, advice would be difficult to come by. However, for this inspirational man, that is not the case. He says, “Stay positive through God – that is what helped me. I’m still adjusting to living with cancer and they will too.” His church, Linwood Pentecostal Church in Watertown has taught him to rely on something more eternal than just a doctor’s words. “The people there have wrapped their arms around me and have helped me with my faith,” says Murphy. He often finds trust in those closest to him. “My wife, Sherrie is hands down my biggest supporter,” says Murphy, “she is there for me whenever I need her and has been for many years.” In a world consumed of negativity, we all have something to be thankful for.
Come join us as we make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer right here in our community. The tenth annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. in Lebanon, beside the main office of Wilson Bank & Trust, 623 West Main Street. Mark your calendar and make a commitment to join us. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Log on to www.SherrysRun.org to sign up.
The mission of Sherry’s Run: Through faith and love create an environment for all those affected by cancer, which provides hope, knowledge, assistance, support and compassion. To learn more about Sherry’s Run, please call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, please call 615-925-9932 or visit www.sherrysrun.org
“Serving Cancer Patients 10 Years Running”