So when people actually renew vows — and do so in the middle of great personal upheaval — we should sit up and take notice. Just think about the case of Brian and Michelle Murdock.
The 39-year-old pair are happily married with a pair of children. Sadly, in 2015, they received terrible news, Fox News reported.
Brian was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s a type of cancer that causes tumors to develop from a specific type of white blood cell, according to the Mayo Clinic.
He underwent treatment, but in the end, they got hit with a double whammy. Michelle found a lump in her breast.
“I was diagnosed with stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in April 2016,” she wrote on The Underbelly. “I had bilateral mastectomy (my MRI showed a mass in my other breast as well) with DIEP flap reconstruction.
“Followed by eight rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation. I also had 15 lymph nodes removed during my surgery, which has left me with chronic lymphedema in my left arm.”
You can imagine the strain that would place on a relationship. However, the Murdocks’ travails weren’t over.
In September 2016, Brian experienced a relapse. The couple found themselves both going to treatment together — and they found themselves growing closer because of it.
“In a way, Brian’s cancer diagnosis prepared us for mine,” Michelle said. “When he was sick, I begged God not to take the kids’ Daddy.
“When I was diagnosed I tried to push myself forward and put mind over matter.”
Brian also found himself struggling when he learned of his wife’s illness.
“It kicked me in the gut,” he said. “I knew we had to be really strong for our children.
“When I was re-diagnosed, I felt like we had become old hands at this. We were fighting cancer for over a year at that point, and when I was told it was back, I wasn’t upset.”
Fortunately, both Brian and Michelle have both finished their treatment, and Michelle is currently cancer free. To publicly show their commitment for one another, they reaffirmed their vows twice with ceremonies in Las Vegas and Hawaii.
“It was important for us to do that because after everything we’ve been through, we cherish each other even more,” Michelle said. “When you go through cancer together you realize how strong your partner is.”
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