Ya, no, it never appeared on my mental radar as something I’d personally face. That’s not to say, however, that cancer wasn’t on my radar at all. After high school and while looking for colleges, God seemed to put it on my heart to go into nursing. But He seemed to nudge me toward a specific type of nursing: oncology.
I remember driving past the hematology-oncology clinic here in Medford, Oregon, and thinking to myself, Someday, I’m going to work there as a nurse and help people with cancer.
The day I finally walked through those doors, I just laughed to myself. No, I wasn’t there fresh out of nursing school and ready for my first interview. I walked in as a patient. I was 23 years old.
As probably with most people diagnosed with cancer,...
What follows is an interview given by David Emmanuel Noel (Arts and Entertainment) for Occhi Magazine (https://occhimagazine.com/) on March 10, 2020.
A Brave Hope is premiering at the FirstGlance Film Festival, LA on March 15th. This is an inspirational story about an ordinary person overcoming extraordinary circumstances, relying on faith, hope, and love. Rebekah Hughes learned to find joy and purpose despite the pain caused by the family turmoil of divorce, domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, abandonment, and death.
Rebekah was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer at the age of 23. After a yearlong battle, she had defeated cancer. At 27, she got married, and eight months into her new marriage, her dreams were crushed when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given just months to live. However, Rebekah wouldn’t accept the prognosis. She chose to fight; she chose to live. The film is the remarkable story of a couple whose choice of...
Seven Practical Tips for Caregivers
By Joel Hughes
It took me a year or so into Rebekah’s diagnosis to recognize myself as a “caregiver”. At some point in our marriage, I just went from a husband to a husband and a caregiver. I’m not too hot on the word caregiver, but that’s the world our current culture uses for the role I play.
The more that Rebekah’s cancer affects her, or more accurately, the more her treatments (i.e. chemo, meds, etc.) affect her, the less she can do and the more falls on my shoulders. Caregiving brings its own unique challenges, stresses, and temptations, and if we are not careful, we will burn out, or worse. Trust me, I’m kind of a pro at doing both from time to time.
The editor for Breast Cancer Awareness Magazine published two articles on Rebekah and me. She later emailed me and asked me for a few tips that I could offer to caregivers. The seven tips below are what I...
Avoiding Cowardly Self-Preservation
In my youth and teen years, I had little fear of anything. Why would I? The world was safe, and my parents loved me. But after the world fell out from beneath my feet and I lost everything through a divorce and struggles with drinking, the world no longer was a safe place. Life was dangerous. From that time until just a few years ago, all I cared about was making it through life without crashing and burning again. In essence, I circled my wagons and played it really, really safe. Little did I know, I was losing my life through cowardly self-preservation. Most people living today do this too.
In this video by Joel Hughes, he explores this idea and seeks to find ways to help us avoid this trap. This is part of Joel’s YouTube channel, Nuggets for Living.
Help for Caregivers - In Your Corner
In 2014, I had just gotten remarried. The future looked so bright.
Rewind several years before that and my life had fallen apart. Everything that I had built up came crashing down when I went through a painful divorce. But through a lot of work and with faith, I slowly put the pieces back together again. I met my new love, and we tied the knot on August 23, 2014. A bright new chapter had opened.
Six months into this new wedded bliss, my dad called me and told me that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. Stage 4 stomach cancer. I was close to my dad and so the news hit me hard.
Two months after that call from my dad, we found out that my new wife, Rebekah, had stage 4 breast cancer. She was only 27 years old. The cancer had spread to her lungs, liver, kidney, bones, and brain. One oncologist predicted 4-6 months for her to live.
What in the world do you do?
What do you say?
How do you stay strong?
All of my focus, my attention, my...
How To Find Your WHY In Life
Business groups, Master-Mind groups, life coaches, and multi-level marking groups typically begin their program or course of teaching by talking about finding your “Why”. Finding your Why is like finding your purpose for life. It’s a helpful exercise to help people clarify their priorities and purpose for life. Most people living have no idea why they exist and what their purpose is.
In this video Joel Hughes will explain more about this idea of finding your Why. He’ll explain what his Why was some 10 years ago, how he lost it, and then how he found his purpose again in a most unexpected way—through trials and suffering.
This video is part of Joel’s YouTube channel called “Nuggets for Living” found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGMCjdJI8DA
A Journey of Hope by Rebekah Hughes
June 2011, I decided for the second time to not accept an opportunity to go to college. My nephew, brother, and I took a backpacking trip through Yosemite Park to celebrate my nephew graduating high school.
I was in the best shape of my life and challenged myself every day. Yosemite was breath-taking. Throughout our trip, I sensed a change was coming, but I never could have imagined that my life was about to unravel in a most unexpected and unwanted way.
After getting out of the shower back at home, I looked in the mirror and saw a bruise above my right breast. I felt it. There was no pain but there was a lump. No, no, no. Fear flooded my heart and every single fiber of the universe froze. I couldn’t breathe yet my heartbeat wanted to punch through my chest.
I stared at my reflection in the mirror, repeating over and over, “No! It’s not possible.” My grandma had breast cancer in her 60s. Memories flashed back to when...