I fell in love when I was seventeen to the most beautiful girl in the world. I spent the next 35 years of my life showing Gwen how much I loved her. In June 2007, Gwen was diagnosed with gastric (stomach) cancer, very aggressive and rare in the United States, and one of the most dreaded. Since it had already reached an advanced stage, we sought a highly specialized cancer treatment center.
Gwen spent thirteen months battling this horrible illness, traveling every other week for many of those months to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for aggressive chemotherapy. New York became our second home and we quickly grew to love it. We visited the theater, explored Central Park, frequented the restaurants, and made our cozy little apartment a secret hideaway just for us.
Even though the walk through cancer was extremely difficult, both Gwen and I felt that the thirteen months of our journey constituted the worst year, but also the best year of our lives. The romance that we shared during our lives together was not extinguished by the trials we faced–on the contrary, it flourished.
Thirteen Months is the story of our battle with the cancer we referred to as the black dragon. It is an adventure story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storm, the love that sustained us, and the events in our past that prepared us. It is filled with romance and suspense, tragedy and hope, sorrow and great joy.
“I know who you are; you are the knight in shining armor running into the dragon’s lair to rescue me. You are the warrior that scales the tower to kiss me and steal me from the beast. You’re the man my parents warned me about, the man I’ve always dreamed about, my lover, my best friend and I love you Don. But you can’t fix this, you can’t take this away. You have to trust God. No matter what happens, you have to trust Him.”