In their ninth year of marriage, doctors told Darlyn and Gilvert Gutierrez from the Philippines that cancer permeated Darlyn’s liver, pelvic bones, spine, shoulder and other places in her body.
She went through 18 cycles of chemotherapy and was told she would never again be cancer-free.
“It started with small patches of hair falling off, eyebrows disappeared; I felt … so ugly,” Darlyn said. “I had to tell myself that I’m still Darlyn; I’m still a daughter of my Heavenly Father, and the Lord still loves me.”
When she realized she may never see her three young children go through school or get married, she “treasured every moment” with them.
In a video recently released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Darlyn says she doesn’t know why bad things happen to good people, but “Heavenly Father’s plan is bigger than our plans.”
Darlyn described the cancer conversation with their kids as “emotional and difficult.” She didn’t want their children to always ask Heavenly Father to help her survive, because if she didn’t survive, “I didn’t want my children to think that Heavenly Father did not help us because I know he would. But we wanted them to know that Heavenly Father’s plan is bigger than our plans and whatever happened would be on Heavenly Father’s terms.”
Gilvert testified that God had a purpose in allowing their family to experience that challenge: “We need to accept it and live by it and learn from it.”
Darlyn concluded: “I wouldn’t be so bold as to say it’s easy to get through if you read the scriptures or pray because it wasn’t easy. But I’ve been very blessed with all of the help Heavenly Father has sent my way.”