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by Darrell L. Jackson   |   July 1, 2019

When Depression Meets Cancer: The Wolf’s Ferocious Fight

The Beginning of a Hero’s Journey

Darrell Jackson’s nickname, “The Wolf” is one that embodies the qualities he lives his life by and his mentality when facing obstacles.

“I feel that wolves are determined, fearless, focused and relentless,” said Darrell Jackson. “I felt that was me because I like to challenge myself and push myself harder to get what I want.”

These characteristics have been instrumental in his fight against prostate cancer after a diagnosis in November of 2018.

“When I saw a folder from Dr. Sigman, I felt my heart drop,” said Jackson. “He told my wife and I that the cancer was treatable and it had been caught in time. We left the office in tears – this was a tough blow to my health. Hearing the word cancer felt like a death sentence, but after consultations, meetings, and reading information, I felt more confident I could fight this disease.”

When One Hardship Collides with Another

This was not the first obstacle for The Wolf to overcome. He has been very open about his battle against depression.

“I was diagnosed with depression since my late 20’s and I never told anyone about my depression,” said Jackson. “I kept this dark secret for a long time. A couple of years later I went to a counselor to share my thoughts and my doctor prescribed Trintellix. It certainly helps, but I still have my good days and bad days. Now with my prostate cancer added to the mix, it makes me depressed and sad because I’m very healthy and this was unexpected.”

Fighting prostate cancer and depression are both battles that, on their own, are not for the faint of heart, but to be up against both at the same time? Unfortunately, it is a reality for too many men. It’s a constant state of juggling more balls than you thought you could hold. The Wolf has found a sense of purpose in his passion for competitive running.

“The reason why I run is to better myself and reinvent myself,” said Jackson. “I love running because it takes me away from all that I have suffered and it pushes me to be The Wolf.”

The Wolf not only has found a sense of purpose in running, but also in the love and support from his friends and family. It is not an individual’s fight, but a team effort.

“My family and friends are keeping me in their prayers as I continue to ‘fight the good fight’ and they are proud that I took a stand to share my story of my depression and prostate cancer,” said Jackson. “I needed to stay alive for my family and friends that care about me and love me.”

Advice from One Wolf to All Wolves

When asked what advice he would give other men he said, first and foremost, “My advice to men is to NOT GIVE UP and FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! To tell you the truth, I felt like giving up at times because of my depression and prostate cancer. Through prayer and support from my family and friends I’m focusing on living longer.” He also said, “other advice to give to men is to GET TESTED EVERY YEAR. What’s really sad is that men don’t have time to get tested or they think it won’t happen to them …. WRONG! I’m the first person in my family to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and now I want to raise awareness and help men that are going through this.” And his third piece of advice, “is to STAY POSITIVE! Prostate cancer is NOT a death sentence but a change in your life. Take the time to get advice from other patients and survivors. Listen to your doctor and get support from your family and friends and most of all PRAYER.”

The Wolf has faced both his depression and his prostate cancer diagnosis with fierce determination, focus, and unwavering bravery. “I think about how wolves hunt in packs. As a prostate cancer patient I want men to be a part of the wolf pack. We are all in this together and we will fight to defeat prostate cancer. BELIEVE THAT!!!”