Almost a year ago I was getting ready for church on a Sunday morning when I was inspired to do a self check. What I found scared me, as what I felt was definitely abnormal. At the time I was 28 and we had just found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. I have always been a pretty healthy person and never anticipated the possibility of having cancer. I thought, “I’m too young, too healthy, and too young!” The next couple of days were spent with my wife and 2 year-old son going from doctor to doctor. While the anxiety of finding out exactly what the tests and ultrasounds showed, my little family brought such a calming presence and I couldn’t help but reflect on the wonderful life the Lord had blessed me with. The next day we met with the Urologist and reality set in. His first words to us were “The hardest part of my job is meeting a healthy young person like you, sitting here with your wife, and telling you you have cancer.” The world slowed down for a minute as my fears were confirmed, and I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. As I looked at my wife, she clenched my hand tight and returned a look of undying support and determination. I turned to the doctor and said, “How do we beat this thing?”
I was scheduled for surgery the next day. Over the next week we waited to find out biopsy and blood results. As I was recovering from surgery and surrounded by family and friends, I began thinking of all of those people whose lives are effected by this terrible disease. I knew I was lucky because testicular cancer has such a high cure rate. My mind continued to think of all of those who suffer so greatly from the effects of those cancers that attack the body so aggressively. As results started to trickle in, we found out that I was lucky enough to catch the cancer at the early stages and that there was no indication of spreading to the lymph nodes and surrounding areas. I was put on a frequent monitoring plan, returning to the hospital every 3 months for CT scans, x-rays and blood work. One year later, there is still no sign of the cancer returning. I returned to work a week later only to find out that my wife was pregnant with twins! What a blessing from the Lord, especially not knowing what lie in store for us in the future.
There is so much to be learned from the trials we face. I never imagined facing cancer at such a young age, but I’m also grateful for the experience and the things I have learned. I hope I can be a ray of hope for someone who may face a similar situation in their life, and that that person will know that they have someone they can rely on for support and strength. I pray for those who battle this terrible disease in any form, and feel lucky to be a survivor.