Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

Cancer Update and Reactions

logoCancer is no joke in this world. As soon as people find out you’ve got Cancer things happen quickly. My urologist had told us that they would try to get a CT scan on Friday but he wasn’t sure if that would happen. The purpose of the CT scan is to determine if the cancer has spread from the testicle to any other part in my body. But before that could happen I had to have my blood drawn. His assistant called me Friday afternoon informing me that I needed to get my blood drawn and that I also needed to have a CT scan Friday evening and in order to get it all done, I had to leave right then.

First up, getting blood drawn, no sweat. Done that hundreds of times. After the blood draw I then headed over to the lab desk to find out what I had to do to get ready for the CT Scan. The two ladies there gave me two large bottles of Barium Sulfate to drink. I had to drink these two large bottles in 2 hours. And let me tell you after the first sip I’m already thinking to myself, “This is going to be a tough thing to do. This stuff is disgusting. I’m trying the mocha flavor next time.”

I then went back to the hospital and had to wait about 2 hours before I could get the CT scan. All the while as I’m sitting in the waiting area I see people who appear to be much sicker than me. One of the biggest difficulties with testicular cancer is that I don’t feel sick, most of the time. I don’t feel as if I should be at the hospital, other than I’m having some pain in my testicle.

The technician finally came out and she helped me through the process of the CT scan. I did not know that not only was I to drink those two Barium Sulfate cocktails, I was now also going to get an IV drip with a special dye that was supposedly going to give me a bad taste in my mouth and make me feel warm. I was unsure what this exactly meant as I have never had a CT scan before.

She got the drip started with just the saline solution and had the scanner do several passes over my body. Then she came back in and started the dye. Holy cow! I thought I was going to die. Not from the pain, but I got hot really fast. I was expecting a taste in my mouth and a little bit of warmth. No taste, but a lot of heat! She did a few more passes with the machine and I then headed home.

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Saturday was the day I would be announcing to three different churches.  The two churches that I currently work with, and another local church that I had recently worked at as a youth pastor. Since I can’t be in three places at once, at two of the churches I had people announce it for me. At the church Julie and I attended yesterday, I announced it at the end of my sermon. The reaction was amazing from all three. Text messages, Facebook messages, phone calls, one gigantic get well soon card (thank you SonRise!), hugs, crying, “anything you need, call us.” It was overwhelming to see the love and support come flooding out.

Over the afternoon we kept receiving notes of encouragement via Facebook and this blog. I have always believed in the power of prayer and I have to say that I don’t think I have ever seen so many people praying for one thing as I have seen for this. It has been both a humbling and encouraging experience and I am many times brought to tears as I see the love and support that everyone, even complete strangers, are showing. Being open, transparent, and honest makes all the difference in the world.

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One of the symptoms that I have that most men don’t have when diagnosed with testicular cancer is pain. While pain can be a symptom, it’s not a usual symptom. Of all the symptoms I have quite a few. The symptoms of testicular cancer are these:

  • Any enlargement of a testicle
  • A significant loss of size in one of the testicles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back or in the groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
    (Taken from Testicular Cancer Society Website)

As I have stated, pain can be a symptom and there are many that do have pain; however, most men that I have talked with have said they didn’t experience pain. My pain comes and goes depending on what I’m doing. If I have to stand for long periods of time, the pain comes. If I have to walk for awhile, the pain comes. Definitely frustrating for someone who loves to exercise.

Last night the pain was intense. It woke me up at around 3:00 a.m. and stuck around for about 1.5 to 2 hours. The pain was excruciating. I definitely have much more empathy for women who are in labor for long periods of time. There were a couple of things that helped me through the pain: first, a wife who is by my side and I know cares deeply for me. And secondly, knowing what was causing the pain and that, at that time, the surgery to fix it would happen in a little over 24 hours.

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Men, check yourselves regularly. Don’t wait if something is off. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Get yourself checked out by your doctor if something feels wrong in that area. As another testicular cancer website states, “Man Up, Check ‘Em (Testicular Cancer Foundation).” And here’s how to do that: Check ‘Em.

Tomorrow is the surgery, I’m going to be loopy because of the anesthesia. I probably won’t be able to update until Tuesday. Again, I thank each of you for your comments, prayers, and words of comfort. They are meaningful both to me and my wife. Tomorrow morning I know that there will be many people thinking of me and praying for me as I go into surgery.

7 Comments

  1. Praying for you, Nick! Glad to know your mom will be ther e for you and Julie on your surgery day. Praising God for His faithfulness as He keeps you in His loving care. Hugs, Ann & Scott Steward

  2. Praying all will go well tomorrow. Thanks for the update, we will be thinking of you both and praying for you.

  3. Thanks for the update. God will be with you, family and surgeon. All will be fine. Love you guys.

  4. Prayers continue! Glad you made it through the CT scan (and now I’m hoping I’ll never have to get one. Sounds awful!!). Hopefully the surgery will bring you some relief and also a clean bill of health. So glad that God sent that pain your way to signal to you there was a problem. Thanks also for the reminder to men young and old to be aware and do regular self-exams.

    Between now and the next update, just know that you’re prayed for and loved and that His angels have watch over you 🙂

  5. You and Julie are in our prayers!! Thanks for the blog post it really is powerful to hear about it all.

  6. We are here for you if you have any questions for Jere and we will be praying for you both and those doing the procedure this morning…..blessings….God is faithful!

  7. Dan and Mary McCulloch

    November 18, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Dan and I will continue to pray for you and Julie. I know Dan is at the hospital with you and I will be praying at home. We have a loving God who is the Great Physician. As much as you are loved by all of your family and friends, your Heavenly Father loves you more. He will be with you each step of the journey. If you or Julie need anything, we are only a phone call away. Love you both – Dan and Mary

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