Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

“You Have Testicular Cancer”

logoAs I laid on the bed (if you could call it a bed) in that medical center room getting an ultrasound on my testes, there were a million thoughts running through my head:

“I’m too young for this.”
“I’m sure it’s probably nothing.”
“This is sure awkward.”
“Many men have done this before me.”
“If it’s cancer how will that change my life?”
“Am I sure only one family member has had cancer?”

The lady (yes, you read correctly) finished, allowed me some privacy to dress back up, and sent me on my way informing me that the doctor would get the results this afternoon and I would probably get a call pretty soon thereafter. Which did indeed happen. “Mr. Jones, I just want to inform you that I looked at the ultrasound and there appears to be a lump in your testicle. I’m going to go ahead and refer you to a urologist.”

Shock, peace, and calm were the first emotions that I noticed as I drove down the road to work as the doctor talked with me on the phone. It’s not like I’m the first guy in the history of the world to have an unusual lump on his testicle. A lump doesn’t mean cancer.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A little over a month ago I began to feel pain my right testicle, and not just a little pain, quite a bit of pain, some of the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I went to the doctor and he informed me that it was probably Epididymitis and that I shouldn’t worry too much. The pain went away, and I didn’t think about it again until last week when the pain came back. So I did a self exam and realized that one testicle was larger and harder than it should be. Again to the doctor.

I hate going to the doctor, and the great thing about exercising regularly is that I usually get to avoid the place I dislike so much. Not so with this. As the doctor talked with me he decided it necessary to schedule an ultrasound of my testicle to see what was going on.  As you read above he called me on my way to work to inform me that there was a suspicious lump on my right testicle and that it was time for me to see a urologist.

What could I say at that moment? What is there to say? “Thanks,” was about all I could manage to get out as he asked if there were any questions I had for him. I informed him that I was on my way to work and that if I did have any later on I wouldn’t hesitate to call.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Flash forward to Thursday. My wife and I are sitting on the urologist’s waiting room. They were able to squeeze me in one of the last appointments of the day. Unfortunately, my wife and I ended up waiting 2.5 hours before we were able to see the doctor and I was the last one he saw.

I always wonder what is going through doctors’ heads when they realize they have to give someone bad news. It’s probably similar to when I have to figure out how to confront a church member about something. He asked a ton of questions about the symptoms I was having, had me drop my pants and turn and cough, and then just said it, “You have cancer.”

Those words struck me harder than I expected. Like a speeding train barreling down on me. “You have cancer, and the only way to take care of it is to remove your testicle.” You never expect at 29 to hear those words. You never expect when you exercise regularly and try to eat healthfully that you will ever hear those words. And here I am, hearing those words.

Was I shocked? Yes and no. Julie and I were talking about the possibility of cancer as soon as the ultrasound confirmed there was a suspicious lump on my testicle. So we were aware that the possibility of this happening was very high. But we also held to the hope that this only happens to about 1 in every 270 men. Evidently I am that 1 man out of the 270+ other men that I know.

Am I scared? Yes and no. I know that the chances of me dying because of this are very slim. Only 1 in 5,000 men die from testicular cancer. If caught early (like what is happening to me) I have a 99% chance of surviving for at least 5 years. I also know and believe that when God says it’s time for me to die, that’s when I’ll die. No sooner. Yet, at the same time, I can’t control this. There are risks with the surgery. I see my wife hurting because I’m hurting. Being honest, I am a little scared.

There are so many thoughts going through my head that I can’t even get them all down. “What will people think when they find out that I have had testicular cancer?” “How will I be able to cope with losing a testicle?” “Will I be less of a man because of this?” “Am I going to be able to handle the loss?” “How will this impact my family?” And the list goes on.

I don’t have answers right now, and I may never have all the answers. But I will be using my blog as a way to talk about what is going on. Mostly it is because writing like this helps me cope but, at the same time, if these posts can help someone else through what I’m going through, then I’m happy for that.

I have surgery on Monday, November 18. Pray for me.

27 Comments

  1. Wow Nick! I’ll certainly be praying Monday (and obviously now too). Powerful post. Thanks for allowing us to process this with you.

  2. joetta and i are praying,,,ive had colon cancer in 2001 so know what your feeling

  3. Nick, I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but so happy to hear about your prognosis. It’s surprising and scary to have to face this, I’m sure. You and Julie are in our prayers, and Joshua and I will be especially praying on Monday for your surgery.

    Like David, I’m glad you’re allowing us to process this with you.

    Much love! and grace and peace from our Father 🙂

  4. Nick,
    we prayed for you at church today. I will continue to pray for you in my own daily prayers. Just know that you are loved and that we are praying for you. I know it helps me when I am going through a crisis just knowing that others are praying for me. So we will continue to pray for you and for Julie.

  5. Nick, I don’t know you, but we have a few mutual friends, it seems. My prayers are with you as you deal with this shocking diagnosis. I know that that God who died for you will be the God who holds you through the whole journey.

  6. Nick,
    Praying.
    Marsha Beal

  7. Hi Nick, I don’t know you, but a friend shared the link to this post. I’ll be praying for you and your family. I’m only a year younger than you and also have a family, so, again, as others have said, I appreciate you allowing others to process this with you.

    • Hi Keith. Thank you for your prayers. My hope and intention in being open and public about this is to bring awareness to young men like us the need to be aware with what is going on with our bodies and that it’s ok to ask questions and talk about it. I also want this to be available to any man who has just been diagnosed with testicular cancer so that they know that they are not alone and there are others out there that have had the same questions and concerns that they have right at that moment.

      Thanks again for your prayers; it is greatly appreciated.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this personal & difficult time in your life. I believe your transparency will touch others especially men & encourage them to either talk about or get checked early if they are experiencing symptoms. I will pray for you & your family 🙂

  9. Nick,
    As I said earlier today, as we held you and Julie close and prayed for you, how brave it is for you to be so transparent about this trial that you and Julie are facing.
    I believe that sharing this blog with others will be a real testament of your faith and I pray that other men will be able to open up and share their experience as well.
    Maybe, when this is all over, this will eventually be a book that can be published to reach even more people and also draw them to Christ.
    Our prayers are with you daily, and especially during this time.
    Blessings,
    Gregg and Starla Glassel

  10. Nick:

    I was shocked when I read your blog. Cancer is no respecter of persons for sure. I’m thankful you were able to catch it early. I will be keeping you and Julie in prayer. I will also ask our church family to be praying for you.

    Alta

  11. Nick,

    Stunned to say the least. I’ll definitely be praying for you. Courage to you and God’s peace to see you through.

  12. No bueno, buddy, that is tough. I cannot even imagine. Yet, you are setting it in God’s hands, the best place for this. He will get you through. Our family will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  13. Nick, I am speechless. I will be lifting you up to our heavenly Father for strength and understanding. I will never understand why these things happen. Blessings to you and Julie.

  14. Hey Nick,
    At first I thought your facebook link was to someone else’s blog!
    I want to give you a cyber hug.
    I will absolutely be praying for you Monday and I’ll be starting right now! My prayers go up for you and for Julie as you have been pulled into this unwelcome journey. Thank you for being so vivid and real in sharing with all of us. Do you have a time for the surgery?

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
    Romans 15:13

  15. Had no idea you were going through this. You are in our prayers and we will especially remember you Monday as you go into surgery. Thanks for sharing your journey with so many. May God give you strength and peace as you carry on. Dios te cuide, hermano!

  16. Nick,
    Our morning worship group will pray for you on Monday for our Father in Heaven to be with you and Julie and the doctors in claiming the promises in Psalm 91.
    Iris

  17. I’m so sorry to hear this, Nick, but thank you for sharing. Your response to this terrible news is a testimony to that peace that comes from Christ. Praying for you now, and will send up special prayer on Monday for you.

    “So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

  18. Nick,
    You and Julie have been, and will always be, one if the dearest couples I know. How brave to share how you have, I think its a wonderful thing that will help you and others along the way. You will touch more people than you can even imagine. Noone is exempt from experiencing pain and uncertainty in life, this I know. Stay strong and know that your Father is holding you close and will be with you every step of the way. My prayers are with you and Julie as well.

  19. Nick, we may not know the reason why, however, it so comforting to know that our God is in control. Thank you for sharing this with us. As I heard you speak to us yesterday and shared this with us, my eyes were full of tears. You have filled me with many blessings. Thank you. God works mighty and powerfully through you. As our little group prayed with you and Julie after church, I knew that you would be OK and that you dear people are wrapped in God’s loving arms. We are so blessed with you. Thank you and prayers are constantly being said.

  20. Nick,

    Thank you for sharing that. Being that we are the same age and both cyclists, that really hit home. Ashlee and I will be keeping you and Julie and your family in our prayers.

  21. My husband was diagnosed with cancer six years ago. It was a rare cancer that affects about 2% of the population. I very much know what you are going through, especially your wife. Stay strong, keep your faith, keep your focus, and don’t be afraid of getting second opinions on treatment after surgery. Also, beware of all the wonderful souls who will start pushing alternative treatments on you. While they are well-meaning, they have no idea the pressure it puts on you because you keep asking yourself, “if I reject this, is it the one thing that would have cured me?” He has now passed the five year mark and is considered a “survivor,” but he continues to have checks to make sure it does not return. God is good. He will be with you through it all as He was with us.–Merle

  22. Hey Nick. I’m just learning about your trial. Courage my friend. The Lord is very near!

  23. Forza!, Pastor Nick. We’re praying for you 🙂

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