April is testicular cancer awareness month.
Up until recently, “Cancer” was just a word.
It was foreign, impersonal even.
I had tremendous compassion for those were affected by it, but I never truly understood.
However, my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer last July, just two days before I attended my new student orientation at the university I had recently transferred to. We had also been married for just two years. As you can imagine, this was difficult news for a young couple with children to receive.
He was required to undergo an initial surgery, and follow up with radiation treatments. The surgery itself was quick and difficult as far as recovery time went, and the radiation therapy was drawn out over the next couple months. Due to treatments, my husband was out of work for two months.
This was not easy.
However, we have a large support system at our church who helped us through that difficult season. They came together to support us, not only spiritually, emotionally, and relationally, but financially as well. If we did not have this support system and “family” in place, I don’t know how we would have made it through.
My husband’s cancer diagnosis has not only affected his own health, but our family dynamics as well. Our extended family took it hard, understandably, as did some of our friends. However, our immediate family (my husband, myself, and our children) had a tremendous amount of peace and support from each other.
We grew closer.
We received news in January that my husband was officially in remission. Although we were fortunate to have successful treatments, health insurance, and a good outcome, it could have ended up much differently. I could never put into words how grateful I am that we caught it early.
That it was curable.
That he’s in remission.
If there are any MEN who are reading this: This is the most common cancer for males between the ages of 15 & 35.
It is called, “The Young Man’s Cancer.”
Self-examinations are so important. Click here for information that shows how to do a very, very simple self-examination. We never thought it would happen to us, you know? No one does. But intervention and treatment for this type of cancer is so effective, ESPECIALLY if it’s caught early.
LADIES: Encourage your husbands, sons, boyfriends, or any other man in your life to check. My husband would tell you himself, he never would have looked into it if I didn’t encourage him to… and we are both SO glad I did (even though he may not have been at the time). When we met with his doctor and he told us the news of his diagnosis, the very first thing the doctor did was look at me. He said,
I am so glad you’re here. I haven’t exactly figured out why, but for some reason if a man has a committed woman in his life during this time, whether it be a wife, sister, mother, or girlfriend, the prognosis is so much better. You have tremendous influence.
I have never forgotten that. YOU HAVE TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE. I hope you never forget that, either.
Today, I am especially grateful for my husband and his life – for who he is, and for more years to spend together.
If you want to read more about our journey through this process, you can check out the hashtag “#fightthroughcancer”.
The majority of the photos on the tag are ours, and each has an update posted in the caption.