In the Night

We are all sleeping fitfully this night.

JJ fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home from a whirlwind day of medical exams and tests. He has been video-chatting with a friend across the country. He is actually handling this quite well. We have a courageous son.

EJ slept a bit in his recliner. I heard him and JJ’s voices talking at some point in the night. EJ has also chatted with family and friends on FB.

I tried to sleep on the little loveseat. It’s not the most comfortable place to sleep. It’s too short, for one thing. About 4 p.m. I went upstairs to try to sleep. I know that I need energy for the coming day. The bed is comfortable, but the aloneness is not. After a few minutes of crying in the lonely dark, I headed back downstairs to rejoin EJ and JJ.

I have been trying to share what has happened in general terms so as not to embarrass JJ, but he said a few moments ago that I have his permission to share exactly what is happening. Who knows? Maybe this will help others be aware–more than we were.

JJ waiting to get his ultrasound on Thursday.
JJ waiting to get his ultrasound on Day 1

JJ has a mass in one of his testicles. The mass is very big. Like the size of a baseball. The urologist said that there is a more than 95+ chance that the mass is cancerous. He said that if JJ were in Stage 1, trying to do a biopsy would push him immediately into Stage 4. So the testicle is being removed in a few hours. We only hope the cancer hasn’t spread. I am worried because JJ has gotten very thin. We thought he wasn’t eating because of the stress of working and starting college. He’s been very, very busy. Jared said that at first he thought, “Oh, wow, I’m a MAN!” Uh, they don’t get THAT big, son.

This has happened so quickly that we are stunned. We haven’t had time to adjust to anything. We believe that God is good, and He loves us, and He will help us through no matter what we have to face. However, we also are facing a terrible thing: Cancer, a person’s worse nightmare, a parent’s greatest fear. We want to hang on to hope, but not false hope. We know that God can heal. However, we also know that sometimes really awful things happen. To me, faith isn’t about only trusting God in good times, and it isn’t about trusting Him only if things turn out the way that we want–in this case, that JJ would come through this ok. Faith also involves trusting God when our world is falling apart.

I once went through a very difficult time. Well, actually I have been through many difficult times, but in this particular time, I cried with a friend. And after we had cried and talked for a bit, she said, “You know, TJ, your faith and my faith isn’t pretty. It’s messy. We cry and struggle. But deep down below the messiness there is within us a solid foundation that says, “I love and trust God and I will not let Him go.”

I have always believed in honesty, in being real about where I am. My faith isn’t always pretty. I don’t want this thing to happen to JJ. I want to be angry, but I don’t know who to be angry towards. My heart breaks that JJ has to endure this surgery. I do not know how I will endure if the cancer has spread. One moment at a time, I expect.

Meanwhile, we try to face this honestly. JJ says, “You know, this really sucks.” And we agree. It does. He says, “I can endure losing a testicle, but it’s going to be really bad if the doctor finds out that I have to lose two, or that the cancer has spread through my body.” Absolutely. We agree. He said, “Oh, wow, if I get through this, does that mean I can wear a ‘I survived cancer’ t-shirt?” Of course. He also is honestly looking at the possibility that he might not ever be able to have children. Only one testicle is involved right now, but if it spread to two? “I’d adopt,” he says.

EJ and I are facing the nightmare of having a sick child. We would suffer this for him if we could. I feel as if I am on the edge of a cliff. We are thinking, “How can we endure if JJ’s cancer spreads?” Please, my Adonai, do not let it have spread. Please let us have joy at the end of this day. But if not, help us endure.

Our friend finished working on my not-working computer a day or two ago, but we haven’t had time to retrieve it. EJ is sharing his computer with me. A few minutes after I rejoined my family, EJ handed his computer to me and settled back down in his recliner to try to sleep a little bit more.

I am overwhelmed by the love and support and prayers of people. As I read the comments here and elsewhere, tears slipped down my face. “Stop crying, Mom!” JJ said. Ok. I wiped the tears away.

But I am crying because I am scared and I am crying because God won’t let me go through this alone. He is sending wonderful people.

9 Comments on “In the Night

  1. Teri ~ My heart, and every fiber of my being weeps with you. I am sorry for this challenge and trial that has been set before you. I have never been in your shoes. but I have struggled with trust on many occasions. What alternative is there but to struggle through those moments and cling to our faith as best as we can.

    One of my favorite passages is where Jesus heals a boy with an evil spirit found in Mark 9:17-27, but 22a-24 has always stood out to me… the father is talking to Jesus here ~ “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

    23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

    24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

    I do believe… help me overcome my unbelief.

    I’m so glad the surgery went well! I’ll keep praying!


  2. Thank you so much for your prayers. This was an awful thing, but we felt incredibly supported and loved by all your prayers. Our Father showed me how much He loved me through your love. Thank you!


    • Belmont Rooster, JJ is 18 years old. However, today I saw him as only my precious baby, too young and vulnerable to have to suffer through such a thing. He was very brave though. We were amazed at his courage.


  3. Hi, although I do not know you personally,we share a friend (Caryn Bracy) in common. Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for your son. After reading through your blog, it brought back some memories when I was first diagnosed. It all seems to happen so fast. I can tell you though that being young is to his advantage in this fight. It will not necessarily make the fight easier, but he will have more strength. In addition, I urge you or your son to keep up this blog, whether here or via Caringbridge. It is a wonderful way to inform family and friends of the journey. And it offers much support and encouragement, which will help in the fight. Yes, there will be many tears…that is a given, but those sad tears will turn into tears of joy, eventually. Never Give Up hope! Please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to lend a listening
    ear or help in any way that I can. Blessings, Sara


  4. Thank you so very much for contacting me, Sara, and for your tremendous encouragement, support, and prayers. Words cannot express how precious it is and how much it means to me.


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