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Testicular cancer ribbon

What I will remember from that day

That day is cancer day. The day we found out our middle son had testicular cancer. What I will remember from that day…

It was February 18th. It was towards the end of my day, but my son was on my mind. I knew he was going to the urologist. I was standing in a cemetery, it’s my work. My son at the time was an 18-year-old college freshman, his first semester, one month into a new school. He had transferred to that school after attending a school further away. That decision was instrumental in the story of how God put him where he needed to b

“So, it’s looking like it’s cancer.”

All the things people say, things got blurry, the breath left my body, and a lump was now in my throat. All I could think of was to get to him but that was impossible as he was states away, a 10 drive at best. I walked toward my colleague, Mark. He was talking to someone up the hill from where I was. He was facing my direction and as I got closer, I began to cry, and he excused himself to meet me. There and then I told him Guthrie had cancer. He hugged me, walked me back to the work van, and my other co-worker, Wayne came and sat in the van with me. I will always remember their reassurance. Wayne is a cancer survivor so he had it on good authority it would be okay. But we work in an industry surrounded by bad prognoses. While I waited for things to end, I called my husband. He was out on the floor with management. He told his boss what was going on and she told him to leave right away.

The drive toward home was full of phone calls.

My mom

My best friend, Kathy. I’m pretty sure she was packing a suitcase, ready to hop on a plane.

My father-in-law

My friend Lisa. It’s not the first time she’s taking a distressing call from me.

I drove on home and told my sister and brother-in-law who were living with me at the time. I told my other two boys. My oldest son had told his brother to go to a doctor when he found the lump.

I continued to make phone calls, it to the people I always call when something’s wrong.

Ann, she’s always praying for us.

Mary (I had to call her daughter Grace because Mary rarely answers calls.)

Derek, my pastor. He offered a prayer over the phone.

Scooter

Eleilia, she too prayed for us and was already looking up flights from Alaska.

Angie, she too has answered calls from me that started with me in tears.

Kate, she’s his godmother.

Marisa, who has her own story of loss.

I had a mental list of people I had to call. Once I posted it on Facebook, the evening was full of text messages, FB messages and phone calls. Finally, we had a moment to make a plan.

On my way home that day I had heard the song God, Turn It Around by Jon Reddick. That became a theme for us and a prayer.

There is so much that is a blur but there are key things that I’ll never forget.

I’ll never forget the song or the prayers that went out on his behalf.

I’ll never forget my oldest son telling me, “You’ve been taking care of me my whole life, it’s time to return the favor. I’ll take care of things here at home.” He stepped up in big ways.

Uncle Dan making a 1.5-hour trip one way just to let our dogs out of the house one day when everyone else was busy.

I’ll never forget the gifts of food from many people, the Fisher and Drummond families, Madison, Elisabeth, and finally my work family. We never paid for a meal ourselves while we were in town. The generous check for our hotel stays. It was a sign we were not alone.

The phone calls and messages were constant. Melanie and Lori who both had cancer experience called to offer support. Some of the best advice I got was that I owed no one anything. I was mentally exhausted, and this was music to my ears.

Surgery was required for that Wednesday to remove the testicle but more than the fear I felt, I was elated because that day while I waited in the waiting room, our friends had their baby. It was a reminder that God was still good.

2 years later and we still have some trauma, but my prayer is that with each passing year we will be able to see how far we’ve come. Today he is healthy and for that we are grateful for. And he insists we concentrate on February 23 when he had the cancer removed.

What I will remember from that day is that God did in fact turn it around and he used all of you to make it happen.

 

 

ambulance

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

I want to apologize for being away and I hope to get back to your regularly scheduled programming on a more consistent basis.

First off, I was hospitalized on February 25th.  The diagnosis was hepatitis (liver injury) caused by an adverse, allergic reaction to Augmentin I took for a sinus infection. I had stopped the Augmentin 10 days prior so it took the experts a while to figure out the culprit. But here I am feeling much, much better. I’m working on getting my stamina back but all my liver panel tests have returned to normal and I should have no long-lasting effects.

Read this medical journal entry. It describes much of what I experienced. I did not have hives of any kind. And as stated, it can be fatal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548517/

I did lose my sense of time at one point. While I was heavily medicated, I was transported from the ER to a larger hospital with a GI department and where they could run further tests.  Trust me, I had rather have stayed in the ER.  Weeks later, I found these pictures on my phone and do not remember taking them. I also asked a good friend if she could spare part of her liver if I needed it. She was so sweet to say yes.

So, enjoy these pictures.

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”4″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]In the midst of all of this, I was pretty much bedridden and sleep-deprived. I also was preparing our house for packers and movers to come and take away all my earthly possessions for our move to Utah. I’ll share more of what we got done the week we were in Utah in another post. As always you can find my stories at http://missykuester.com.

.There is so much more I want to share with you! Stay tuned.