This is not easy to write but I wanted to take significant time to think through and communicate this well. As some of you might know, I blew my knee out 3 months ago and have been in a long season of recovery. It’s been a hard season where I have been less “productive” but have grown deeply in so many other areas. Many of you have prayed for Sarah and I and we are thankful.
About a month ago, I started having swelling in my injured leg. Even though I did all I could to keep the swelling down, it never went away. This Tuesday I had a CT scan to see what was going on. Within a few hours my doctor called and told me to go to the hospital and they would admit me. After many other tests, exams and a biopsy; they have determined that I have a blood clot in my abdomen. Not only that, but I also have cancer is several areas of my body. As you might imagine, that was hard to hear. It took a while to figure out what kind of cancer I have but they know now it’s testicular cancer. The cancer has spread to several places in my body including my abdomen and lungs. They have however assured me that testicular cancer is one that responds well to chemotherapy. We have also been told the survival rate for this type of cancer is very high- close to 95%.
I know this is hard news to hear. I am still in the hospital and will be for a while. They will so develop a treatment plan and we can start to knock this thing out. As of now it looks like I will undergo several rounds of chemotherapy and a surgery to remove tumors.
Believe it or not, Sarah and I are doing very well. We have known for a week or so that I might have something severely wrong with me. We are grateful for the time we had to process. We are hurting and at times afraid but God has given us a peace that can’t be explained part from Christ. I also have a deep and abiding joy that is overshadowing any fear that is present. I know hard days are to come, but for today, my heart is filled with abiding joy.
We have been reminded of God’s grace over and over again:
- I’ve had a blood clot in my abdomen for over a month yet God kept me alive
- My knee injury was the very thing that allowed the doctors to find the cancer.
- Our church body has journeyed with us in this suffering. We’ve had over 100 visitors from our church. We even had a visit from John Piper!
- God has allowed Sarah and I both to minister to friends and hospital staff during this time. In the midst of our suffering we have been given boldness to proclaim His goodness.
We will continue to use our travel blog as a place we update our friends and family on our journey to overcome cancer. Please use our words and updates as motivation to pray for us. We love you all deeply and thank God daily for friends who love us so well. Let me leave you with a picture into our heart as we walk through this suffering:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire beside you. My flesh and my heart faint, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
For those of you that have come to our blog lately, I wanted to make sure you knew where we are in our journey. We battled through 3 rounds of intense chemotherapy, two months in the hospital and four surgeries. In June of 2013, after the third surgery, my doctors told me that I was cancer free and could live a life in remission. Those five months of suffering brought me to the depth of darkness in my soul and gave us both wounds we still nurse today. Suffering does that. It leaves wounds that do not soon go away. These however are the things that make us who we are.
Life is not the same since that defining moment. My body is a bit more broken, my heart is still recovering and my persecutive on life and what it has in store is different- not better or worse just different. The journey toward recovery is on going and I think it always will be. Suffering does that. It scars more than just the body. However, instead of mourning the scars, I am beginning to see them as a reminder of the journey God has me on. A journey that may not be easy but one that is good because it’s a journey toward Him and with Him.
One year later I am back to work with the same passion I had before. We have traveled to England, France, Italy, Switzerland and Tunisia since the cancer and I have a trip planned for Lebanon and Ethiopia soon. Oh yeah, and we adopted a precious little girl names Asia.