Cancer Story

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.Website tile page

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

Update:

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.

I am super cute and I know it

I am super cute and I know it

 

30 thoughts on “Cancer Story

  1. Do not know you two. God has given you amazing strength.and how unselfish you are to be using this time to minister to others. I will be praying for you all through your trials.

  2. I remember you so well from high school… Though we didn’t speak… I remember the light of The Lord shining so brightly in you… I will pray for you!!! I wish you and you wife all the love and blessings!!!

  3. Nathan & Sarah —- Praying for you in this season of your life!! I’m very encouraged by the strength of your faith!!
    You both have blessed me anytime I’ve spoken with you.
    Blessings!!

  4. Dear Nathan and Sarah- Now that I “HAPPENED” to learn about your current journey rest assured that your Montana family will be lifting you intro the Throneroom of our King. Our prayers and love for you will not diminish. Please keep us posted. In Christ, Roy

  5. Nathan & Sarah, we just learned yesterday morning about your cancer and shared it with our Sunday School Class at Eastanallee. Know that we will continually lift you in to the Heavenly Father in prayer and look forward to hear of His healing! May the Lord bless you!

  6. Although i dont know you i feel like i do. I am good friends with your brother Jason and your grandmother taught me in school. Everytime i talk to your brother he is always telling me all the things you have done and been thru and all the journeys you have been on and its always amazed me of all the places you have been and how proud your brother is of you and i can see why. You truly are an inspiration to others and a very strong individual. With a strong faith like you and your wife have for the lord you should be able to overcome anything. I wish both of you the best of luck and you will be in my family’s prayers also.

  7. Thinking and praying for you daily. Who am I kidding can’t get you off my mind Squirt (brother). I would trade place with you no matter what, without a second thought. If only God granted those wishes. But I KNOW YOU NATHANIEL THIS WILL ONLY MAKE YOU STRONGER, as a Man of God, as a messenger of The Word of God, as a husband, a friend, teacher, brother, an son. Can’t wait to get up their and spend time with you. I love you little brother, my Squirt! See you soon :)

  8. We just read your post. We are praying for the Lord to continue to sustain you and that he will give the doctors wisdom as they treat you.

  9. I just happened to find your story on facebook, and wow you two are amazing! It actually is the God in you that is keeping you at such peace. My husband has batttled cancer of 6 different kinds over the past 10 years. Colon, thyroid, melemona, lung, basil cell, and colon cancer to the lung again. He has had treatment of radiation and oral chemo and he is doing amazing! His life as well as yours i know will be a glory to God all of the days of your life, He has not forgotten you two, but He trusts you with this kind of suffering and trial to make you more like him.
    Praying for you!

  10. After reading your story now i understood everything. I want you to know you’re a blessing..
    Nathan & Sarah we’re praying for you…
    Miss you room mate.. ..
    Will call you ….again : )

  11. I’m praying for you both, and I’m so grateful to know you and see what faith you share with everyone. Our God deserves faithful people to trust him. Praise him through everything! Love you guys.

  12. I went to high school with you! My prayers are with you! Every stripe Jesus took was for our healing! God is our refuge and strength!

  13. Hey, bro…I know you don’t know me, but I’ve been prayin’ for you. Jeff and Vicki thought it might be good for us to connect…makes two of us in the same church conquering testicular cancer! God’s grace is so much bigger, and it’s totally a blessing on the other side…chin up, okay? Would love to talk with you, and share stories. Feel free to call if you want. Peace, Corby Ewing 475-2252

  14. Nathan, I am sorry for the recent news concerning your cancer. Please know that Paula and I are praying for you.

    Doug Hodges
    304-521-5760

  15. Nathan and Sarah, we’ve just learned about the road you are traveling now with cancer. Be assured of our love and prayers for you in the days ahead! Trusting our Father’s presence and peace to be with you to strengthen you and encourage your hearts. He has a purpose in allowing this to come your way! Praying He will get glory to His name! He is our Mighty God and He is able! Love you much!
    David & Karen

  16. I just had to say good luck and Godspeed. I noticed you are from Athens, TN… That is my husband’s hometown and I am from the next county over. May all your dreams come true.

  17. Nathan and Sarah,
    My husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer 23 years ago when he was in his late twenties. Just as you can imagine we were shocked and scared as you are when this happened to us. I want to encourage you that testicular cancer is one that does respond well to chemo. My husband has now been cancer free for 23 years and we have two beautiful daughters that were born after his surgery and chemo. Know that we will certainly be praying for you.

    Continue to keep your eyes focused on the Lord! He will give you courage and great strength to make it through this trial. He is our great physician and can do more than we could ever imagine.

    If you would like to talk with my husband about anything that he went through, he would be happy to share with you. Don Harris–423-785-7724.

    Praying for you both!
    Patti Harris

  18. This is Bimala from Higher Ground. Hope you remember me and also some of the good time you used to have hanging out in Higher Ground :) I came to find about your cancer story just today. It is my first time reading your blog and I am deeply touched by your strong faith and courage to face such a difficult time with patience, love, grace and strength. I will be praying for you both that the Lord will continue to use you, even your sickness and pain to touch many lives. Both of you are blessing to many. Keep sharing the Lord’s goodness to this broken world!

  19. Nathan & Sarah,
    We will be keeping both of you in our prayers through this journey. Hannah say’s our prayer at the dinner table every night/morning and she always mentions the both of you in her prayers. Nathan, you are very strong individual and nothing will stop you through this process. May God place his hands on you to heal you and be with you through this process. We love both of you and thinking about you all the time.
    Love,
    April Rains

  20. Don’t know u but i can tell from the comments that u are a very dynamic well loved person. From reading this i have learned something from u that has helped my life…u think of others in your own pain and misery…that is so Christ like and thank you
    for showing me this!
    Prayers for u

  21. Hey Nathan. So sorry to hear this news. I plan to share this with the Fuge office and we will all be praying for you. Can you email me so I have your email address?

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