From Rhonda Gould
Philippians 1: 6, trusting that whoever began a good work in you will finish it by the day of Jesus Christ.
How do you feel when you go through it? Hard times that is! Everyone has it. Nobody is immune. I have found that the best medicine for difficult times is to have people in my life who sometimes help me physically, but mostly just by listening to me and helping me sort through all the thoughts that are on my mind shoot. Do you have that someone I have also found that knowing how God is constantly working in my life keeps me moving forward with joy. How do you let God work in your life?
I have had a lot of difficult times and the hardest part for me was watching my child go through their difficult time. Here is the story.
When I was having a moment of relaxation after a day of work and family commitments, our oldest son came up to me and said casually, “Mom, I have testicular cancer”. My heart sank for a moment when I heard such a bold statement. Cancer is rampant in our family and many relatives have died from the dreaded disease. This mom didn’t want to hear that from my 16-year-old.
The next day we called the doctor immediately! Now, when I think back, I vividly remember the look on the doctor’s face when he asked me to come back into the room.
It started early that summer, school ended, and water skiing and baseball started. When school started, complaints of back pain and indigestion also began. After several visits to the doctor and many tests, they would say: “We cannot find anything wrong”. He tried not to complain, shortly after his 16th birthday. The night he made his announcement! I asked him how he came to this conclusion so he showed me and as I feared all the symptoms were there.
When we are going through difficult times, it helps to seek the blessings that come from them. You say “SAILING!” How on earth? But it’s possible. I will share with you some that I found.
Blessing # 1 came the next morning when I contacted the urologist with whom we had previous experience. I explained what was going on and they said we should come in “now”! After my son’s ultrasound, I returned to the room and sank into the chair as the doctor’s words pierced my anxious heart. “It appears to be cancer,” he said. Next came the blood count! I called a close friend in the church and cried while we waited for confirmation.
Blessing # 2 came during a four day blur. CT scan was first on the agenda. The calcareous substance that our son had to drink did not solidify well and lost most of it along the way. Our son’s best friend and his mother were waiting for us at the test site. His clothes were completely soiled after the trip, so his friend suggested we swap clothes so that our son wouldn’t have to wear them to the doctor’s office afterwards.
Blessing # 3 was the silver lining that the cancer hadn’t spread to his brain. Although the cancer had spread and he needed chemotherapy and additional surgery, it was also in his abdomen and lungs.
Blessing number four was my sister, who was a nurse. Since an oncologist had to be appointed and praying that he would take us with him, I recruited my sister. She found one! And he agreed to take our case.
Blessing # 5, five days after we confirmed it was cancer, we drove to Indiana University. Time to see what’s next.
Blessing # 6 came as the specialist drew up a plan of action and had his first chemotherapy treatment at the end of the day. The pain at this point was almost more than our son could bear, but by the second treatment the pain was gone which meant the tumor was already shrinking.
Blessing # 7 was that we could continue the treatment plan at a local oncology department near our home for the next several months. It worked and the tumor shrank. After several months of treatment, we returned to Indiana to remove the remains of the tumor.
Through Blessing # 8 we have met many others, some older, some younger, some with other cancers, and some with testicular cancer like our son. I got close to another mother who had a son of the same age who also had testicular cancer. As we talked, I was amazed at how different our sons’ progress was, how we dealt with the trauma of such a serious illness, and what life was like for our families outside of “cancer”. We talked about God and faith, but there were differences! The differences were in whom we trusted, whether we let our lives outside the hospital walls be controlled, and whether we believed in healing. I believe that God made all the difference in our lives with friends, family, and church. He has blessed us abundantly.
Blessing number 9 came from our son. His life was interrupted for a while but not stopped. He continued his life apart from cancer. He was still a 16 year old with no cancer. Trust in God did that!
Blessing # 10 has evolved over the past 15 years. He is now married and has 3 beautiful children. Our trust has grown this year. Our dependence on God has been strengthened. The results may not always be great, but the knowledge that God has a bigger plan is always on our minds.
Blessings abound if you actively seek them! Get a folder and look for these blessings, even under the hardships. Write them down, hold them close, and see how God works.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know my plans for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and hope.
That was the starting shot for my path of faith, a faith that surpasses all understanding. A faith that continues to grow as God continues to show me that He will take care of me. Where are you going from here
Make sure the young men in your life know the signs of this disease: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/testicular-cancer-care/symptoms-causes/syc-20352986
Rhonda Gould, CPLC, and is working on her ACC certification through the International Coaching Federation. She specializes in helping her clients uncover patterns that are holding them back. She believes that every customer has the ability within them to break the patterns and encourage advancement in career opportunities, new relationships, fun adventures, and much more. Rhonda advises clients who focus on having healthy boundaries, navigating through tough conversations, and understanding cultural unity. You can find out more about Rhonda’s work at https://rhondagouldonline.com.