Now you have to understand the relationship we have with our doctor. He is a big, black British guy who loves life. The first time I walked into his office wearing my OSU sweatshirt, he told me to get out since he went to Northwestern and Michigan State. He is this relatively mild mannered guy with a very compassionate side. When we went for a routine physical, he shared some of his testimony of his faith in God and actually called us quasi-christians. Now, being American, we didn't know what he meant by that because in our heads it sounds like half christians or something like that. He then explained that in the country with proper English, that means kind of like crazy Christians who are living in a country where most would not. We had brought him up to speed on what we are doing.
During the physical exam, I didn't even think to ask him about this mild discomfort because it wasn't hurting at all. It is kind of like you take your car into the garage and the mechanic can't hear any noises that you heard and if fact, it doesn't make that noise for you, either...until you get home again. So, life went on as normal.
A few days later, I felt the discomfort again, so I decided that since we are home, I better rule everything out. I emailed the doctor and told him that it is probably nothing, but told him where the pain is. He wrote back and said to wait 10 days and then make an appointment.
That is where things began to change. I didn't wait the 10 days because it had already been a couple of weeks and I knew he would be mad if I waited some more. Shockingly, I was able to see him the very next day which would have been February 13th. He had a look, and said it is probably nothing to worry about but sent me the next morning to the hospital to get an ultrasound done.
At 9 am I walked into the ultrasound room and went through a relatively dehumanization process. I went home thinking the doctor would not call for a couple of days. Before 10 am, his office called and said that I need to get in to see him asap! I thought, oh, oh, he found something serious or else that call would not have been so frantic. Janice and I got into the car and was there in five minutes. The doctor walked in and said, "well, Tim, there is a mass down there, but this will not kill you!" wow. really? Testicular cancer? really? my mind began to spin, tears came to my eyes and he just hugged me, us. He then said, "we are going to get you back to Africa, back to what God has called you to do and you will have a great story to tell" Then he took both our hands and prayed with us. I thank God for a doctor like this that he placed in Kokomo, IN for all these years. A man who knows that miracles happen and prays first before any surgery or treatment. That probably helped more than he knows since I haven't seen him since.
That was valentine's day. The day after, I had to go see the specialist that our doctor referred us to and he said we need to do surgery to remove one of those jewels. I said, "what?" He just smiled. So, last Thursday, one week after the discovery, he removed one of the boys.
At this time we wait for a catscan to see if it has spread anyplace else. He doesn't think so, but wants to treat this as aggressively as possible. So, there is the story. Am I worried? No, I can honestly say that. God has given me a peace that passes all understanding. I don't know what my future holds, but I sure know who holds my future. My grandfather, who ironically died of cancer when I was in high school, loved the old hymn, Great is thy Faithfulness. You seen, if I would have had this in Africa, I am not sure what would have happened. I probably would have ignored it until it was too late. I am so thankful that God allowed us to be in the US for this. I am thankful that we are here where we have good friends and family around us to pray with us as well as our good friends across the big pond who are also praying for us.
Now, once our doctor realized this was cancer, he did prescribe a medication I could take to calm me down when dealing with this. I don't remember what he said, but he said that would help. I never even came close to having to take that. With a God like we have, why should we need meds to give us peace?
Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;