At this time one year ago, I was sitting with my wife in the oncologist’s office, having just found out my testicular cancer had spread upwards before they got to it. We had been rushed down there so we could get the process rolling to begin chemo.
The events at that point were a little blurry. You’re trying to process the news you’ve just been given, the vast uncertainties of what is to come, what’s going to happen with work (it was crunch time at that moment), and a million other thoughts spinning around your brain, when the doctor comes in to talk about things, of which you’ll promptly forget most of.
Fast forward to today. Somewhat ironically, I got food poisoning or something, which was bad enough to keep me home from work, though I was working all day. Working from the couch. The couch I spent the majority of last summer on. But today’s outlook is much brighter.
Having waged all of the battles last year brought, we came out on the other side with only minor scars. There are still battles to be overcome, but they are comparatively small. I want to take this time to reflect on life.
Once A Small Town Kid, Always A Small Town Kid
Growing up in a small town you saw people who would be struck by tragedy of all kinds. In these moments you saw communities rally. Small towns are a place where everybody knows everybody, and you get taken care of. Fundraisers are typical, people check in on you, and employers bend over backward to help you as much as they can.
While I live in a bigger town now, I still lived a lot of that. People back home reached out in unexpected ways. Organizations and churches I’ve worked with helped out with funds and meals. Connecting Point did as much as they could to ease our financial burden. And countless people at Century covered gaps so my wife could work remotely as much as she wanted. All of the great things I witnessed growing up held true in my time of need.
We’re Not Broke
We avoided the financial struggles that plague many. One of the great things about Connecting Point is they’ve held onto some outstanding health insurance. More than anything else, that kept us afloat. While we definitely would have been better off with me working, we didn’t have to sell anything off for medical bills, much less have thoughts about medical bankruptcy, as many people have had to face.
America Is Home
I am so glad to live in America. For all of the ways we can point to that our country is ‘falling apart,’ it’s still a robust nation with ample opportunities to prosper if you’re willing to work hard. Despite all the politicians who implement policies that crank up health insurance rates and add more red tape, we still have access to timely health care. I can’t imagine being somewhere like Canada or the UK, where you might have to get in a long line for a time sensitive matter. When my doctors saw what was happening, there was no wasted time.
Life can change in an instant. If you have a dream, go after it. If you have people holding you back, let them go. Don’t worry about all the things that could kill you, just live. I’ve grown fond of egg bake, and love when my wife makes it for me. If somebody decides this is a year eggs will be bad for us, I will continue to eat it. We’re all going to die someday, so live without worry, as the Lord has instructed. Hopefully, you’ve chosen Him in your life.
Celebrate The Small
Enjoy the little things. The puppy that will frustrate you will also beg you to cuddle and play with him. A fresh snowfall will need to be cleared off the driveway, but also offers a purity to be taken in. It may take several hours to set up speakers and lights, but mixing a fantastic band is joyous, even more so if I’m working with great sounding speakers. And harvest. How can you not love harvest?
More Battles To Come
It’s been a long year, and there will be more to get through as we wrestle through what having kids will look like for us. Natural conception is no longer possible, and we must wade through all of the options, from IVF to adoption and foster care. All options will take some money, and we’ll have to patiently listen to the Lord’s voice for what He wants us to do, even if it’s not what we desire.
And One More Thing…
Finally, a shameless plug. If you’re on Instagram, give Tiah a follow. Follow along as we navigate this infertility journey and see all of the Hank pics!