The foundation of the seedstock industry in the cattle world lies on performance testing, testing cattle through various measures to identify their true strengths. Without ever putting the ‘rubber to the road’ per say, we can only speculate. I think the same can go for our faith. It’s easy to say we have faith, but until we are tested, we do not know it’s strength.
This past year we’ve found ourselves in a bit of a performance test that we wouldn’t have chosen to enter, had it been up to us. In November 2021, Kaleb underwent surgery for testicular cancer. Since then, monitoring indicated tumor markers had decreased, but were hovering around 9 to 10 (22 prior to surgery). Then, in August/September 2022, two enlarged lymph nodes were identified in his abdomen and a small nodule on his lung (unknown if they were cancerous or not). After a consultation in Phoenix, Arizona (with Kaleb flying out for five days the day after Lane was born), chemotherapy began October 10 in Great Falls. He is now halfway through his treatment days, and we’re hopeful that this will eliminate the need for additional surgery or radiation.
Reading the side effects of his chemotherapy drugs is probably enough to make anyone question if treatment is worth it. Hair loss is likely one of the more pleasant consequences of the protocol. However, with purpose and resolve, he showers, shaves, and puts on his jeans and work boots each morning for his treatments. He takes it head on with the attitude that, ‘You do what you got to do.”
As he has been tested through this, my respect for him has grown. While he has never been a ‘paperwork’ type of guy as he would say, he has dutifully coordinated his appointments, researched and tracked his various medications, and navigated his treatment between multiple doctors. After a rest day following treatment, he’s typically back working in the shop, fencing, or checking cows before coming home to help with a two-year-old and newborn. While I know that he doesn’t feel 100%, I so admire that he continues to do what he can, versus sitting at home in slippers and self-pity.
As I look around our house and see our signs of ‘Grateful, Thankful, Blessed’ or ‘Give Thanks unto the Lord,’ and so forth, I have to ask myself if that is true or simply some Hobby Lobby fall décor. But I am reminded that in times of struggle, we must focus on what we know to be true, and not our circumstances. We know that nothing is too big for God, and that our circumstances do not dictate God’s goodness. While we may never know all His plans and purposes this side of Heaven, we trust that He is in control and will never leave us or forsake. As He gave the Israelites enough manna for each day in the desert, we can trust that He will give us enough strength and wisdom for each day as well.
As Kaleb continues his chemotherapy in the coming weeks, we’d appreciate your prayers for his complete healing and strength. We pray that he’ll stay healthy (no daycare germs from Kaci!) as he does treatment, and that I’ll have the patience and wisdom for solo parenting while he’s gone as well. We are grateful for our friends and family who have been praying for us and know that the Lord is faithful to answer our prayers.
And to close with the words of Kaleb, “If you’ve got a lump on your nut, get that crap checked out! I’ve always said that!”