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From the Football Field to the Cancer Ward: A mother’s journey with her son

JordanJonesby Kim Jones, Caregiver and Advocate

On October 26, 2007 I heard the words “Your son has stage 4 testicular cancer that has spread throughout his body.” 

My son, Jordan Jones, was diagnosed at the young age of 13, just 2 weeks before his 14th birthday. It was a complete shock to everyone, especially me! Not my son, he’s too healthy. He had just played his end of season football game 36 hours prior to receiving his diagnosis. They won 48 to 0 that night and Jordan played his heart out! It was soon after that we would find out that his biggest opponent would no longer be on the football field – it would be cancer.

Never Take No for an Answer

No one will ever know the pain felt by a mother whose child is fighting for their life or worse yet, the pain of losing their child. Being a mother and caregiver to my son was one of the toughest jobs I have ever had to face.  From the first day of Jordan’s diagnosis, I felt I had to disengage my feelings and put on a suit of armor.  I had to shield him from seeing my tears and fears.  I didn’t want him to see how frightened I really was.  Behind closed doors I would break down, but whenever I was in his presence I had to be strong so I could be by his side for every doctor visit and every hospital stay. I had to be strong when hearing that his cancer had taken a turn for the worse and that it was inoperable. I had to stay strong when the doctors said that if they were to chance surgery, he’d have a very poor quality of life.  I had to stay strong when we never took no for an answer and sought other opinions. Eventually we found a doctor who would treat Jordan’s late-stage diagnosis.  He underwent several surgeries to remove pounds of tumors without any complications followed by several cycles of high-dose chemotherapy.  This treatment ultimately saved his life.

 

Devastating News

During the early days of Jordan’s treatment, I heard about another 14 year old who was admitted to the same hospital diagnosed with late-stage testicular cancer and did not survive. Like Jordan he had been too embarrassed to tell his mother about the lump on his testicle.  That was devastating news.  I did not want another mom to suffer the loss of a child to this disease knowing that it could easily be detected and treated when caught early. I did not want these young men to be embarrassed to talk about their bodies and to know the importance of testicular monthly exams.

 

JordanJones2Now What?

I knew I could make a difference in the lives of others.  So two years after my son’s initial diagnosis I started the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.  Since we began, we have saved many lives by providing guidance to seek the best medical protocols available and to never take no for an answer. We educate the public about this disease as well as the importance of monthly exams.  We encourage young men to openly talk about their experience and let them know they are not alone.  Through the use of our social network, we support caregivers, family members, and friends.  Our program offers financial assistance to those in immediate need because we’re aware of the financial burden that accompanies a cancer diagnosis within a family.

Jordan continued to play football throughout his high school years.  Today he is a healthy 19 year old attending his first year of college pursuing an engineering degree.  Today he is a survivor!

My transition from full-time caregiver to full-time advocate has greatly helped me – knowing that I am truly making a positive difference to those affected by this disease.


 

JordanJones3Kim Jones is a mother of two and wife of 24 years.  She is a former mortgage banker and is a devoted testicular cancer advocate.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation

www.tcafinfo.org

www.tcafinfo.org

www.facebook.com/tca.org

https://twitter.com/TCAFinfo

 

 


 

 

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6 Responses to From the Football Field to the Cancer Ward: A mother’s journey with her son

  1. Kim, thank you ever so much for sharing your story. I was particularly taken by your comment that becoming a full time advocate had really helped you in your healing, to make a positive difference for others. I wrote a caregiver-interview-based book on cancer caregiving and am just finishing an article on how cancer caregivers heal. One of my key findings is that getting involved in the cancer cause in ways that create meaning for caregivers is often an important healing strategy. You have reinforced my belief that it really makes a difference. I’m thrilled that your handsome son is doing so well and that you’re having such an important impact for others.

    Debbie

    • Kim says:

      Hi Deborah,
      Thank you for reading my story and commenting. I would love to read your book and your latest article as well.

      Thank you again!

      Kim

  2. Elaine Poirier says:

    I love a story with a happy ending….best of luck in the engineering program. Chemical Engineering is what I took in College. I am so glad to have found this facebook page a while back, the updates and the stories, raising the awareness for families….I have 2 sons 16 and 23, since I first looked at this, I showed them both. Never be silent when it comes to our bodies……thank you and always look forward Jordan….

    • Kim says:

      Hi Elaine,
      Thank you for reading my story and I am happy that you informed your son about this disease and thank you for the kind words for my son.

      Warmest regards,

      Kim

  3. Elaine Poirier says:

    I am also a Captain in the Cancer Relay for Life…..

  4. Kim, if you’ll send me your mailing address, I’d be most happy to send you a complimentary copy of my book and the healing article. You can reach me at thingsiwishidknown@gmail.com. Keep up the wonderful work you’re doing! Debbie

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