For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Not Really About Sex...But It Is

In July 2014, I received the call no woman wants to receive. “We need to see you back in two days so we can get a better idea of what this is.”

When I got off the phone, I did some drill sergeant self-talk via texting a friend of mine. As soon as he was off work, he called. “So what happened? You’re obviously not okay.”

“They found two spots on my mammogram.” Saying the words nearly knocked me to my knees.

He didn’t miss a beat. “So are they in one boob? One in each boob? Just how many boobs are involved here, Jerri?”

I burst out laughing. “Just one.”

“Okay, so you get a boob job done on the other one, and you’ll have the same size boobs. Of course, then men will know they are fake because no woman naturally has the same size boobs.”

I had to laugh again. “Really? You’re already thinking the worst?”

“Same size boobs? I mean, if the worst thing that happens is you get the same size boobs, is that so bad?”

I laughed again, and then silence settled between us, and he became very serious. “Jerri, my point is it’s a boob. It isn’t the core of who you are.”

He was right, and I was (and still am) infinitely thankful for the way he handled it, the things he said, and the things he didn’t have to say.

“Jerri, you are not your body or a piece of your body, and whatever happens, you are still fine.”

Except, it didn’t feel fine.

At first, I was just pissed. We had gone through so much, and I finally felt like we might be coming out the other side of the devastation. Surely God would not throw cancer in the mix. Except He might. And hadn’t we endured enough? But then, there are people who endure far worse and far more. Frankly, I think cancer is more than anyone should endure, but I don’t know why some people get such heavy loads and some folks don’t and…oh, holy God…

Then I wondered how the kids and I would handle things if I had cancer. How would we handle the treatments, doctors, and everything else?

And what if all the worst things happened and I died? My kids would be orphans. Could I at least fight through a year until my daughter turned 18 and could take guardianship of my son? Would I have to figure out guardianship?

That night I stood in front of the mirror and looked at my post-babies, middle age body with its stretch marks and all the insecurities I already had as a single woman wondering if any man would ever find me attractive again, and what happened if I had to have a breast removed? Would a man want me then? Shallow? Maybe, but it’s honest. I wondered how it would affect my sex life…or if I’d even have another one. I wondered how it would affect my enjoyment of sex and if I could ever really be comfortable naked in front of a man again. I wondered what a lot of people wonder that no one ever talks about.

My friend was right. It is just a boob. Except, it’s not. No, the core of me wouldn’t change, but the effect…it would hit every part of me, and I wondered how my life would change—my family life, my social life, my personal life…the way I saw myself, the way others saw me. And I wondered if it everything would change beyond my ability to be okay again.

I don’t know.

As it turned out, the 3D mammogram showed nothing to worry about, and life went on as usual.

So, why am I telling you this? Because even though there was no cancer, it changed some things for me. It changed the way I see getting tested. I understand why women avoid their mammograms, and I don’t think it is so much because of the 50-second super snug boob hug. I think it is the same reason men avoid getting tested for things like testicular cancer.

Because while it is just a boob or just a "ball", it isn’t. Our sexuality is involved, and that is part of our core, and honestly, the idea of losing that is scary as hell. Some folks may think that is shallow, but it’s human.

So what great words of comfort do I have? It’s life. Do what you need to do. Get the test done.

Yes, it’s awkward. No one likes it, but really, it only takes seconds. You’ll spend more time dreading it than actually having the test. In fact, you’ll spend more time on paperwork than getting the test.

I could throw out a slew of statistics to you, but if you are me, those things make you hide in a shell. So, let’s be realistic. A test may find something. If it does, you have to deal with it, but the earlier you start dealing with it, the better your chance of survival, and testicular cancer has a great long term survival rate. But let’s get to the real issue. Sex.

Understandably, men are afraid if they lose one or both testicles, they will be unable to have sex. Good news. That is not true. I’ve done a lot of reading on this for you (because really, who just random reads about these things until we have to?), and if only one testicle is removed, sex should go on as usual. If both are removed, there will be need for hormone replacement therapy, and since there will be no sperm, infertility is an issue, but, you can always save some in a sperm bank. I know. That sounds "weird", but honestly, what an awesome option! And, yeah, I know, there's the deposit thing, but if you get created, that can be a fun adventure, too. Before anyone hyperventilates with the thought of any of the above, let's get back to the real point.
You can still be awesome in bed even if you have to deal with testicular cancer!
Now you may wonder what a woman will think if in the course of playing around, she notices things are a bit different there. I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve never been a woman on that side of things, but, gentlemen, I like to think if I had lost my breast, the man who loves me wouldn’t see a missing breast, but the woman he loves. I would hope he would see me, and I would hope he would be patient as I learned how to see me again, too. I think a woman who loves you is going to see you, and whatever feelings or fears you have, she’ll understand and work through them with you because she will realize you lost a testicle but she didn’t lose you, and that is what matters. Really. That is what honestly matters. YOU are what honestly matters.

To get educated, visit

Now, you may be wondering what led to this post and these thoughts. Well, honestly, an out of the blue email from a man's underwear company asking me if I had considered writing about testicular cancer (and, no, he didn't think I am a man because of my name). Tommy John emailed and asked if I would consider spreading the word about testicular cancer, testing, treatment, and the plan to live a long life. He also said, “I’ll even throw in a deal.”
How is Tommy John helping?
  • We are giving 5% of all sales coming from our limited edition “Mustache and Ball” collection
  • We are contributing $10 for each purchase made by new customers who were referred by someone else
  • We are donating $1 for each entry in our Instagram contest up to $1,000 (more on that below)

What’s in it for your readers?

“Share a pair win a pair” Instagram contest.
To enter, take a picture of any pair of round objects, and tag them on instagram #SupportYourBalls, and follow @TommyJohnWear and @TesticularCancerFoundation for a chance to win a pair of men’s underwear from Tommy John.

I thought he had a good idea.

So, men, get checked. Is it a bit scary? Yeah, but man up and get your pair checked and keep them safe.


1 comment:

  1. This is great! Serious, with just enough humor. Routine checks are so very important!!