I was sitting at home when Justin left a message to call him. This was followed by a message from his mother to call Justin. This immediately raised the thought that something’s up…the issue was, was it good news or bad news? I facepainted (Editor’s Note: My dad is still learning iPhone. He means FaceTime) Justin, and when he answered and immediately asked where his brother was and gave me the sign not to talk any more, I was concerned. I ended the call and moved somewhere where I was alone and called Justin back.

In a deliberate and calm voice, he told me that he probably had testicular cancer.

I was actually dumbfounded by what/how and didn’t know what to think. The first instinct I had was to protect my child. To me, that meant remain calm and let him talk and explain the situation. Externally, I tried remaining calm and offering support, but internally, you think, what does this mean? Maybe not cancer, but what could it be?

The wheels started turning after the call. This is a kid who deserves kids. What are the implications related to this? What are the chances of beating this? Stay positive. This is a young man, who overall always has been healthy. He will beat this and everything will be okay. Something I believe and will continue to think every day. Negative thoughts have no place.

Wondering where I get my “ballsy sense of tumor” from? I definitely inherited that from my dad, and lately our hairstyles seem to match! My dad is an ideal role model and I am lucky to have him.

Testicular cancer isn’t just affecting me; it’s affecting those closest to me. Every Saturday, one of my friends or family members will be sharing about their reactions to my diagnosis. I hope these posts serve as a reminder to talk to the men in your life about performing regular self-checks and their health in general. Together, we can lessen the impact of testicular cancer. Check out Healthy But Aware posts here.

This post originally appeared on A Ballsy Sense of Tumor. It is republished with permission.