BLACKFOOT – Six years ago Jason Bullock had one of those moments he calls “gut check time”. As a young father Bullock was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The disease was not new to his family. Family members on his and his wife Dawnette’s side have battled the disease.
“When the urologist said ‘it’s cancer’ it hits hard,” said Bullock. “It is a gut check kind of thing and I had to face how I was going to react. I was just going to live. Your mental process is a big part of how you recover and live life after.”
Bullock considers himself lucky. His treatment involved a surgery, but no chemo or radiation. There were monthly visits to the oncologist and precautionary tests. He says that first year he was a completely different person, not who he was before. But, now six years later and cancer-free he says life is good.
“When I look at what some people have to go through, I am just grateful,” he said. “Cancer does that to you though. I can recognize and I am more aware of what other people might be going through and how they are feeling.”
It was three years after his bout with cancer that Bullock first participated in Relay for Life. He never really understood what it was. Then he was asked to join the Cornell/Hatch team and was impressed. This year Bullock has joined the Relay for Life staff and will help oversee the logistics for tonight’s events. He plans to do a lot of lining up and hooking up. He will be setting up the stage, tables, sanitation, electricity, and all other things required to make the event go off without a hitch.
“I plan to be at the field at 8 a.m. Friday and I will be on hand until everything is cleaned up on Saturday,” he said. “They tell me I have signed up for a big job, but I see myself being a part of it for a long time, either on staff or on teams.”
When speaking of cancer he says “don’t be afraid of it. I know maybe that’s easy for me to say as minute as my diagnosis was compared to others. But, there are good things that come. I see family different. I have more patience. Some behavior changes and I laugh a little easier.”
Relay for Life starts at 6 p.m. tonight and ends at 7 a.m. Saturday. The event is at the Blackfoot High School track.