I’ve been told testicular cancer is as common as breast cancer. I have NEVER heard anyone with a testicular cancer diagnosis mention it to anyone (with the exception of Lance Armstrong). So I will be regularly sharing my story with you, along with my family and friends. It is my hope that others make themselves aware and go in for testing if something doesn’t seem right with their body. I am beginning here with how I received my cancer diagnosis, day by day.
Timeline of My Cancer Diagnosis
Many of you have been curious as to what has been going on with me and me having surgery. Now that the surgery is over with and the results came in, I feel it’s time to come out and let everyone know. If it wasn’t for me being in pain, I would have never gone into the doctor and found out I had cancer.
Thursday, December 29th, I woke up with pain in my lower left abdomen and the pain spread around my back. Thinking I either messed up my back while sleeping (as I’ve been seeing a chiropractor since 15 years old) or pulled/strained a muscle, I started by going to see a massage therapist. Being as I received a full body massage, I felt much more relaxed that evening when going to bed.
Friday, December 30th, I woke up in the same amount of pain I was in the previous morning. Due to this, I basically laid in bed all day other than quickly running down the street to drop something off to my roommate at where she works.
Saturday, December 31st, I was in the same amount of pain as the last 2 days. Checking my Amazon account, I noticed something was delivered to my full time employer after the business shut down on Friday at noon (they delivered at 3pm) and the business wasn’t open again until Tuesday, January 3rd, so I left the house to go pick that package up to prevent it from being stolen.
Sunday January 1st, the pain was still there. I left my bed and the house only to work the Packers game (I am a DJ). I was on my feet the entire game, which I actually felt fine until I packed up and got into my car, which at that point in time the pain returned. And I went home to go to sleep.
Monday, January 2nd, I couldn’t stand being in pain any more and called and made a doctor’s appointment. At that point in time, they had no available appointments that day. But I described my symptoms to the person on the phone. They said they would have my doctor’s nurse call back. They called back and I reviewed what was going on with them for the pain. Having just received a cancellation for that afternoon, I was able to get in for an appointment. During this visit, I had a urine test, blood test, and CT scan as well, all while thinking it could be something to do with my kidney. After three hours of being there, I was told I would have to come back the next day for an ultrasound, as that department was closed for the day by the time results came back.
Tuesday, January 3rd, I did not know a cancer diagnosis was coming. I went in for the ultrasound and was told the results would take about a half hour, but the doctor wanted to review the results with me. When the doctor came in, he told me to make an appointment to see an urologist, as it appears I have testicular cancer on the left side. The doctor told me repeatedly that “if you get cancer, this is the type of cancer you’d want to get, because it’s a 98% survival rate.” Hearing this, did NOT comfort me any, because let’s face it, who really wants to be diagnosed with cancer?
Wednesday, January 4th, I went and saw the urologist who confirmed my testicular cancer diagnosis. He also said the same thing, of it being the type you want to get if you get it. They told me they could get me in for surgery the next day. I asked if it was that critical to be done the next day. I had things I wanted to accomplish prior to going in for cancer surgery. They told me no, but I wouldn’t want to wait a month for the surgery, either. I could get in on the 16th for surgery. I was told recovery time would be 2-3 weeks, but could be longer or shorter; it always depends on how the person is doing after the surgery and what type of work they do.
Fast forward to Monday, January 16th, surgery happens and I come through fine. Since then, there has been pain (which I was given some crappy Vicodin for – doesn’t help much) and a lot of lying around. I came back home to my place on Friday the 20th, with a follow up appointment on Monday the 23rd.
Testicular Cancer Surgery Results
My results came back on Friday, January 20th. It was stage 1 testicular cancer. Due to the lymph nodes that they removed and tested as well, it was classified as 2a, which is still a very early stage. Treatment for this is being debated between a round of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. I will find out either Tuesday January 24th or Wednesday January 25th.
How I Am Handling My Cancer Diagnosis
Letting family, close friends, and employers know was difficult for me. Many of you aren’t 100% aware of what I’ve been going through until reading this now. Those that I have told prior to the surgery have stated to let them know if there’s anything they can do for me, which has been greatly appreciated. Being as I’m supposed to rest, not much can be done.
The testicle that was removed has been not like the other one for as long as I can remember. Not a single doctor at any appointment that I had suggested they take a look at it. Could this have been caught sooner? Possibly. Is it something that I have all the answers on? No. Am I afraid of what is going on? Yes. Do I feel alone? No.
Though I don’t know how long the road of treatment or anything going on is in my life, I do know I have the love and support of friends and family.
Editor’s Note: Bryan needs your help with the incredible medical bills for his cancer treatments. Anything – even $5 or $10 – would be so appreciated.