Getting a cancer diagnosis is a very serious and scary thing. Everybody has a different experience with cancer and in today’s world, most everyone has a story to tell. Whether it be a family member or a friend or even you personally. The best thing we can all do for ourselves and our loved ones is to absorb as much information as we possibly can to prevent, fight and ultimately cure ourselves from cancer.
My name is Neight, I’m a 36 year old graphic designer with a beautiful wife and a three year old little boy named Carver. In October of 2017, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and this is MY cancer journey.
CHAPTER 1: THE DISCOVERY
At the end of September every year, my friends and I always plan a weekend surf camping adventure in San Onofre. We rent out a couple of the cabins on the beach for our families, we enjoy the surf, we play in the sand with our kids, we barbecue gourmet meals and stoke a fire that burns into the morning. It’s something we look forward to every year.
I was packing up my truck with all of our camping gear for the weekend when suddenly out of the blue I experienced the worst pain any guy should never have to experience, a sharp pinpointed pain in the testicle. It was to the point where I couldn’t walk straight for 24 hours. After a full day of pain, it went away long enough for us to enjoy our trip without having any setbacks. We scored near perfect conditions and had the time of our life.
The Monday following the trip, I noticed that even though the pain was gone, it started to have a different texture than the other one. It was more firm feeling and slightly larger, it felt sort of swollen, i just knew something was wrong. So I scheduled an appointment with my primary doctor at Kaiser and I was able to see him the same day. He asked me to drop my pants and I insisted he take me to lunch first, but he didn’t’ think that was funny so I just did as he asked. He too felt something was off and ordered me to go get blood tests and an ultrasound before I left the hospital. He also referred me to a specialist (a urologist) that would be taking care of this issue. The following morning, I called to make an appointment with my new urologist and he had nothing available within 3 weeks out, so I scheduled the earliest appointment possible. My wife didn’t agree with me waiting that long and was determined to get me in sooner. She called every hour on the hour to see if anything had opened up. It wasn’t until her 4th-ish attempt that finally something opened up and I was able to meet the specialist on that very same day. It was truly a miracle! I hopped in my truck and booked it to the hospital.
Meeting my urologist for the first time was grimm. He didn’t beat around the bush at all (no pun intended), he basically just told me it was cancer based on the results from the tests that I’d taken the previous day. He said that he didn’t even need to biopsy it, that he was certain it was cancer and if he were to poke it, it will most likely spread further. So he recommended that I come in over the weekend, surgically remove the infected testicle and then they can biopsy it to see exactly what it is. He said the worst that can happen is they remove the testicle and it turns out to be benign, meaning not active, and then I’m left with one less testicle. But I didn’t care, after all I have a 2 year old little boy who’s going to need me around a little while longer.
I decided to go along with the doctors recommendation and move forward with the orchiectomy. The surgery was fairly quick and painless, probably because I slept through the whole damn thing. Recovery on the other hand was about a month of frozen peas and my son jumping all over me tirelessly with nothing but a scar to show for it all. All I could do at this point is wait for the results from the biopsy and pray for the best. My next appointment with the doctor will be next week to find out the results and to meet my oncologist for the first time.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be posting weekly updates every Thursday as my cancer journey unfolds, so please stay tuned and if you have any comments or advice for me, please don’t hesitate to comment below.