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Old 09-11-2018, 08:46 PM
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Well, I likely have cancer [update: no, I don't]

The good news is that it's one of the best kinds to have in terms of its treatability (testicular), and that we likely caught it early.

I discovered a lump under a testicle a while ago and figured it was nothing. But it didn't go away in the time period I thought was logical, so I finally went to get it checked out. My wife also didn't think it was anything, but encouraged me to get it checked out. My primary care doctor, upon examination, also didn't think it was anything, but out of abundance of caution, sent me on for an ultrasound. I was able to get in for an ultrasound the same day (which was this past Thursday).

The first significant sign of a problem was the fact that my doctor's office called me before I'd even managed to leave the parking lot of the ultrasound office. The ultrasound supervising doctor had called them immediately afterward to relay the results. They told me I needed to have an appointment with a urologist right away.

My appointment with the urologist was yesterday. The kind of amazing thing I learned first was that my doctor, my wife and I were all correct—the lump I'd found was nothing to be concerned about. But thanks to my doctor's precaution, they'd found the dangerous mass in the other testicle. So, I'm amazingly lucky on that front.

The urologist pointed out that these types of cancers are usually fairly fast growing, and given the small size of the mass, we'd probably caught it very early. But for the same reason, he wants to deal with the situation quickly. So, I'm having surgery next week to remove the offending testicle and its accoutrements ("radical" or "inguinal" orchiectomy), and I get to be laid up for a bit recovering while the mass is tested. I'm also having a CT scan this week to see if anything has spread yet.

I admit to being scared, but again, IF in fact this is cancer ("highly likely" were the urologist's words), it's highly treatable. I'm told that even if it has spread, this variety responds extremely well both to radiation and chemotherapy, so my odds for a full recovery are really high either way, and I'd likely need just a small number of treatments.

So, that's the story. Honestly, I feel a bit guilty saying "I may have cancer" when there are plenty of people who know they do and are having to deal with something that has a far worse prognosis than what I might be dealing with. But I share because it helps me a bit mentally to have it out there, and I know there are plenty of folks here who have gone through such a scare (or worse) who may have things of value to share, which I'd definitely appreciate.
  #2  
Old 09-11-2018, 08:58 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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I admit to being scared, but again, IF in fact this is cancer ("highly likely" were the urologist's words), it's highly treatable. I'm told that even if it has spread, this variety responds extremely well both to radiation and chemotherapy, so my odds for a full recovery are really high either way, and I'd likely need just a small number of treatments.
With minor changes, this could have been me a bit over a year ago. Caught early, easily treatable and so forth. Also scared, a bit.

But know this. When they say they can deal with it. When they say with confidence there's a good chance to fix this thing. They're not lying. I had 2.5 weeks of chemo - spread over two different periods as well as radiation therapy - 33 treatments in all spread over a bit more than 6 weeks - and all that implies. But now I have had five clean scans in a row. One each quarter since I finished treatment August 2, 2017.

It gets better. They promised me they'd beat me up and I'd feel terrible but that it could be treated and I'd eventually feel better. And they told the truth. You'll get through this. It takes a positive attitude and some recognition that you're not as tough as you think. When you're body says 'rest' you rest. If you don't want to get up for an entire day because you're tired, your ipad is right there and you just don't want to? Do that. Lie in bed for the entire day. Because that's what you need to do to get better.

Go through treatment. Feel lousy. Get better.

I'm with you...we're all with you (I feel certain of that)...and you can do this thing. We're a long way from the past and we're living in a science fictional world. Let it do it's thing and make you better.

Let me know what I can do to support you. You're not alone.

Anyway, the Cubs are up vs the Dodgers this season, 4 games to 2. You can't leave me with that, can you?
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:59 PM
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Be strong, homie!

It takes balls to deal with testicular cancer. Or even testicular "unknown mass."
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:04 PM
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Good you got it checked out.

Sorry that you have a bit of marathon to get through, but best wishes and I'm looking forward to reading your posts for many more years to come. I've known a couple of men who have had testicular cancer and while the treatment was no fun at all, all of them are doing well now, years afterwards.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:13 PM
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My condolences. Too many of us will at some point face one form or another of cancer. Glad that the prognosis is hopeful.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:17 PM
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Wow, I'm glad for that coincidental early find!

Don't feel guilty for posting because you may have cancer. Those are scary words to hear, and while it's good to keep it in perspective, which you're doing admirably well, anything that makes you feel guilty about doing what you need to do to wrap your head around the diagnosis is a waste.

I found a breast lump last January and knew immediately and instinctively it was bad news; even so, hearing "invasive ductal carcinoma" was a shock, and I fell apart. So even though you know the probability, keep in mind this may still hit you hard if the diagnosis is cancer. I found myself repeating, "I have cancer" dozens of times daily to just try to comprehend it. (Me? Me? Really?)

It sounds like if you have a malignancy, your prognosis is likely going to be very promising, but that doesn't mean it's not a huge adjustment or that you won't hit little land mines of fear. Lots of great Doper shoulders around when needed!

Wishing you the best!
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:19 PM
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We're all here for you. Feel free to vent and emote all you want. Other people may have worse cancers, but that’s irrelevant. This is your situation and your entitled feel scared and upset by it.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:23 PM
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My appointment with the urologist was yesterday. The kind of amazing thing I learned first was that my doctor, my wife and I were all correct—the lump I'd found was nothing to be concerned about. But thanks to my doctor's precaution, they'd found the dangerous mass in the other testicle. So, I'm amazingly lucky on that front.
Yes. Buy yourself a lottery ticket. Finding it early is great. Good luck with the treatment.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:47 PM
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Great that they found it, even by chance. I've had two accidental 'finds': two small aneurysms a small stroke. Amusing that the aneurysms were found when I went to the ER thinking I'd had a stroke (I hadn't), and the stroke was found during an follow-on MRI to check on the aneurysms.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:48 PM
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Best of luck as you go through this process. I hope everything goes even better than expected.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:56 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Wow, I'm glad for that coincidental early find!

Don't feel guilty for posting because you may have cancer. Those are scary words to hear, and while it's good to keep it in perspective, which you're doing admirably well, anything that makes you feel guilty about doing what you need to do to wrap your head around the diagnosis is a waste.

I found a breast lump last January and knew immediately and instinctively it was bad news; even so, hearing "invasive ductal carcinoma" was a shock, and I fell apart. So even though you know the probability, keep in mind this may still hit you hard if the diagnosis is cancer. I found myself repeating, "I have cancer" dozens of times daily to just try to comprehend it. (Me? Me? Really?)

It sounds like if you have a malignancy, your prognosis is likely going to be very promising, but that doesn't mean it's not a huge adjustment or that you won't hit little land mines of fear. Lots of great Doper shoulders around when needed!

Wishing you the best!
Oh, I understand those words (in my case) "infiltrating ductal carcinoma", because I heard them myself. It will be a year on October 3rd, and long story made short: It's unlikely to come back, and my life expectancy right now is about the same as if I had never been diagnosed. In my case, I didn't find a lump in my breast; it was caught on a mammogram, and for a short time after I got the diagnosis, I thought, "If I hadn't had the mammogram and the biopsy, I wouldn't be going through this now" and then went " ! If I hadn't done that, I'd be dealing with something much worse later on."

Asimovian, I am SOOOOOOO glad you had that test. Keep us posted. We're here for you.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:04 PM
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Yikes! Good luck, dude -- thank god they caught it early and it's treatable!!! Hang in there (no pun intended)

Last edited by Guinastasia; 09-11-2018 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:30 PM
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You have a perfect right to have fear. I truly sympathize with you. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:39 PM
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I believe that the official recommendation is now against screening (clinical or self examination for lumps) and that's largely because treatment for testicular cancer is so effective, even in advanced cases. I won't presume to try to find survival curves without knowing your exact diagnosis, but I think you can be confident that they are not just trying to make you feel better - the prognosis really is excellent.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestask...ncer-screening
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:06 AM
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I'm glad you caught it early. You know the cheering squad is here for you. If there's anything we can do, please shout out.

Share what you like, when you like. {{{hugs}}}
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:11 AM
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We're all here for you. Feel free to vent and emote all you want. Other people may have worse cancers, but that’s irrelevant. This is your situation and your entitled feel scared and upset by it.
This is what I was going to say, but ITD, of course, said it much more eloquently. That other people have worse situations doesn't minimize yours. The very best of luck. I hope you sail through treatment.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:11 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Damn, Asimovian! Best thoughts for a full recovery.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:34 AM
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I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999. Had the orchiectomy, and they determined the cancer had likely not spread outside the testicle. I had CT scans every six months for two years, all were negative. No chemo, no radiation. I dodged the bullet, and I'm still here.

The surgery is no biggie, but recovery is uncomfortable for a couple of weeks. Don't be a hero, take the pain meds they give you. Try not to cough or sneeze, that is the worst.

Welcome to the club, now you know why the average number of testicles among men is less than two. My package is now known as The One-Eyed Pirate and His First Mate.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:54 AM
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Left or right; and did you discuss the statistics on that? One teste originates further rostrally, embryologically, and is therefore statistically more likely to not descend normally.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:02 AM
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That was a lot better story than I feared when I clicked on the thread title. Wishing you the best!
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:54 AM
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If you don't want prayers, pretend I said good thoughts for your comfort and full recovery.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:12 AM
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Best wishes for a successful treatment process and speedy recovery!!
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:45 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Good luck, etc.

If you don't mind my asking, will you be fitted with a prosthetic (placeholder) replacement, like they sometimes do for dogs?
  #24  
Old 09-12-2018, 10:50 AM
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That was a lot better story than I feared when I clicked on the thread title.

Seconded. All the best to the two of you.

And all the best to Asimovian and wonky.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:03 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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I was on the B-1B flight test program. One of the test pilots (actually, he wasn't the pilot or co-pilot, but whatever) had testicular cancer. The damaged organ was removed, and IIRC he was flying again six months later.
  #26  
Old 09-12-2018, 11:05 AM
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My thanks to everyone thus far for the comments, and in particular, the sharing of personal experiences. I am truly grateful. And no, I'm not turning down any prayer, wishes, thoughts, vibes, winning lottery tickets, peach cobbler, or anything else positive being tossed my direction.

I inquired about a prosthesis. I have zero clue whether that's something that'll be important to me. But the urologist suggested that we wait and see. The problem, apparently, is that if I do indeed have cancer, there's an issue with potential infection of the prosthesis. I'm very much not a fan of surgery and would prefer things to be all done at once if I'm going to go that route, but I understand his concern. Cancer first; I'll deal with the rest later if I need to.

Last edited by Asimovian; 09-12-2018 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:15 AM
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Best wishes for a full recovery. Thank Goodness it was caught early and is treatable.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:26 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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I inquired about a prosthesis. I have zero clue whether that's something that'll be important to me. But the urologist suggested that we wait and see. The problem, apparently, is that if I do indeed have cancer, there's an issue with potential infection of the prosthesis. I'm very much not a fan of surgery and would prefer things to be all done at once if I'm going to go that route, but I understand his concern. Cancer first; I'll deal with the rest later if I need to.
It occurred to me too late to edit that it was awfully soon for me to be asking side questions purely out of interest. My apologies for being insensitive, and here's hoping for a fully successful result.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:31 AM
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It occurred to me too late to edit that it was awfully soon for me to be asking side questions purely out of interest. My apologies for being insensitive, and here's hoping for a fully successful result.
I've been on this board for 15 13 years, and no one twisted my arm about starting this thread. I didn't and don't see anything improper about asking questions on a topic I put out there for people to read, so your apology is appreciated, but completely unnecessary.

And thanks for the hope!

Last edited by Asimovian; 09-12-2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:53 AM
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Good luck, Asimovian . The son of one of my former bosses had testicular cancer( caught early as a youngish man in his 20's )and last I heard he was still going strong ~15 years later with no relapses.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:01 PM
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I'm sorry to hear it, and glad you caught it early.
  #32  
Old 09-12-2018, 02:12 PM
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Sending good vibes. Scary stuff, and being in the "still not certain" phase is frustrating as hell, but I'm glad to hear that they found it early, and that the prognosis is very good.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:17 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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It occurred to me too late to edit that it was awfully soon for me to be asking side questions purely out of interest. My apologies for being insensitive, and here's hoping for a fully successful result.
I personally didn't find it insensitive; that's very important for men.

I'll be the first to admit that after my first surgery, the first thing I remember doing when I woke up in the PACU was reach for the left side of my chest to see if my breast was still there. (It was, and is.) There are women who flat-out refuse to have a mastectomy unless they can have an immediate reconstruction, and these are wishes which must be accommodated.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:50 PM
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Stay strong. You have my prayers to the universe. Tell those little fuckers, (the cancer cells) to get the hell out and stay out.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:14 PM
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Jonathan Chance, if you don't mind me asking, what flavor of TC did you have? I just watched an informative video about how the post-orchiectomy treatment varies depending on the type of cancer (and stage, of course).

It's interesting trying to strike a balance between using Google to answer questions without overly relying on Google searches and getting into dangerous territory. I really wish I could have a Bat-phone directly to my urologist as questions keep occurring to me.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:25 PM
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AVOID Dr. Google. Yeah, I was told that, and I disregarded it, and I'm telling you as someone who has BTDTWTT to do that yourself. And don't use Dr. You Tube either.

The possibilities were especially daunting for me as a pharmacist, because I've seen chemotherapy kill too many people outright. I wasn't all that concerned about the short-term side effects (hair grows back, nausea and vomiting end and can be managed better than ever nowadays, etc.) as I was about the long-term effects. My brother and his wife had a friend (she has since died from something else; see footnote) who had to have a full-mouth extraction about a decade after her cancer treatment, because of the chemo, and I also have a distant relative who had a heart transplant because of what one of the drugs did to her cardiac muscle.

Footnote: This woman was VERY happy to find out that she had cancer. You're probably wondering why anyone would be happy to have cancer. In her case, she was having difficulty walking, and the first thing they looked at was ALS. That was ruled out, and a CT or MRI revealed that she had lymphoma in her spinal column. At least that could be treated, and she was also declared cured.

A genomic test on my tumor indicated that I would not need or benefit from chemotherapy. I knew the news was good when my oncologist walked into the room with a big smile on his face.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 09-12-2018 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:52 PM
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Fingers crossed for you, Asimovian.

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Old 09-13-2018, 04:02 PM
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Best wishes to you and wonky. I'm glad you're going to be okay. (I just know these things).
  #39  
Old 09-13-2018, 08:25 PM
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Best wishes to a fellow Asimovian.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:31 AM
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What day are you being admitted, Asimovian? How long will they keep you in? Will you recover for a while in there, or are they going to send you home as soon as possible? Thinking of you. Try to have a good weekend and not stress about it.

As for information, I recently had some "issues" and I found some good, useful and reliable information on other doctors' or hospitals' websites. If you are thinking of questions now, write them down and give them to your surgeon/urologist/whoever. You won't remember when you get there and they are bustling around organising things and popping in and out and afterwards you'll be a bit dopey from the medications. Also, have your wife or another unaffected person there to hear the answers, because it can be hard to absorb things you are told when you are anxious, or medicated.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:51 AM
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Asimovian, have you had the CT scan yet, or is it tomorrow? Hoping it was today so you might get results from your doc before the weekend.

I think research is important, and Dr. Google is fine IF you stick to medical journal articles and the occasional site you really trust not to exaggerate. That's what I did when I got the cancer diagnosis, and I learned a lot. I also found online cancer-specific support groups helpful in ways docs and medical journals can't be.

Please let us know when you get a surgery date.
  #42  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:58 AM
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What day are you being admitted, Asimovian? How long will they keep you in? Will you recover for a while in there, or are they going to send you home as soon as possible? Thinking of you. Try to have a good weekend and not stress about it.
Going in Tuesday, but this is essentially considered an out-patient procedure, not complex surgery, despite its invasiveness. The operation itself is supposed to take roughly an hour, with maybe two to three hours of recovery time and checking to make sure everything that's supposed to work still works before they send me home.

Quote:
If you are thinking of questions now, write them down and give them to your surgeon/urologist/whoever. You won't remember when you get there and they are bustling around organising things and popping in and out and afterwards you'll be a bit dopey from the medications. Also, have your wife or another unaffected person there to hear the answers, because it can be hard to absorb things you are told when you are anxious, or medicated.
Actually, I've had a number of questions come up during the week (since I wasn't aware I was going to have surgery when I met him on Monday, I really wasn't prepared to ask intelligent things at the time). He called me early this morning, and I was able to chat with him and get those questions answered. I feel as good about it as I can under the circumstances.

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Asimovian, have you had the CT scan yet, or is it tomorrow? Hoping it was today so you might get results from your doc before the weekend.
The CT scan is actually later this afternoon. In talking with my doctor this morning, he said that if he got the images in time, he'd try to call me this afternoon/evening to discuss, but it may not be until Monday morning.

On the positive side, he said that my blood tests came back with normal levels of markers. Essentially, this means that I'm likely to have seminoma, which is the "preferable" type of testicular cancer to have in that it allows for more treatment options and is easiest to cure (assuming it is still Stage I).

Quote:
I think research is important, and Dr. Google is fine IF you stick to medical journal articles and the occasional site you really trust not to exaggerate. That's what I did when I got the cancer diagnosis, and I learned a lot. I also found online cancer-specific support groups helpful in ways docs and medical journals can't be.
I think I over-Googled yesterday and got myself unpleasantly wound up. Even sticking to journals and reputable sources, there can be such a thing as too much info when you're in the middle of something. I was not having a good day yesterday. I will try to behave myself today.

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Please let us know when you get a surgery date.
Surgery is on Tuesday.
  #43  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:37 AM
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I just went through the surgery in July. Getting ready to start chemo, s my markers have actually gone up since surgery.

I was in the surgery center for about 4 hours, total. That included check-in, paperwork, etc.

As for recovery, the first two days were excruciating, but by day three I was up and about and no longer taking the pain meds. The pain was all from the incision, btw.

Feel free to pm me of you have questions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:37 PM
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Minor update: CT scan is completed, and the doctor's office called to say there's no evidence of any spreading of the cancer in the images.

Onward with the surgery!
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:12 PM
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IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
Nope! I said stop!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Minor update: CT scan is completed, and the doctor's office called to say there's no evidence of any spreading of the cancer in the images.

Onward with the surgery!
Great news!
  #46  
Old 09-14-2018, 05:56 PM
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burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Totally off the subject:

Asimovian, if you're going to have Robocop as an avatar, you really need the sig line, "Stay out of trouble." Think about it.
  #47  
Old 09-14-2018, 06:35 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Minor update: CT scan is completed, and the doctor's office called to say there's no evidence of any spreading of the cancer in the images.
Excellent!
  #48  
Old 09-14-2018, 07:14 PM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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Great news, and I'm so glad you got it today so you don't wonder all weekend!
  #49  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Going in Tuesday, but this is essentially considered an out-patient procedure, not complex surgery, despite its invasiveness. The operation itself is supposed to take roughly an hour, with maybe two to three hours of recovery time and checking to make sure everything that's supposed to work still works before they send me home.
golly. I would have thought you'd at least be kept in for a couple of days.

It's fabulous that there are no markers, and nothing on the ct scan. You really have been very lucky to have found this so early in the circumstances. You should thank your other ball for having that suspicious lump.
  #50  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:45 PM
sps49sd sps49sd is offline
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I had kidney cancer (at MUCH too early an age, I felt) and the only indication was a single hematuria occurrence (blood in urine).

Early detection is important. If something abnormal happens, get it checked. Lump, orange pee, pain that doesn't go away, whatever.

I have one chest x-ray to go (is that where kidney cancer usually spreads?) and will be done with worrying about this one.

The hospitals are getting better and better at this. Good luck to OP and anyone else possibly afflicted!
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