Friday, January 25, 2008

Time to get ready, just in case!

I wanted to put the words down for everyone and post it on my BLOG to help you keep up with what is going on. It is hard to reach out to every single family member and friend so I will keep the blog posted on what happens next.

For the past week I have been working with my doctors (waiting for my urologist to return from a month long vacation) to investigate a lump which I felt recently on my remaining testicle. I found it two weeks back while performing my Testicular Self-Exam (TSE.)

My urologist returned this week and I saw him yesterday. Looks like I have a problem which will need a cancer expert’s opinion. There is certainly something on the ultrasound scans which may or may not be cancer. Let me stress it might not be cancer. I was told either way it is not going to be good. I should not have anything on it at all. I have to go see a specialist at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey at RWJ in New Brunswick. The doctor, Robert Weiss, MD, worked at Sloan Kettering for 3-4 years and is tops in NJ in the testicle, prostate, etc. cancer field. I made my appointment for Wednesday this way my blood work comes back and I can go there loaded with CT scans, ultrasounds, blood work and my file history.

This is certainly a period of unknown and to tell you the truth it SUCKS. Though I do not want it to be cancer I would prefer to know that it is or is not - NOW. The waiting part is what causes people to go crazy….what if this or that? It just SUCKS! No matter what, those thoughts will happen to me, Kristy, family and friends.

If it is cancer, I am prepared. I have researched the “what if’s” to no end over the last two weeks. IF it is cancer, we will need to explore all options on how to treat it and not jump to conclusions. I want to dig into what my options are and how we can proceed. This time around I want to make an educated decision in agreement with my doctors. Last time we made the right decision, but given everything happened so fast (operation 2 days after second opinion) I did not have time to really think about it. I am luck it was the right decision.

I go into this weekend and next four days on self education mode. I will be reading a lot and speaking to some other 2x testicular cancer survivors for what they had to deal with. Again, just in case! This is not about me being a pessimist. I have to be ready for the best & worst case scenarios and right now becoming a eunuch is the worst thing. I am not concerned with the possibility of chemo, I can deal with it (though I know it is a BITCH.) The next few days will be filled with anticipation to get to doctor Weiss. If cancer comes knocking at my door I will be prepared.

Regardless of the outcome, this serves as a reminder to all of us on how cancer can eventual affect our lives. Even a 50-50 chance is not something to shrug off. It just makes me want to do more to help fight cancer. CANCER SUCKS!

It also shows the effectiveness of performing self-exams regularly. If I did not perform a TSE as often as I do there is no way I would have found this lump. It is so small Dr. Schor could not even feel it (he was squeezing hard and that hurt like hell – and yes I screamed like a woman giving birth) but the ultrasound shows it. It actually is very clear on the ultrasound. Thank God, I practice what I preach!

Now it’s time to get ready, just in case!

More news to come mid-week!


~ Brian Dowd