Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our CINJ visit

The ride to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey yesterday was quick. It is a ride I am familiar with since I went to college a few miles away at DeVry University and then worked in North Brunswick for a few months after. As we drove up Route 18 into East Brunswick I could not help but notice how many more malls and restaurants there were. Things have certainly changed.

The area surrounding the CINJ and RWJ was under a lot of construction and it was hard to find a spot. We have to park 4 blocks away. It was funny, when we came out of the parking garage and turned to walk up the street the wind was blowing 40 MPH and nearly pushed me and Kristy backwards and it was cold. It made for a good laugh as we could barely walk and we looked like Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in Spies Like Us when they get out of the G-Force machine.

We made it there on time and had to wait a while before we could get to see the doctor. I was able to fill out a standard form based on pain and fatigue. I was glad I was not having issues in either area. I went in to got my vitals taken and came back out to wait some more. After waiting more than an hour we were brought back to the exam room.

Dr. Weiss was a nice guy. You can tell when you meet him that he knows what he is doing. He informed me of something my urologist, Dr. Schor, already told me which was I am part of a very small percentage of testicular cancer survivors who had two different tumors on the same testicle. Dr. Weiss and Dr. Schor both said it was rare. It is even more rare <3% chance a testicular cancer survivor will get it on his remaining testicle. It is good to know the statistics, but I already knew about them. I just wanted to know what I had.

Dr. Weiss gave me an exam and just like Dr. Schor he could not find a lump. I showed him but he could not feel it. I guess I know myself a little to good :-) He then walked out to review my ultrasound. When he returned 5 minutes later he sat down al gave it to me straight.

Dr. Weiss said there is definitely something there, but he cannot be certain if it is cancer or not. He told me that if I had two testicles that he would normally advise for me to have it removed, but given my current status (DOWN ONE) he does not want to do that. He stated that would screw with my hormones and it would be like being a woman going through menopause. I keep thinking about how I would need to change my LIVESTRONG Challenge team name :-)

It was clear by his facial reaction that he was not used to seeing a guy two times for TC. It is just not normal. He went on to say personally he believes it is so early that I should wait and monitoring the situation. He recommended that I come back in 6-8 weeks for a colored ultrasound which will accomplish a few things.

1. Get the colored ultrasound at RWJ which gives a radiologist second opinion
2. We will be able to see if it has grown
3. We should be able to see if it is taking on blood or not.

Though I wanted to know what I had I was in agreement with his recommendation.

How odd is this? I actually caught, whatever it is, too early. Now I have a lot of time between now and my next appointment on March 24th. Almost everyone I talk to is saying, “I guess No News is Good News.” Maybe they are right, but some how I just do not feel that way. I like to know what is going on and do not like to wait. Given my situation I do not have a choice and I know waiting and monitoring is the right decision.


~ Brian Dowd