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Hello! Newly diagnosed. Quick trip through the emotional roller coaster.

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  • Hello! Newly diagnosed. Quick trip through the emotional roller coaster.

    Greetings!

    Here's my story:

    My right testicle always seemed 'full', for lack of a better word. Didn't move up and down like the left one, seemed bigger. Physical checkup was 'within norms'. My general doc almost declared me fine, but ordered a scrotal ultrasound 'just for my piece of mind'.

    Ultrasound on October 31, 2017. I was thinking, 'this is all in my head. I'll get normal results and I can move on. Stop being paranoid.' (I'm a healthy guy in all other respects...dealing with medical issues is foreign to me.)

    Wednesday morning, November 1, 2017, at 9:00 in the morning, I received a call from the doctor's office. They found a tumor, over 3cm, can I come to the urologist office this morning. They were moving fast (which was good, but also scary). Urologist scheduled the orchiectomy the next day, and took blood for serum markers.

    Blood markers looked good. Surgery went fine (incision got a decent lump under it...no infection, just irritating). The following Tuesday I had a CT of abdomen and pelvis, and a chest X-ray. Then on Thursday we had the consult and results of the biopsy. Scans were clear. Stage 1B Seminoma. 4.4cm, confined (no spread to the tubes). Normally he would just recommend active surveillance (especially since I'm married, kids, stable job, and highly likely to follow through on the appointments). But the larger size of the tumor bumps up my risk of recurrence. Scheduled me to meet with both a radiation oncologist and a chemo oncologist.

    Interestingly, meeting with them was very comforting. They both indicated that the national guidelines had been updated, and that 4cm+ size doesn't really warrant the preventative treatment. They both recommended active surveillance only.

    They were also very reassuring about what would happen even if it recurs. That basically TC/Seminoma is extremely treatable/curable, even if it metastasizes. After thinking it through and reading a ton of information provided by the docs, we settled on surveillance only. (I'm a data analyst by profession, and very curious, so they dumped a bunch of medial journal articles and studies on me, which I devoured, and they helped calm me down.)

    So, now we watch and wait. If something happens, we'll knock it out then.

    The emotional roller coaster was wild (if short). Super scared when I heard 'cancer' and the rush to surgery. And waiting a week after surgery to get all the results back was agony. Then hearing good news, mixed with the caveat about the tumor size, and needing to meet with radiation and other docs. Then reading horror stories about chemo (but then reading the good stories on this forum). Then, finally, getting the good, professional information needed to settle me down. Whew! What a ride!

    Anyway, that's me, and my story, and now a proud part of this community.

    PS - ironically, as a side job, I sell keychains on Amazon...and one of those is a metal Cancer Awareness ribbon. Never thought I'd end up proudly displaying it...never thought I'd be a 'cancer survivor'. But I'm proud to show it off, and proud to bear that title. But I'm also humbled to know that my story is nothing compared to others, so I think about my 'brothers' out there who are facing a much tougher road.

  • #2
    Welcome here. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Son Grant
    dx 12/21/16 at age 17

    BEP x3
    Post Chemo CT Scan on 3/28/17 still showed a few nodes over 2 cm
    2nd Post Chemo CT Scan on 4/27/17 showed all nodes still over 2cm
    Post Chemo RPLND 5/8/17: Periaortic Teratoma, Intraaorticaval Teratoma, and Paracaval Teratoma found.
    Grant is enjoying his senior year in High School Cancer Free!

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    • #3
      Welcome to the forum, glad you found us, sorry you needed to.

      Dave
      Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
      Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

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      • #4
        Crazy it is... Good on you for getting checked out in the first place!

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        • #5
          Sorry to have to welcome you here but welcome indeed. I am glad to hear that you caught it early and that your radiation oncologist and medical oncologist steered you in the right direction. There are the three options for stage I seminoma and as long as you are comfortable with the surveillance option then it is the best option for you. [Some may say the only perhaps bad option would be the adjuvant radiation, especially in young patients.]

          If you are a data guy, then you may be interested in two recent publications that indeed add to your doctor's points that a cutoff of 4 cm shouldn't really be used as the only justification for adjuvant therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29100813 [full-text available] and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28712790

          In full disclosure, I was stage I seminoma and chose surveillance 11 years ago and am quite happy with my decisions.

          Mike
          Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
          06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
          06.26.06 Left I/O
          06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
          06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
          Surveillance...
          Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
          6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

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          • #6
            Those were two among several articles he printed for me. :-) It's a good doc who knows what is needed for an individual patient. His information helped me 'exhale', and we're totally relaxed about where we are now, thanks to him, and to the folks on this forum (since I was lurking for a few weeks).

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            • #7
              Thanks for sharing. Iíve had pretty much the same experience with my TC even down to the timeline. Been a hell of a month right? Iím sorry that your going through this but Iím glad to know Iím not the only one.

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