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    Just wanted to say Hi. My name is Bobby, 38yrs old and I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. About 4 years ago, I went for an ultrasound to investigate the cause of my testicular pain. They discovered microlithiasis (calcium deposits) in both my testicles. I've been doing annual ultrasounds ever since. In March 2019, a small mass (9mm) was discovered inside my testicle. I was referred to a urologist which was unsure if it was cancer. Typically, testicular cancer can be felt as a hard lump on the surface of the testicle. This was not my case. I asked for a second opinion and went to see a surgical urologic oncologist. He was not convinced that it was cancer, but also couldn’t determine what the mass was. We decided to monitor closely with ultrasounds and blood tests. The mass had grown to 12mm with blood work still negative. CT scan and chest xray results were good. The doctor changed his mind, he was now telling me that it is probably cancer and recommended an orchiectomy. On Oct. 1, 2019 I went ahead with the orchiectomy. Pathology report came back as classic seminoma (pT1a). The cancer was confined to the teste. I’m currently on active surveillance.
    The orchiectomy went well. Recovery was a little slow as I’m just starting to feel 100% now. In my opinion, the hardest part is the mental aspect of things. I realize how lucky I was that they detected it in the early stages, but being told you have cancer is something you never want to hear.
    I’m glad to be part of this community and I look forward to reading your story.
    Thanks,
    Bobby

  • #2
    Sorry to welcome you to the club, but welcome!
    You were lucky to have those routine ultrasounds to catch it super early in the process - 12mm is absolutely tiny!
    I hear you on the mental aspects, that was the hard part for me as well. The first year after the diagnosis was very hard on me - to the point that I could barely function at work or in social situations. And it was also difficult for me to find the help I needed - no bloodwork was "off", so the oncologists and physicians didn't have any helpful advice. And the psychiatrist I went to for medication assistance was caring, kind, but ill-informed on the topic, and the first two prescriptions I took actually made things worse before I finally figured out that what I was experiencing was severe worry about recurrence & mortality.
    Even though I knew from a factual perspective that the survival of men with 1A seminoma is identical to men without cancer at all, knowing those facts only helped me so far.
    It took reading some articles from Scandinavia to figure out that the trouble I was having was about the worry, not the cancer itself (or the chemo - I did try a course of chemo - glad to hear you're skipping that), and then some other articles about how to manage that worry that I started to turn the corner about 9 months after diagnosis. Things slowly got better for the next 6 months or so, and by the time I hit my 2-year mark, I'd say I'm doing even better now than before I was diagnosed, because it helped me put things in perspective and really work on what makes me feel satisfied in life.
    Anyway, The things that really helped me were getting into a regular (and intense) exercise regime, and seeing a therapist weekly, and taking a very small dose of an antianxiety/antidepression medication.
    There have been really good studies showing that regular high intensity exercise is very helpful for testicular cancer survivors affected by worry, and I would encourage you to get started on that as soon as you can, to avoid the slip down into depression and inactivity that was really the problem for me. It can really be any exercise - running, biking, swimming, hiking, etc. I use the rowing machine because I rowed in high school & its familiar to me. I row for 1 minute light pressure to warm up, then I cycle through 2 minutes as hard as I can pull, then 1 minute low pressure, repeat that 4 times, then I'm done. 15 minutes, that's all. And then I want to eat a cow, I'm so exhausted! But really, there's nothing special about that formula, just whatever system your'e already familiar with - but push yourself hard.

    Alright, sorry for the heavy dose of "advice" (it's the worst "vice", but sometimes I can't help myself).

    Big picture, you're going to run into a lot of guys here who know what you're going through because we've been there too, and we're eager to help you get through it easier than we did. And we're excited to hear about every little thing, so keep telling us what's happening in your life, especially as you pass those checkup milestones.

    Best,
    Bill
    Painless lump 5/18/2017
    Orchidectomy June 2017 (4.5cm, rete testis involvement)
    Chemo Summer 2017 (2x7AUC carboplatin)
    No evidence of relapse since, but plenty of anxiety about it.

    I'm also an epidemiologist, and a professor at a medical school (with NO training in oncology), oh, and gay, too.

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    • #3
      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for your feedback. I completely understand that worrisome feeling of a recurrence. It's constantly on my mind, making it difficult to focus on anything else. It also didn't help that I had a mild form of skin cancer (BCC) that was removed in Nov. 2018. I guess you could say that I'm on a lucky streak with cancer this past year. I'm glad to hear that you were able to overcome the mental challenges and that things do get better over time. I'm anxious to get back to my spin classes. I have no doubt that it will make me feel better and relieve some of that stress/anxiety.
      Thanks again!
      Bobby

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