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My TC Journey So Far, Stage 1 Seminoma

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  • My TC Journey So Far, Stage 1 Seminoma

    Hey Guys, I hope by documenting my treatment here this might help at least one other person going through this seemingly all-too-common disease.

    About me:
    33year old who served in the UK military and is a keen mountain bike and track athletics enthusiast. I have not had a drop of alcohol since I was about 18 (And that was probably one beer), never smoked, have never been unfit or inactive for long periods, eat a ridiculously healthy diet and have done for years (low sugar, very little preservatives or artificial foods, heaps of vegetables etc.). Always get laughed at by mates/colleagues for being so healthy and would never have expected to get diagnosed with cancer at 33. Just goes to show, it has no favouritism!

    Cancer Diagnosis:
    Discomfort on right testicle noticed over a couple months, not pain, but just an awareness of them being there which was unusual. Left has always been larger than the right so that was not something alarming but in hindsight was probably a contributing factor according to the Urologist.
    Slightly elevated blood markers so Orchiectomy was carried out four days later. Pure Seminoma found and no obvious spread of cancer cells into other organs. Oncologist offered two options; surveillance (25% re-occurance probability) or one dose of CarboPlatin Chemotheraphy (2% Re-occurance).
    For me the choice was easy, with a young family and the chance of much heavier BEP at a later date I chose CarboPlatin. As I write this I am on day 6 after this treatment. Here is how it has gone so far:

    Day 1
    CarboPlatin Treatment 3pm Thursday 04/10/2018. No side effects immediately felt that evening.

    Day 2
    Woke up feeling okay, no obvious signs but aware of fatigue towards the evening and a general feeling of being drugged-up. Normal bowel movement in the morning. No hair loss. Anti-nausea drugs doing their job.

    Day 3
    Fatigue starting to set in and taste change. For every four hours of being awake I felt the urge to then sleep for a couple hours to compensate. No bowel movement…
    70% of normal self

    Day 4
    Sore throat possibly from my 4yr old daughter who has a fever. Lethargic and generally feeling a bit rough, like I have been poisoned (go figure!). No bowel movement…
    60% of my normal self

    Day 5
    Woke up with slight chest discomfort. Because of the doctors recommendations about chest pain I decided to call the hospital and they recommended going straight to the Emergency Centre. The risk is too high with Chemo patients to be messing about. After a scan and blood test it was clearly not a heart issue so I was given some acid reflux medication and sent on my way. Finally had bowel movement today.
    Whilst in the EC I witnessed various other people coming in with much more serious problems and this made me feel better and a bit of a wimp really lol.
    I am very tired and although able to think clearly I am somewhat agitated by the continuing effects of the drugs, it’s difficult to explain, but as a usually active person it just feels somewhat debilitating but I know it will be short-lived.
    50% of my normal self.

    Day 6
    Woke up feeling better compared to the day before. I decided to go shopping, good idea for two hours but then got exhausted. Long midday sleep and now feeling good again, probably about 70% of myself. Had some crazy food craving today which resulted in buying organic beef sausages and hotdog rolls and eating three massive hotdogs. I haven’t eaten processed red meat for years/decades so that’s pretty insane. My wife thinks I am pregnant…
    80% of normal self but not getting too excited yet…

    TBC

  • #2
    Great Journal... I was looking for something just like this a few months ago! Keep it up if you can; very good chance it will be very helpful to someone in the near future!
    6/4/18 BHCG 452, AFP 1
    6/13/18 CT Scan, no involvement beyond left testicle
    6/18/18 Radical Left inguinal orchiectomy, Pathology pure seminoma, rete testis obliterated
    6/29/18 BHCG 7, AFP 1.5 (calc 1.8 half-life)
    7/12/18 BHCG<1, AFP 1.5, LDH 220, Diagnosed as Stage 1b, T3N0
    7/25/18 Adjuvant Chemotherapy, 780mg Carboplatin
    8/27/18 Chest CT Scan clear
    9/7/18 BHCG<2, AFP 2.0, LDH 182 (Different lab w/diff ranges than initial tests)
    9/26/18 MRI to review liver cysts for possible metastasis, all clear. No lymphadenopathy
    11/19/18 Next blood test
    11/23/18 Next CT Scan
    11/30/18 follow up with oncologist

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by johnm620 View Post
      Great Journal... I was looking for something just like this a few months ago! Keep it up if you can; very good chance it will be very helpful to someone in the near future!
      . Thanks John, I really do hope so! I remember scouring the Internet myself when I first got diagnosed and the few journals I found were extremely comforting. All the best.

      Comment


      • #4
        Day 7

        I am pleased to report that today seems like a continuation of the upward trend from yesterday. I went out and did some work maintaining my mountain bike which was unheard of recently. My stamina certainly is still limited and I need a good sleep around midday and an early night. Something I havent yet mentioned is the tendency to wake up several times at night, possibly a result of the steroids they give you with the CarboPlatin. Nothing serious but I usually have no issue sleeping all night.

        Today I still have a desire to eat some unusual foods, mostly red meat which I can only imagine is for the iron my body requires to heal the blood cell reproduction. Although I have been drinking a lot of water I still have very dark urine, Im guessing from the toxins. My Oncologist (Dr David Grimes @ Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane) mentioned that your blood and immunity is at its lowest between 3 days - 9 days post treatment so I intend on taking it easy for a few more days to come.

        80% of normal self today.

        Comment


        • #5
          My oncologist told me that the red blood cell count is the last to recover. Before my orchietomy, I was running 12-15 miles per week. My carob1X was on July 25th. I still am struggling to run more than a mile or so without a significant break. Not sure if that it is because I am out of running shape (I took about 10-11 weeks off), or if it is because of the low red blood cell count.. Probably a combination of both.

          But... I am back to running 3 days a week. Can't complain!
          6/4/18 BHCG 452, AFP 1
          6/13/18 CT Scan, no involvement beyond left testicle
          6/18/18 Radical Left inguinal orchiectomy, Pathology pure seminoma, rete testis obliterated
          6/29/18 BHCG 7, AFP 1.5 (calc 1.8 half-life)
          7/12/18 BHCG<1, AFP 1.5, LDH 220, Diagnosed as Stage 1b, T3N0
          7/25/18 Adjuvant Chemotherapy, 780mg Carboplatin
          8/27/18 Chest CT Scan clear
          9/7/18 BHCG<2, AFP 2.0, LDH 182 (Different lab w/diff ranges than initial tests)
          9/26/18 MRI to review liver cysts for possible metastasis, all clear. No lymphadenopathy
          11/19/18 Next blood test
          11/23/18 Next CT Scan
          11/30/18 follow up with oncologist

          Comment


          • #6
            Day 8-14

            Day 8 was the first day I felt totally normal again, except my taste and food cravings were still abnormal (craving mostly iron rich foods like red meat) and for some mild fatigue late in the day. I spent the day on my feet though and I seem to have turned the corner. Over the next few days I returned to work and gradually had no lingering issues from the treatment. As I write this it's day 17 since treatment and tomorrow I intend on slowly getting back into a fitness regime with some light body weight exercises and some track running the following day. I still need to be mindful of the reduced immune system function so the idea is not to get run down at all and certainly not to get injured either!

            I had blood taken recently too and the Oncologist was impressed with the results. I guess I will never know if always being fit and eating healthy prior to the diagnosis was a contributing factor to my speedy recovery, but I will be keeping that up as long as I am able. I am a strong believer in the power of physical fitness for brain function and health. I could imagine someone with tendencies for anxiety or depression could be hit very hard with treatment and even more so for those who need the full BEP course. It's not an easy thing to go through but for the sake of 8-9 days for the Carboplatin I honestly would highly recommend that option to anyone sitting on the fence with surveillance. I am not a gambler though, especially not with health/life.

            Please feel free to reach out if you are considering or going through this treatment, I would love to support!

            Comment

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