I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that contributes here. As of May 8, I am a member of the 2x club. Even though I was pretty calm this time around, it is still comforting although unfortunate that I am not the only person in the world going through this.
I have been fairly lucky in my journey. My first bout was non-seminoma in September 2001...mainly embryonal carcinoma. I went through surveillance without a glitch. I did however have many microcalcifications in my remaining right testicle, so I knew there was a realistic chance of that one having to come out at some point. I felt a lump in early March, but it was at the very bottom and I had a glimmer of hope it was a cyst. After it didn't get any smaller, I started the familiar battery of tests.
Seminoma this time around. No lymphatic or vascular invasion, so I feel good about my prognosis. I am 32 now, and luckily banked sperm before my first surgery...although it has such a low count ( < 1 million/ml) that I need to do the petri dish thing if need be. It was one less thing to worry about this time.
Now for the decision. I talk to the doctors Wednesday. I am leaning towards carboplatin...for the simple reason there is no better time for me to go with it since insurance is a real ??? over the next 5 years in this economy. My tumor was 2cm, but I have never registered positive for any tumor markers and I am built like an Offensive Lineman and the CT scan sometimes isn't 100% definitive. I have already had 20 CTs and 30+ Xrays from my first tour of duty, so I am not thrilled about having to almost double that total. If I opt for radiation, that is even more zapping.
After going through this twice....and sort of keeping one eye open for the microlithiasis to sprout up into a tumor, I would love to give myself the best chance to not have to battle again. I know the pure numbers play leans towards surveillance, but given all the tie-ins, Carboplatin looks to be a great choice.....one that would have been nice to have the first time even though it was non-seminoma. I'm not even sure which way they will lean, but they are pretty progressive as they offered the potential for a partial orchiectomy which I declined given that my testosterone was 125 and I am infertile anyway.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I feel pretty good even though I have been without HRT so far. I pounded them the day of surgery, but the fact that I was so low to begin with led them to want to wait for the pathology before starting me on anything. I have been getting a bit flushed the past few days, so I am going to make sure I at least get an injection Wednesday even if I have to wait to get some gel.
Thanks for the support. Now that I'm part of the crew, I'll try to offer any help I can.