Welcome to a blog that chronicled everything that happened during my 2nd bout with testicular cancer.
If you’d like to read this blog from the first post of diagnosis / before chemo and during chemo, click here.
I like to post something annually to give other cancer patients and their caretakers (i.e. family & friends) there is hope & life after cancer.
2013 is no exception. I’ve done all the hormone testing, x-rays, and CT scans. I’m all clear once again. I’m confused about when I can go for checkups only once a year instead of twice. I thought that was 2013, but my doctor tells me after that. Sometimes I consider just not going anymore at all for followups. Statistically, I’m good. Of course, statistically, I should of been good / cured after my first bout with cancer, but it came back. So maybe I’ll still sacrifice that entire 4 hours of my life once every 6 months, just in case.
Our son is here, he’s over 5 months old. I said in the 2012 update my wife was pregnant at the time. I tried getting her pregnant for several months with no luck before we discovered I was “shooting blanks”, or AKA no sperm. I had no sperm probably because I was shooting testosterone, but the surgery to take out a testicle, radiation therapy, and chemo therapy all could of repressed sperm production as well. So the drug that’s experimental in men, but proven in women for fertility (chlomid) helped me out, wife got preg, and son born.
This is our first child. We are old parents, both 35 when he was born. Cancer delayed our plans to have children, twice. It took a long time to recover plus there was that 20% chance of having cancer a 3rd time looming over my head for a couple years. But that magical 2 year mark came and went, and the percent chance of cancer a 3rd time is less than 1% now.
We might be old parents but being a father has made me the happiest I’ve been in many years. He’s a lot of fun, a happy guy, and very healthy (thank god). It’s impossible to explain really to anyone who hasn’t had kids how great it is. He can be screaming in my ear for a diaper change and I don’t care how loud he yells in my ear, because that’s my son. My parents moved back to Michigan to help us and my sister / bro-in law with their newborn as well. I missed them.
I recently got shoulder surgery. There was bone rubbing on bone, so an ortho doc shaved down all that bone. It’s amazing how trivial surgery like that is to trying to survive cancer. It’s like whatever, I come in to hospital, joke with staff there, get cut up, get home, find it easier to get out of bed than anything ever with cancer. Pain was temporary. I couldn’t lift my arm at first at surgery but I knew it’d get better slowly. It was all really trivial because it’s hard to find any challenge more difficult than cancer.
My mom survived breast cancer. She had to have surgery twice on the one breast to make sure everything was removed, then radiation. She has to take hormone pills. I think this is common of all women breast cancer survivors. I mean I have to shoot testosterone because I no longer produce enough, so hey something in common between the two cancers.
I’ve come to the realization I’m never going to completely drop the anxiety. For example, I’m interested in survival prepping. Yes I did this before all those shows got popular or hurricane Sandy hit. I dehydrate food, have well tuned bug out bags, hoard water from CostCo, drive a 4×4 SUV as my primary vehicle, and so on.
But the survival prepping is an echo from having to fight to survive cancer. The fight never ended for me, just a new target on a new field. There were so many rules and gotchas and struggles to survive cancer. I cannot turn that off like a light switch. Therefore that energy gets put into survivalism. Cancer permanently changes people. I’ve accepted there is no going back, finally.
Feel free to Contact Me if you have any questions about cancer, fertility post cancer, anxiety, or life in general. I still get roughly 1-2 emails per month asking questions.
It’s the least I can do to help others.