Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Cancer Story

Constant Reader, "My Cancer Story" is, unfortunately, ongoing.

I write this in October 2013. In September I was diagnosed with a late-relapse germ-cell tumor.

The short version is that I will be getting chemotherapy for three months, I will have one month to recover, and then I have the privilege of another abdominal surgery.

I started blogging—serious blogging—about it.

For those interested, I recommend these posts:

I am a cancer survivor.

On July 13, 2006 a sonogram indicated that I had a tumor. I had cancer.

It was the eve of my 38th birthday.

My youngest daughter was six months old.

My eldest daughter was four-and-a-half years old.

My life was about to change.

On July 20, 2006 I was told that I needed to have an an orchiectomy. There is no way to "type" the cancer without dissection.

On July 21, 2006 they removed the tumor, the teste, and some of the connective bits.

I was half-neutered.

I then had the honor of waiting a week for the doctors to analyze the tumors and report back. In an oversimplified form, there are two types of testicular cancer. There's a bad one. And there's a really bad one.

On July 27, 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage II B, nonseminoma testicular cancer.

That's the really bad one.

The cancer had rooted in my right testicle, and my bloodstream had been exposed to tumor cells. The next landing point for the cancer cells would be my retroperitoneal lymph nodes. From there, if not arrested, it would target my stomach, then my lungs, and finally my brain.

Then I would be dead.

Once it hits the lymph nodes, things happen fast. So, I was very lucky. I discovered it early. As a result, my survival chances were well over 95%.
(This is unbelievably important. Like most cancers, early detection is the key to survival. For perspective, Lance Armstrong had the same type of cancer. He did not find it early. He was Stage IV. Brain. He was given less than a 20% chance for survival.)

What started as an inconvenient pain in my groin became a transforming life experience.

Writing about this experience is a difficult, but necessary, process.

This page is a stub, serving as a placeholder to force me to continue the work.

I will be publishing my account, but it will take time.

I plan to tell the tale in stages in my true voice, so you can count on some humor, some profanity, and some hard truths.

And a few pictures...

Thanks for your interest—and for your patience.

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