Monday, November 17, 2008

My First Day As A Cancer Survivor

Well, I have some news...

I have cancer. Confirmed.

As such, this marks my first official day as a cancer survivor, because I have cancer, and I'm surviving!

The type of cancer that I have is Stage I seminoma cancer. CAT scan revealed no abnormalities in the lymph nodes. As such, it's cure rate is 99%. It reacts well to radiation. No chemo is necessary. And, I will not have to have the dreaded RPLND surgery.

The doctor told me that 90% of men with my numbers and at this stage of the game will not have a recurrence with just the surgery. Fine. Good for them. I'm not taking any chances, so I'm going to opt for radiation. Why take chances? Sure, there will be side effects (skin irritation, nausea, diarrhea, and possible permanent sterility), but why gamble? This isn't Vegas, it's my life, and the life of my family. And what good is fathering anymore children when you'll be dead in a year, or you can't play with them and show them the wonders of life? What example would I be for my son? "Sorry I'm not going to see you graduate high school, Max, because I was too scared or lazy to take the high, hard road." That's not how I want to teach. But most of the men who have radiation gain their potency, so the point may be moot. Regardless, the choice is an easy one. I'll be meeting with a radiation oncologist in the coming weeks.

The other test that we're waiting for is the blood draw I had today to measure the tumor markers in my blood. If the level has not dropped from the pre-surgery, I'll be at Stage II, though very early in it. The treatment would be the same. I hope to know the results in a day or two.

To say we're relieved is an understatement, to be sure. I'm feeling exhausted from the mental roller coaster I've been on for the last week (plus recovering from the surgery.)

So to show that Angie and I have maintained our sick sense of humor, we came up with variations of the work orchiectomy (or-kee-EK-toh-mee). Here are some of our discoveries:

Dorkiectomy: surgery to remove geekiness.
Bjorkiectomy: surgery performed on a Icelandic indie rocker.
Porkiectomy: surgery to remove a testicle on a fat guy.
Snorkiectomy: surgery to remove a small blow spout on the top of one's head.
Torqueiectomy: surgery to remove the lowest gear in a transmission.
Mickeyrourkeiectomy: surgery that takes 9 1/2 weeks.

I hope this goes to dispell any notions that I've lost my twisted sense of humor.

Rub those rocks, fellas. It could be your life.


Jodi said...

Hooray, hooray, hooray! That's all I've got.

Jodi said...

I meant hooray for Stage 1 (hopefully) and that you're going to kick Stage 1's ass with radiation. Not hooray that you have cancer. Just to clear that up.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like all the odds are definately in your favor. Keep up the positive attitude - along with the sense of humor and you will be more then a great Dad - you will be the best role model that any kid could ask for.


Superduke1 said...

freeze those suckers! we need more lil bensons to spoil! love ya buddy

bd -n-wife