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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-08 06:11 AM
Original message
Testicular cancer
I think this was the one cancer I did not want to get! HA! I bet most men think that due to area involved.

Though it is a rare form of cancer, about 1%, I am afraid I may have it. I went to a local GP yesterday, and he has now referred me to a urologist. After experiencing a heaviness in the lower abdomen and dull aching for about 5-6 days, I did a self-examination and found a solid lump about the size of a lower-case letter "o" on this page. It was small, but still concerned me because of the symptoms I was having. The GP felt it, too, and described it the same way. The GP said the lump was so small, it probably would not show up on a sonogram.

Anyway, I have to get some blood work done tomorrow, get an appointment with the urologist, and begin to find out what's going on.
If indeed this is cancer, I intend to document my experience here so others who think they may have the disease will have it as a form of reference.

My wife is a six year survivor of breast cancer. Double mastectomy, two reconstructions (first had to be undone due to a case of scarlet fever, which is actually just an untreated strep infection, where the infection attached to the implants), but she is healthy as a mule now!

Testicular cancer is one of the more curable ones. Early detection has an almost 100% cure rate these days! Even if it has gone systemic (entered the blood and nodal systems), survival rates are high.

Though any cancer scares the holy bejeezus out of you, I am one of the luckier ones, I guess. I am 53 yrs old, retired for 8 years, have insurance (private policy that costs $15K/yr with a $5000 deuctible), and the means to deal with the disease.

I am crossing my fingers and hoping it is something else. When I know, you will know. After going through several years with my wifes bout, we have found talking about it and researching it is extremely helpful.

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LeighAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-08 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. This Just In
This was in yesterday's news

One Jab Breakthrough for Testicular Cancer

A COMMON form of testicular cancer can be cured with a single jab of chemotherapy, researchers revealed yesterday.

Carboplatin - currently often used to treat ovarian and lung cancer - could replace the need for radiotherapy in men with early- stage seminoma.

Experts say the drug is a "safer cure" for the cancer, with fewer long-term health risks.

Up to 45 per cent of testicular cancers are classed as early- stage seminoma, amounting to between 780 and 880 cases in the UK each year.

In the largest ever trial involving this form of the disease, a single carboplatin injection was used to treat 573 patients with early-stage seminoma.

The results were compared with 904 men given two or three weeks of daily radiotherapy - the current standard treatment.

Those patients given carboplatin experienced fewer side-effects and were able to get back to their normal lives quicker than the men on radiotherapy.

Of the 573 patients given carboplatin, only 5 per cent relapsed - but none of the men died from their cancer following further treatment.

I hope it's not testicular cancer, but if it is, make sure and inquire about this Carboplatin therapy!

Thanks for sharing

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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-08 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I read that yesterday!
I was discussing that with my wife this morning. I don't think it is available in the U.S. yet, and has only been used in trial phases so far. But, I would not be opposed to flying to the U.K. to get it if I were to have that particular type of cancer.
Thanks for posting LeighAnn, and thanks for caring!
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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I have read that a doctor is allowed to use any treatment on you that has been approved
for treating cancer. So since carboplatin is already being used for other cancers, a doctor is allowed to use it on you. Now, whether your doctor would agree to do it is another thing. But if he or she doesn't, there are lots of other doctors in the country and you're bound to be able to find someone.

This sounds very promising. Good luck!
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-08-08 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hope you get good news from the doc
I had a scare a few years ago, turned out to be a spermaticeal(sp?).
I recently read Armstong's book "It's Not About the Bike" about his cancer battle. I wasn't expecting great novel but the emotions were those that most of us have gone through when we were given our diagnosis.
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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-14-08 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. Today is the day
Going in this morning to find out what the heck it is that's been ailing me. Seeing the urologist at 8:00 am. I am hoping to be able to report good news, but, it is what it is. Best case scenario would be he sends me home with some antibiotics for an infection. Worst case? We all know what that is. Cross your fingers!
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Tracer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-14-08 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. Best wishes for you today.
But I have a question.

You retired at age 45!?? How does one do that?
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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-14-08 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for the good wishes....... turned out to be a spermatocele. Whew!

How was I able to retire early? When my wife's father passed away, he left her a 1/8th interest in an apartment complex in Dallas.
The opportunity came for us to purchase another 1/8th interest, giving us a 25% interest, overall. It took about 15 yrs to pay off.
After my wife went through her cancer ordeal, we decided to retire and spend the rest of what time we had left, together. And we did. Our share of the 158 unit apartment complex generates a sizable monthly income, more than we needed to retire. I have a few lease houses that I have picked up at auctions a few years ago, as well. Everything is now paid off, my wife is a six year cancer-free survivor, and we are enjoying managing our time the way we want. We spend a lot of time working for local charities and CASA
(court appointed special advocates for children) Most people don't realize that child protective services do not always have the childs best interest in mind when working cases.

It's not something we planned, it just kinda happened that way. Some people say retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be, and for some, I can see why, but for me, it's really, really, really, really, nice!
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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-14-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm so happy for you!
You and your wife have been through enough, though cancer isn't always "fair" that way. To your continued good health! :toast:
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LeighAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-14-08 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
9.  Yay!
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-15-08 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. Great news!

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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-21-08 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
11. I bet this happens a lot
When I discovered the bump on my testicle, I immediately thought the worst. I guess it's human nature. Then, I start researching testicular cancer. This is what we did when my wife found out she had breast cancer. It gives you something to do while you wait.
To my amazement, everything I read, symptomatic wise, fell right in line with what I was experiencing. Lower abdominal aches, radiating into the back, solid bump on testes, heaviness in abdomen. It was all there!

So, you prepare yourself for the worst and pray for the best. Blood test showed an elevated white blood cell count, and that scared the bejeebus outta me.

I have had a very good life. Storybook childhood, great parents, two wonderful wives, two great children, and I was able to retire at age 45. I have had eight years of retirement with enough money to last the remainder of my life, and then some. So, I figure if I gotta go, I gotta good deal while I was here. I lived the American dream! Que sera, sera!

I finally get to see the urologist, and whaaap! Nothing! Well, not nothing, I do have a spermatocele, though uncomfortable, not life threatening. Man, does that ever take a load off!

This one was a false alarm, so to speak, but I am glad I took action as soon as I discovered something wrong. I read too many stories about people who wait for months or even years to get things checked out when something is not right. If you suspect you have a problem, get examined now! The sooner cancer is recognized, the better chance you have. Testicular cancer has almost a 100% cure rate if caught before in metasticizes, and even breast cancer has 85%+ cure rates!

Talking to others who have been thru it really helps your head, and we all know that is where the turmoil is. Those thoughts seem to come non-stop. You can think yourself into depression very fast if you keep it bottled up and let it fester. I had great support from my wife, who has been thru it. I was fortunate. I also had you guys, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

My symptoms have all but disappeared, after six weeks of aches and pains. I still have the spermatocele, but my body seems to be adapting to it, and the aching has diminished greatly. I am back to normal activities.

Case closed.

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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-21-08 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Your advice is right on.
When I started experiencing symptoms last fall, I didn't assume the worst -- my symptoms fit right in with going into menopause and since I was 52, that made sense. I'll never know if I had been checked last fall, if I could have caught my cancer before it spread to my lungs. :shrug:

Like you, I don't expect to die soon but I've had a good life with few regrets. I'd like to hang on until they find a cure. So far, I'm doing well with continued chemotherapy.

I'm glad you shared your story, for your sake and the sake of members who may learn from your experience. And I'm so glad that everything worked out for you and your wife! :hug:
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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-21-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. God bless you, Longhorn
Edited on Tue Oct-21-08 12:03 PM by Uben
I'm a Texan, too, north of Dallas. There is not a single cancer I know of that someone has not beaten. I don't know your circumstances, fully, but I do know there is always hope and there are new approaches to the disease being tried.

I lost my dad to cancer, and his dad to cancer. No male on dad's side has lived past age 63. I plan on breaking that cycle, but I am living my life like I won't. I have a little over nine years till 63, and I plan to squeeze 30 years in that space. I have two daughters, 26 and 16. No grandkids yet, but I hope I live long enough to see some. I don't have a "bucket list", I just enjoy my time with my wife, everyday. After her brush with cancer six years ago, time has become everything. We were given a little extra, so we're making the best of it.

This past year, I built a garden chapel on one of our lots here at the lake. My wife has always wanted one. It's just 8'X10', mission style, stucco walls inside, rock walls on the exterior. My wife is a stained glass artist and she made the 4' tall arched windows for it....they are stunning to say the least! Wood roof with a small bell tower, situated under sprawling oak and hickory trees. We built it for those who are going through tough times. No locks on the door, it's open to all. And, it is used! We have a prayer box for anyone who requests.

A lady stopped by last week. She was about our age and has just underwent open-heart surgery.
I was watering some grass seed that I had put around the chapel when she walked up. She had to wipe away the tears as she related her experience to me. She said the chapel is just what she needed at this point in her life. (there is no church here at the lake where I live). That alone made it worth it to build, but there have been so many more that have stopped and used the chapel. Our lake is kinda like a retirement community. People come here to spend their silver and golden years. I've lost a lot of good friends over the years, but had I not moved here, I would never have known them at all.

I could write a novel! I'll stop.

Good luck to you, and I will pray for your recovery.
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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-08 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thank you!

You have a lot in common with my mother. She had the idea years ago to build a chapel on the grounds of her church, where she was a lay minister. After my father died of complications of treatment for multiple myeloma in 1999, she started raising money for the project and got it built. She had to fight the suggestions of some to make it grand and ornate. They found some used pews -- enough seating for 25-30 people. There's a stained glass window in the shape of a cross behind the small altar. She still maintains it, sets up for small weddings, etc. It's unlocked during the day and there's a prayer box. I'm not religious but I do understand the value of these chapels and I think it's great that you built one completely on your own! :yourock:
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