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Telling Your Parents

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  • Telling Your Parents

    A significant number of new members are in their teens and early twenties, and I'm sure lots more of the guest viewers are as well. I am a concerned parent. I have two sons, aged 19 and 15, who have tons of good friends. I would be devastated if any of them fell victim to TC and delayed diagnosis because they were worried about parent's reaction. I tried to put myself in their shoes to figure out what info would help them get over it quickly.

    First of all, you have not done anything to deserve this. You can research the suspected and known causes and risk factors elsewhere, such as Wikipedia, Amercian Cancer Society, Sloan Kettering, and many many others. Just Google it. TC has never been linked to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, steroids, paint, or anything else you could possibly put in your body. It has never been linked to sexual activity, virginity, sexual lifestyle orientation, dirty magazines, masturbation, or anything you could do to the outside of your body. There are no known links from exposure to cell phones, radar guns, high voltage wires, computers or microwave ovens. The overwhelming majority of victims live clean lives, and many are athletes. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

    As a dad, I have to say that you may be spending too much time watching cartoons and playing video games. Your brain may be train wreck, but those things DON'T CAUSE CANCER.

    Second, parents understand your anatomy. Really. One of your parents has the same equipment as you, and they both know what it looks like. While they might not have seen yours in a while, don't forget that they had to change your diaper and clean the mess about 3,000 times, and they did not do it blindfolded. Yes, I know, it looked different and you had no choice. But they don't need to see it now, either. You just need them to understand what's worrying you, and to get you to a doctor. If you have a hard time explaining, draw a picture.

    Your parents will probably be proud of you for paying attention in health class and doing periodic self-examinations. Instructions for self-exams and lists of symptoms are elsewhere on this site as well as from reputable health organizations all over the internet.

    Third, either ignore what other people might think, or get a good story. This applies to you and your parents. Women have done a much better job opening up about cancers affecting female anatomy and womenhood, demanding research, and I'll bet they beat us to cures. Meanwhile, we are like little boys hiding from the bogeyman in the closet, aren't we? But you aren't going to change the world in a week. We understand the issues. So what can you do if you are worried about the embarrassment, teasing, bad jokes?

    If you get to a doctor quickly, and you do have TC, chances are you will have I/O surgery, and either be under surveillance or have the less invasive treatments. In these cases, you could probably get away with a cover story. I've heard two good ones. One is that you were born with a congenital (built-in) minor iguinal hernia that got messed up playing sports or something heroic, so you decided to bite the bullet and fix it. Pretty macho. I/O and I/H surgeries are almost the same. The other is emergency surgery to repair a vague congenital constriction of your intestines. Not as macho, but a good "snot happens" scenario.

    You could also try to pass this off as emergency appendectomy. Just be aware that appendectomies are usually a bit higher. And if you weren't paying attention in that health class, your appendix is on your right side.
    Last edited by Paul54; 01-29-08, 08:14 AM.
    "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
    Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

  • #2

    Good thinking on the thoughts they may have about doing something to "deserve" TC.. I remember my son saying, well it's my own fault. I asked him why he felt that way and he said "I don't know"

    I know it's hard for some guys to tell their parents, and in this day and age there are unfortunately many guys that do not have a father in their lives to go to; and it may be more embarrassing to tell mom.

    And sometimes they may tell their parents, but for whatever reason, it may not be taken as something serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, especially since many are unaware of TC symptoms.
    And I think that until people ARE aware of it, they certainly have no idea how fast it spreads. So...

    I always say, that if you for any reason feel you can't talk to one of your parents, or your concern didn't get your parents attention, DON"T WAIT. Go talk to a responsible uncle, grandfather, your best friends dad, your gym teacher, school counselor, nurse etc .. Just make sure it gets checked out.

    We all need to do our part in helping to educate our youth.

    Thank you for your post Paul .. I'm right there with you.

    Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
    L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
    4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
    AFP started increasing3 wks later
    Residual abdominal mass found on CT
    RPLND 6/8/07
    Cancer in pathology-
    80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
    No adjuvent chemo and
    AFP normalised

    July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!


    • #3
      Well said, Paul. Thanks for posting your thoughts.
      right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since

      Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!


      • #4
        Great post, Paul!


        • #5
          Terrific post Paul...thank you for putting this all down!
          Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.


          • #6
            I really like your style. Keep the wisdom coming!
            "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
            11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
            12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fed
              I really like your style. Keep the wisdom coming!
              He's pretty damn cool ain't he? A big ditto on Fed's statement. Sorry you had to be here Paul, but Man you are a welcome addition.
              Much Love Big Brother,
              I Love My Pack!