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  • Introduce myself

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Jason and I am new to the forum. I just wanted to share some of thoughts and experiences from my fight with cancer. I wasn’t sure where to put this so if it needs to be moved I understand.

    Testicular Cancer Discovery 1988
    I was 16 years old when I realized that one of my testicles had become enlarged. Being sexually active I assumed that maybe it was an STD and kept quiet about it. I let a few weeks go by before I confided in my older brother. Dropping your draws to show your brother your testicles is not something many people do willingly and I was quite embarrassed by it. Little did I know at that time that showing off my "package" would become a daily event. My brother had no idea what he was looking at but he knew having one testicle twice the size of the other could not be good. He said if I didn't tell my grandmother (I was living with my grandmother at this time) he would. So the next day I told my grandmother that I needed to see a doctor because something was wrong "down there". I went to my family doctor who after seeing me referred me to a doctor at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in NY. At this time I began to worry that what I had was something of importance. When I met with the doctors at LIJ they began a number of tests. Blood test and ultrasound were among the tests done that day. I left the hospital with little understanding of what was going on and how severe my situation was. Upon my arrival at home the phone rang and it was a doctor from LIJ. It couldn't have been more then 40 minutes since I had left the hospital. The doctor told me to gather a few things, change of cloths, etc. and return to the hospital I would have surgery early the next morning. To make matters worse they would be removing one of my testicles. Well I'm not sure if I have the words to express the emotions that came over me. I remember being scared to death, not that I going to die or anything but scared of the uncertainty that lie ahead. I was 16 years old; I had no idea what all of this really meant. The word surgery was scary in itself. I'll never forget hanging up the phone and talking to my grandmother about what the doctor said. My little brother who heard the whole conversation asked me if I was scared. Well that is when I lost it. I was scared and was unable to contain my feelings any longer. I bust into tears and ran to my room where I cried for a short while. I later did as the doctor said and gathered a few things and returned to hospital.

    It’s funny how life's events shape a person. Over the course of the next 3 years I had surgery 7 times, chemotherapy, high dose chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and a bunch of other procedures. During this time I learned how to separate my thoughts, how to turn my mind off so I could sleep and to keep my outward appearance as such that the people around me would not know the pain I was feeling. When family would visit I would always reassure them that I was doing great and felt no pain even when I was dieing inside. I just couldn't stand to see anyone get upset when they would see me. This reluctance to show emotion is still with me to this day. Only recently have I been able to cry. For at least a period of 15 years I would not shed a tear. This clearly was a result of always feeling that I needed to be strong for the ones around me.

    I’m not sure what kept me going through those years. I guess being 16 when I was first diagnosed helped. I thought I was invincible and never once thought that dieing was an option. It simply never occurred to me that it was possible to die. As they say ignorance is bless. I remember after I relapsed my doctor came to me to discuss my options. She told me going forward there was a 50/50 chance of me making it. Again I never gave the negative 50% any thought. It wasn’t until a friend of mine died that I realized it was possible. That is a moment I will never forget.

    I was 18 when I left the bone morrow transplant room and continued my recovery. 17 years have gone by and I have no regrets or anger, never did. For me many things were lost and many things gained from my experience. I lost any chance of becoming a Marine when I was diagnosed, my childhood dream. On the other hand I would have never met my wife and had our beautiful daughter if I didn’t drop out my senior year and return the following year after my treatments. If all things happen for a reason I would like to think she was the reason. Three years of cancer and treatments for a lifetime of happiness.
    If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
    If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
    Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
    My Blog

    Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
    Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
    There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

  • #2
    Welcome to the forums, Jason! Thank you very much for sharing your story, and congratulations on almost two decades as a cancer survivor. I'm glad you're here.
    Scott, [email protected]
    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!

    Comment


    • #3
      Jason,
      This is the right place to share your story. If many of us here think it's bad enough to be diagnosed in your 20s or 30s, I just can't imagine how it must be to receive such news while you're still in high school. You have learned tons through this journey, and your ability to fight on and make the best out of the situation is stellar. Hats off to you. Welcome, and thanks for sharing.
      "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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow Jason, quite a story.
        Thanks for sharing. I love how you don't have any regrets or anger, and look at the positive effects cancer has brought on you. Beautiful Wife and Daughter after all that chemo and surgery?? That is paradise.
        Please stay active on the forum.
        Joe
        Stage III. Embryonal Carcinoma, Mature Teratoma, Choriocarcinoma.
        Diagnosed 4/19/06, Right I/O 4/21/06, RPLND 6/21/06, 4xEP, All Clear 1/29/07, RPLND Incisional Hernia Surgery 11/24/08, Hydrocelectomy and Vasectomy 11/23/09.

        Please see a physician for medical advice!

        My 2013 LiveSTRONG Site
        The 2013 Already Balders

        Comment


        • #5
          Jason,
          Thanks so much for posting your story! What you went through and came out of so victoriously gives hope to others here going through similar experiences. I wish you continued health and happiness, and hope you stick around the site to lend support.
          Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello Jason, that was some story...thanks so much for sharing it here. My husband's friend was told he had TC in the early 90's and his doctor's just did not seem to know how to handle it. I am glad you had great doctors. I hope you will stay here and reach out to others.

            M
            Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
            Current DVT
            Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

            "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you all for the warm welcome.
              It has been years since I told any part of my story and as most of you can imagine there is a whole lot more than what I wrote above. It was quite the journey and helped to make me the person I am today. I plan to stick around in hopes that I can be helpful to others and offer my support.
              Jason
              If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
              If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
              Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
              My Blog

              Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
              Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
              There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

              Comment


              • #8
                Jason, it looks as though you're about a two-hour drive away from Philadelphia. Any chance you'll want to take part in or volunteer for the LIVESTRONG Challenge? It would be great to meet you there.
                Scott, [email protected]
                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!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Scott, It certainly is a possibility. I will discuss with my wife, she is the only one that would know if I already have plans for that date.
                  If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
                  If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
                  Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
                  My Blog

                  Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
                  Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
                  There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been to sleepy old Mountain Top. Last time I slept on the ground in a tent was at Hickory Run, (And that will be my last time sleeping on the ground- rocky there for a 40 year old) Beautiful country though, and Mountain Top is a nice town.

                    Come to Live Strong Village, that is on Saturday 8/25 at MCCC. If you have the right hairline, you can ride with my team on Sunday :



                    If you and your wife can't make it, no sweat- but stay on the forum PLEASE- I think you can offer a lot to the new guys.
                    Stage III. Embryonal Carcinoma, Mature Teratoma, Choriocarcinoma.
                    Diagnosed 4/19/06, Right I/O 4/21/06, RPLND 6/21/06, 4xEP, All Clear 1/29/07, RPLND Incisional Hernia Surgery 11/24/08, Hydrocelectomy and Vasectomy 11/23/09.

                    Please see a physician for medical advice!

                    My 2013 LiveSTRONG Site
                    The 2013 Already Balders

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jay68442
                      I plan to stick around in hopes that I can be helpful to others and offer my support.
                      I'm certain that you can, Jason.
                      Scott, [email protected]
                      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!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just spoke to my wife and it looks good. We will be doing the 5k walk/run with our 5 year old daughter. I would say mostly walking . As soon as I know it's 100% I will make a post.
                        If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
                        If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
                        Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
                        My Blog

                        Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
                        Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
                        There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Walking, running, carrying -- it's all good.
                          Scott, [email protected]
                          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!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jason:
                            A hearty welcome, it will be great to meet you in Philly.
                            Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                            Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dude,
                              This is fantastic! I sincerely hope that you will be sticking around here. Many will be able to learn lots from your experience, particularly the younger folk. And it's awesome you'll likely be doing the Challenge in Philly! I'm doing the 5K in Austin with my family, wife and 2-year-old daughter included. I am looking forward to your continued presence in the Forums!
                              "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.

                              Comment

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