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Day 2 Post Orchiectomy

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  • #16
    Not Doing So Great.

    Physically, I am fine, just a bit of incision discomfort. Emotionally, I am not doing very well. I am hoping to God that this is normal as an outcome to the treatment and diagnosis.

    Basically, after the euphoria surrounding the pathology, and the realization that the odds are in my favor for a 100% cure, the bottom dropped out on me emotionally. I am feeling like a fraud in some ways, particularly when I read these forums and I talk to other people who've gone through much worse. I feel like that I dodged a bullet and that this could have been really really bad. My work has been very supportive, I work for a Fortune 50 that is still primarily controlled and is run by its founders, a pretty progressive bunch, so they have bent over backwards to support me.

    I was in talking w/ my banker the other night and she mentioned to me that this all must have been terribly hard on my wife. And, with the weight of a ton of proverbial bricks, it hit me, that that must have been so true. I am the primary provider in my household, and we have 3 very young kids. And while, financially we would always be OK, I can't imagine her fear. I asked her about it, and she just started to ball. I felt so, the magic word, powerless.

    So now, I am back on the road to better health physically, I am getting my ass kicked by a depressive episode I didn't expect. I feel so guilty. I read about people's medical, work, financial and family obstacles with dealing with TC and I have walked away with none of those. I feel like I should be out there kicking some ass (metaphorically ) with this getting behind me, but I just feel so powerless.

    I am guessing, and hoping that this is in the range of normal.



    • #17
      Absolutely Normal,

      I've been going through the same emotions. What I find is that we shouldn't diminish what we have already been through. You suffered through a painful surgery, as well as palpable uncertainty about your future, things that >90% of people our age don't have to think about. It takes a toll. I was euphoric after getting a diagnosis of stageI seminoma, but went into a slight depression afterwards. It wasn't until my first checkup and the initiation of an exercise program that I started feeling 'normal'.

      It takes a toll on those around you as well. I found that everyone around me was mercifully deceitful... they acted stoic and strong and then I heard through the grapevine though that my father and uncle were crying in each others arms, as well as my mother and her sisters, and my cousins and my GF to her friends and family. None of these people want to show us that side because they love us, they know we're in a lot of pain, and they act strong for us. Can you imagine the alternative?

      As a scientist, I made the mistake of looking at one of my pathology slides when I received them to submit for a second opinion. I thought I would be ok, but seeing those cancer cells caught in the act of cell division brought a huge dose of reality for me. On the surface, a 1.5 cm tumor sounds fairly small. When you see it, though, in a section of what was your testicle, I assure you, it is huge.

      I took it home and showed my mom after I looked at it in my lab. She started bawling, and it was the first time I saw her cry through this ordeal. I remember feeling relieved that she was finally "lettin it out". Little did I know that she had been crying all along.

      I had my mom take our engagement pics back to my dad overseas, and she later told me that he was kissing them and crying uncontrollably, this from a man that keeps telling me not to worry, that "It's over."

      It's not over. You didn't get off easy. You'll feel this for the rest of your life. And with it will come the wisdom that life, no matter how long, is ultimately short, and with that wisdom will come hope that you will do all you can to enjoy your time on the planet, and to leave a positive legacy behind you.

      Good Luck!

      Detected mass 10-6-06, Radical left I/O 10-10-06, Stage I seminoma, 1.5 cm primary, No LV invasion, No Rete Testis Invasion... Currently on Surveillance.


      • #18
        I'm there with both of you.

        This is exactly what has been going on with me of late. As a scientist myself, I made a similar mistake. I was armed with the confidence that I could beat this because I understood the biological underpinings, but that can only take you so far. The emotional aspects of cancer are very real.

        One of the toughest times was when I called Mom to inform her about my Dx. She had recently traveled to Boston to see my little sister, and we had gotten into a nasty argument, so we weren't on the best of terms. Grandma (her Mom) died of breast cancer 12 years ago, and all of those memories came whirling back. I constantly reassured her that I would be fine, but I knew that she was freaking out inside, and she tried real hard to try it.

        A few weeks ago, I went to San Diego for a conference, and I have a ton of relatives there. I couldn't skip seeing them, so I went to see them all at a gathering at my cousin's fiancee's house. Man, you can just tell when a Latino family is trying real hard to hide their feelings. It was eerie. It felt just like the time when I was carted off the ultrasound at the ER the day I was Dx'd and everyone there was giving me looks of concern that were rather uncomfortable. It made me realize the impact cancer has on others.

        Be that as it may, the bottom line is that we need to make the best of the time that is given to us. The road is bumpy, but we'll be fine as long as we keep at it.
        "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.


        • #19
          Kevin, keep in touch with those emotions and the depression. I had huge depression and anger issues, and I had a pretty easy (so far) case. I'm still not sure what to make of it.
          Last edited by GAH; 02-02-11, 11:04 PM.
          Left I/O 8/11/05 w/ prosthetic
          Seminoma, Stage I
          Blood/CAT/Chest clear


          • #20
            A few of the same feelings

            Whether it means anything or not, we (my wife and I) feel as though we have traveled the cancer road for a short distance, at least mentally, and we will never be the same again. To say that it has been emotional would be an understatement. My wife had a life threating ilness a few years ago though a misdiagnosis. We were told to plan for death. That was such a strain, but seemed so much different than cancer.

            Especially, with the rarity of what mine turned out to be.......a tumor. I should be jumping up and down. While, I am so overjoyed about it, I am very confused about why I was spared this time and others are not. What does the Lord want me to do.

            I almost feel guilty about posting is like I don't deserve to be here.

            Like Fed said, we have to make the most of what we have been given and now that we understand it and have felt the fear that the TC word brings, we are impowered to save others through being strong advocates of early detection, support groups, and prayers. Moreover, the way we live our life from here out will be an example for all to see. You see, we have been given a 2nd chance at this life.

            God Bless



            • #21
              Powerless???? Hopeless??? Not for a moment. You have within you the ability to show cancer that you are in control and not "IT". You and your families have looked death in the face and survived that, don't fail to look life in the face and live. Depression is a powerful emotion take that power and turn it into action. Live man live. In the words of my sensei (Jimmy Buffett) Breath in, breath out, move on".
              Last edited by dadmo; 03-02-07, 08:27 PM.
              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.