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What a Difference a Year Makes

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  • What a Difference a Year Makes

    September 20th is the one year anniversary of my orchiectomy and brings back a lot of memories of those scary inititial weeks following diagnosis. My 1 year follow up was last week and life is wonderfully normal again with a clear chest x-ray, AFP of 2.2 ng/ml and HCG of .8 milliunits/mL. I now go to a 4 month surveillance with my next appointment in January. Hopefully, others going through similar treatments (orchiectomy, 3XBEP, RPLND) will read this thread and find some comfort with their own situations. Good luck to everyone and LIVESTRONG!

    What follows is an anxiety driven note to my oncologist, Dr. Stephen Williams, following my orichiectomy on Sept. 20th, 2005......
    From: Brian Haehl
    Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 15:55:55 -0500
    To: <[email protected]>
    Subject: I have testicular cancer & will be seeing you on Thursday, 10/6

    Hello Dr. Williams,
    I am looking forward to seeing/meeting you next Thursday! I am 48 years old and thought I was extremely healthy until about 10 days ago. Dr. Stuhldreher performed an orchiectomy to my left testicle this past Tuesday, 9/20. The initial pathology report shows 100% seminoa (I am keeping my fingers crossed) but the cat scan showed two metastases in the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, one 12 cm. in diameter and the other 7 cm x 3 cm. I have a cat scan of my lungs scheduled for tomorrow morning. I first noticed my left testicle was enlarged sometime in July, but since I cycle 75 to 100 miles a week and run 10 to 15 miles per week, I stupidly figured the swelling was related to the cycling. I finally put two and two together when the back pain started. This is pretty scary for me and I felt the need to touch base with the person who will likely be managing my treatment. I will bring my CT scans in with me when I! see you next Thursday. Thanks in advance. I am fortunate to be so geographically close to the best testicular cancer care in the world, and please let me know if there is anything you need from me prior to my visit.

    ............ Here is the tumor marker information from my blood tests ( I recognize you will be seeing the official report shortly)
    HCG = 24:00 & AFP = 24:00 (apparently, Dr. Stuhldreher didn't order LDH bloodwork)

    ..............Here is the detailed Radiology Report

    Multiple axial CT images of the abdomen and pelvis were obtained with intravenous and oral contrast. Images through the lung bases appear clear. The liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, right kidney and adrenal glands are unremarkable. There is a complex mass in the left retroperitoneum. This is positioned between the aorta and the kidney. It measures at least 12 cm in diameter. It has what appear to be complex solid and cystic components. A smaller mass is noted further anterior measuring 7 cm x 3 cm. The mass displaces the left kidney. There is perhaps mild partial obstruction with ectasia of the collecting systme. The ureter is displaced far laterally, however it does appear to be patent. Contrast is seen throught its length as well as within the region. There are further intra aoratal lymph nodes. The left adrenal gland appears nbormal, however it is compressed and displ! aced by the large retroperitoneal masses. Images throught the pelvis are otherwise unremarkable. Note is made of left testicular mass measuring at least 6.5 cm in diameter. IMPRESSION: 1. Left testicular mass with bulky retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy. 2. The left kidney is displaced and partially obsturcted by the largest of the complex cystic retroperitoneal masses.

    Brian Haehl
    Brian, [email protected]
    left inguinal orchiectomy 9/21/2005 > seminoma, stage IIC 12cm x 12cm retroperitoneal mass> 3XBEP completed 11/30/2005 > residual 9cm x 7cm mass removed 3/29/06. All necrotic tissue found > Surveillance

  • #2
    Congratulations on your imminent one-year survivorship milestone, Brian!
    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

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    • #3
      Brian, Congratulations on your one year. My husband and I are in Indy now under the care of Dr. Einhorn, so yes, your posting is a comfort to us. Thank you
      Lori and Jon
      Diagnosed 5/22/2006
      I/O 5/26/2006, Stage 3, Good
      Teratoma (Majority), Seminoma (10%), Yolk Sac
      3xEP then determined not working
      HDC w/stem cell transplant 8/16/06 to 9/25/06
      Chest and Neck surgery 10/9/06 - immature teratoma
      RPLND 11/16/06 - immature Teratoma
      2/29/2008 - markers continue to be normal!
      9/16/2008 - released from Dr. Einhorn's care


      • #4
        Congrats on one year....I know how it feels to celebrate that...Mary Ellen


        • #5

          It must be such a good feeling. Enjoy each day with an appreciation you never had before.



          • #6
            Congrats, Brian. Hope my RPLND advice helped more than hurt. For a while it seemed as if everytime I tried to celebrate 1 year since my last surgery, I had more surgery. For now, I'll sit back, relax, and have a beer or twelve. Then tomorrow I'll go flying (sober, of course). Great way to celebrate!
            Vinny (aka Frank)

            left I/O 1/5/05; 95%EC / 5% mature teratoma; stage IIIC
            4x BEP 1/24/05 - 4/11/05; RPLND (left side) 5/31/05
            VATS resection of teratoma from left lung 4/26/06
            Presently surveilling


            • #7
              congrats!!! always great to hear.
              diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008


              • #8
                Congrats Brian!!!
                Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.