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even MDs get TC

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  • even MDs get TC

    Hello to everyone --

    I've spent a great deal of time today reading the posts on the site. I can sincerely empathize with everyone going through this process, both as the girlfriend and as an "almost" medical professional. I will graduate from Indiana University School of Medicine in May, and will stay to do a residency in Anesthesia. My boyfriend with TC is a Surgery resident here also, which is ironically wonderful, becuase he knows first-hand many of the world reknown surgeons and oncologists here who have been and will continue to treat him.

    In retrospect, I should have suspected something was amiss, but the one symptom were very vague -- lower back pain -- so my boyfreind simply prescribed himself some muscle relaxants. It wasn't until he had a supraclavicular node -- known as a "Virchow's node" in med-speak, typically a harbringer of doom for the abdominal cavity -- that we thought he might need a lymph node biopsy. Think of that anger you have against the GP, internist or person who didn't diagnose the TC in your life -- I felt like that against myself.

    He has Stage IIIC non-seminoma, with all the types mixed in, and as we discovered this week, with a new met (probably teratoma) to his lung. In this case, knowing what I do about medicine makes things easier and harder; there is sometimes a burden that comes with knowing "too much" -- being able to see how large his retroperitoneal nodes are without a radiologist's read was difficult, as they were quite large on presentation; but it's also nice to be able to understand all the bloodwork.

    Going through this process has taught me a lot about what I don't learn in school -- about waiting time, scheduling, insurance -- and how we order test without really thinking about the person (but instead thinking about their ultimate well-being.) It's taught me about what kind of an MD I want to be in a few months, and my boyfriend is going to be a fantastic surgeon as a result, I have no doubt.

    Just wanted to post to say thanks to all the people whom write -- it's cathartic to put it down, and nice to feel like part of a group. Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    I'm glad you found us and hope you'll stick around. If your boyfriend had to have advanced testicular cancer, you sure couldn't ask to be anywhere better than where you are!
    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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