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  • TCx2 partial I/O update

    I beat TC the first time, caught it early, no problem. Made it almost a year then it was back. I didn't want to lose my last ball, didn't want to be on hormone replacement therapy. I've always been strong, healthy and athletic. I was afraid of becoming the "sick kid".

    I fought tooth and nail to keep the last guy, to beat cancer and move on, thinking I could do it again without the cancer leaving any real mark. I did my research, learned about the testicle sparing orchiectomy, interviewed surgeons, consulted with the top dogs at IU. It all seamed to go well.

    Months later the symptoms became persistently intermittent. Just infrequent enough to keep me guessing. Presumably because the little guy was just barely hanging on. A new job, a new baby, the holidays, an energetic 3 year old, radiation. All more than enough to wear anyone out. But then there were mood swings, difficulty concentrating and loss of libido. I have a beautiful wife. For me to have little or no interest in... Doesn't make sense. None of this was characteristic of who I am.

    Now, 6 months later, we know it didn't work out.

    This is difficult. I feel as though somehow I've failed. It isn't true, I know. There are just some things we have no control over. Guess I've invested myself too much emotionally in the procedure. Truly expected success. The decisions are tough and at some point we all have to invest ourselves. Often there is more than one treatment option. So it's essential that we believe fully in our choice. Second guessing after the fact isn't healthy.

    I had all the tests. The local docs said it was time to begin the testosterone a couple months ago. Still, chose to remain patient because they couldn't clearly say how long it take's to heal. Finally, I got a call from IU. Dr Birhle reviewed the labs, explained I should have healed and he was recommending I begin replacement therapy. We had a long conversation and he helped me feel better about this. He was the man I needed to hear from to have confidence in the decision and keep from wondering 'what if I just waited longer?'

    So now I'm 3 weeks into replacement therapy and I feel great. I won't be too graphic. Let's just say my wife and I have made up for the last 6 months. I even love to snuggle with her again. It's like I've just returned from a really long trip. Sara is thrilled and convinced she's married the biggest stud on the block. I'm patient again, able to focus, mood swings are gone. I am the husband and father I was before it all started.

    As for being the "sick kid" I never wanted to be. Just have to rethink this. If there were something wrong, I tried to ignore it and allowed this to have a bad effect on myself, my family and my friends. That would be SICK. I won't allow it. I'm still coming to grips with it. Even though I know so much of this is a head game it's still hard to be different.

    I have no regrets in having the partial I/O and I hope others will still see this as an option if needed. I hope that by letting everyone know the potential success of this procedure depends in part on early diagnosis and a small mass, it might encourage people to be even more diligent with their self exams.

    Like it or not, cancer does leave a mark. Mine is yellow and I'll wear it proudly.

    Last but not least, got the "ALL CLEAR" at the surveillance appointment this morning.

    Thanks for listening,
    -chris
    TC 1 10.18.2005
    Left I/O, Stage IA (pT1)
    Normal Markers, No VI or LI
    Teratoma, Yolk Sac
    Surveillance

    TC 2 9.12.2006
    Right Organ Sparing I/O, Stage IB (pT2)
    ^Markers, LVI, ITGN @ margin
    Embryonal Carcinoma, Yolk Sac, Teratoma
    RTx10 18Gy testicle only Complete 11.1.2006
    Surveilling Again, HRT

  • #2
    Congratulations on your great attitude and your "all clear"!
    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


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    • #3
      I read your post with anticipation, and I was glad to read the very last line. Thanks very much for sharing your experience; it will certainly be inspiring to many of us.
      "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.

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      • #4
        Chris:
        Thanks for posting that, and congratulations on the all clear.
        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.

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        • #5
          Chris,
          I love your definition of "SICK".
          And I'm thrilled to hear your All Clear!
          You are an inspiration.
          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

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          • #6
            Chris,
            Excellent post with lots of insight on getting your head around all this. Congrats on the "All Clear" and many, many more!
            Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

            Comment


            • #7
              great post! and I am sure there are others here that have shared your concerns. Sometimes my husband seems to become shy about what kind of cancer he has because it is in a more private area...but I say to talk about it...sure does make you feel better. By sharing your personal and private moments you are helping so many people who may have concerns and questions but will not ask. I am thrilled that your life and marriage are the way you wanted them to be. You sound like you have a wonderful family that is very lucky to have YOU.

              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


              • #8
                That's good news! Continue the positive approach. Things will be better for you!
                Best wishes,
                Brian
                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

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                • #9
                  Thank you all. You guys and this site are great.

                  It makes me wonder, why do only good people get cancer?

                  -chris
                  TC 1 10.18.2005
                  Left I/O, Stage IA (pT1)
                  Normal Markers, No VI or LI
                  Teratoma, Yolk Sac
                  Surveillance

                  TC 2 9.12.2006
                  Right Organ Sparing I/O, Stage IB (pT2)
                  ^Markers, LVI, ITGN @ margin
                  Embryonal Carcinoma, Yolk Sac, Teratoma
                  RTx10 18Gy testicle only Complete 11.1.2006
                  Surveilling Again, HRT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Congrats on the "ALL CLEAR" that must be the best news.
                    As for your question, I wish I had an answer, I wonder that too.
                    Krista
                    Brother Diag. 10/05 Non-Sem.
                    Right I/O 11/05
                    Surv
                    4XBEP 8/06
                    RPLND 12/06
                    2X VIP 1/22/07
                    Only completed 1 Rd.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Chris.....because someone knows WE can handle it!!!

                      The organ sparing procedure to me shouldn't be done. If it's recommended, I think more info and statistics need to be giving to what could and possibly happen. I wasn't. Maybe because there hasn't been enough of them done to offer those stats. With hindsite I wouldn't of endured the setbacks of another surgery. My tumor was small and it still didn't work. There is so much trauma done doing surgery and from the tumor itself my fertility doctor said it was merely impossible for it to function properly for the results we all intended to benefit. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone!
                      Best wishes,
                      Brian
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To answer your question in the best way I can.....

                        My husband and I both are very grateful that we were handed the blessing of cancer. First of all, of all the couples in our lives, we were the most able and the strongest to handle it. Second, along with cancer many other wonderful things came into our lives...we learned that God was going to make sure we were taken care of, we learned what was important to us, and we met an entire family of people like you who will always care for us...and we will care for you. Cancer could be the most amazing thing that ever happened to us...we found a way to love one another in a way that we had never discovered before, Boyce and I know what really matters in life...and we could have never discovered that with out this experience.

                        I won't coat it in sugar and tell you that the days at chemo where not hard, I cried tears I did not know I had left to cry...I walked around New York city for the first time in my life and I was alone, waiting for my husband to be returned to me from his surgery (RPLND) and I had to tell our 7 year old that Daddy was sick...really sick... and smile when I knew everything may not be okay....

                        But in answer to your question....sometimes I think cancer happens to the very best of people. For all the greatest reasons.

                        I am one lucky girl.

                        Hugs,

                        Margaret
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rover
                          I agree.


                          Margaret,
                          Strange but my wife and I also see my getting cancer as a blessing. Still, it's sad when we lose good people to this monster.

                          -chris
                          Very, very sad. We have a friend who is fighting for his life with TC, as we speak. I champion for him everyday. How wonderful that we are all here for each other.
                          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

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