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  • Cancer! whats that?

    I finally watched the discovery special tonight. DVR is a good thing. Although its was a great program I didnt really relate. The thing is I dont feel like a cancer survivor. In my mind I dont have cancer. I was diagnosed april 2nd. Had my I/O april 3rd. CT, bloodwork, and path all normal. I feel healthy. The only reason I know I have cancer is because they told me I do. I dont know if I am in denial. I know I have cancer but I dont feel like I do. I havent gone through any pain or suffering from it. It all seems to be more of a joke to me when I talk about it. Humor has almost always been my way of dealing with things in my life. I almost feel guilty about having such an easy time with all of this when I know so many dont. I know I am fortunate and thank god everyday for it. Am I setting myself up for dissappoinment down the road? I know nobody has the answer to that. Has anybody else been through this and then have it finally sink in that you have cancer. I dont know if I can properaly offer support to others because I havent been there but I am to try.

  • #2
    I dont feel like a cancer survivor either, because it didnt spread, I didnt need chemo or RT, so therefore what the hell did I survive, I was never in imediate danger? Its like saying "rape survivor" you dont survive rape, you survive murder.
    Aged 23 ;; 09/06 left I/O ;; Markers normal ;; 100% Seminoma Stage 1. ;; 10x8x16mm & 7x7x8mm ;; rete testis invasion. ;; no vascular invasion. ;; surveillance. ;; HRT.

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    • #3
      When i was diagnosed in 2001, they told me that the cancer did not spread.
      I had radiation and for me it was an easy cancer. I have lived my life like nothing has happenned. But in 2005 i had a big bad surprise. I had something in my lung. After 4 month of chemo everything is ok. But this time, i will wait five full years to scream victory. From 2001 to 2005 and even during my chemo i was feeling great with no symptom of cancer and there was no need for me to talk about this disease but now i really feel like a cancer survivor.
      Eric

      Stage 1 seminoma in august 2001
      with invaded spermatic chord and treated with RT
      Relapse november 2005, 4 BEP and now back to surveillance

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      • #4
        Really interesting post. When we found out Boyce had cancer, he kept saying..
        "just think, as of tomorrow (I/O was next day) I will be a cancer survivor". And he went on and on about how strange that would be. Then they walked into the room right before surgery and told us the bad news about it spreading and the 4 rounds of bep he would need and he just looked so stunned. He always just assumed he would be a cancer survivor the next day and the thought that he was going to be a "cancer patient" was too strange for him. He must have said over and over again, I just can't be a cancer patient. The survivor thing was easy for him to wrap his head around but not the patient thing. I am not sure if this made any sense at all. When people ask me about my husband, I say 'my husband has TC and is in remission'. If you ask my hubby he will tell you 'I used to have TC' even though his RPLND was just a few months ago. He feels cured...and expresses it...which is just fine with me

        Glad everything went well for you...sounds like you are doing great!
        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

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        • #5
          I think to some degree I've redefined myself after two relapses and high dose chemo still in a possible future. To me, I was never really a survivor or patient. Before cancer, I was just me doing the best I can. After cancer or during depending on your point of view, I'm still just me doing the best I can. With one big difference. I really try not to let "stuff" interfere with my life. I really try to focus on what's inportant in my life. Ironically, by becoming a little more selfish, I've become more caring to those who really matter to me. I think I've become more in tune to those who feel I matter to them as well. I don't feel I've been courageous or special at all through all this. I'm just me (now with the big "C" in my life) doing the best I can. One of my favorite quotes: "Always remember you are unique, just like everybody else".
          I Love My Pack!

          sigpic

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TCLEFT
            One of my favorite quotes: "Always remember you are unique, just like everybody else".
            A couple of days ago I had a meeting with a lady from the South Shore that was also selected as a MA delegate for LIVESTRONG Day next week. She is a two-year breast cancer survivor, and we spoke at length about our experience with cancer and how we have dealt with it. One thing became abundantly clear, if not obvious: each survivor's experience is unique, and the way we deal with our experience is just as varied.

            I had been studying cancer in the lab for a little over 4 years when I was diagnosed. I found the scientific problem fascinating and worthy enough for me to dedicate my life to its study. In the same way Ski has dealt with cancer through joking and laughter, I have dealt with it by trying to understand how it operates. Mind you, the objectivity of science is clearly insufficient to deal with its inherently subjective, emotional aspects (and in my case that is still a work-in-progress). If anything, having had cancer has made me more motivated at work, and I have found that my work and my actions have a greater sense of purpose. Call it self-fulfilling, if you will, but I find comfort knowing that I am trying to do the best with the hand that I was dealt.
            "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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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fed
              If anything, having had cancer has made me more motivated at work, and I have found that my work and my actions have a greater sense of purpose.
              ...and I, for one, am very grateful for the work you're doing. Thank you.
              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!

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              • #8
                and I, for one, am very grateful for the work you're doing
                Make that two Fed!!!
                I Love My Pack!

                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Hi Mark, it is good to see you. How have you been feeling and how are things going with you?

                  Your tone on here sounds great!

                  Tammy

                  Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
                  L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
                  4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
                  AFP started increasing3 wks later
                  Residual abdominal mass found on CT
                  RPLND 6/8/07
                  Cancer in pathology-
                  80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
                  No adjuvent chemo and
                  AFP normalised

                  July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

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                  • #10
                    Hi Tammy. I'm on the upswing. Still have some cosultations with S/K and a CT scan scheduled for next week. If all goes well, I may be done.
                    I Love My Pack!

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scott
                      ...and I, for one, am very grateful for the work you're doing. Thank you.
                      Originally posted by TCLEFT
                      Make that two Fed!!!
                      We may be science geeks, but we all help any way we can . Your posts have really made my day, and Mark, knowing that you are on the mend makes it even better.
                      "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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TCLEFT
                        Hi Tammy. I'm on the upswing. Still have some cosultations with S/K and a CT scan scheduled for next week. If all goes well, I may be done.
                        Won't that be GREAT! My prayers and thoughts are right there with you!

                        Hugs,
                        Tammy

                        Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
                        L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
                        4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
                        AFP started increasing3 wks later
                        Residual abdominal mass found on CT
                        RPLND 6/8/07
                        Cancer in pathology-
                        80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
                        No adjuvent chemo and
                        AFP normalised

                        July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TCLEFT
                          If all goes well, I may be done.
                          All appropriate appendages crossed!
                          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
                            I think as soon as you hear cancer....you can help others...

                            for me, far and away the worst part was just prior to the orchiectomy and just after, during pathology and staging....

                            when I started chemo, I was on autopilot....

                            the mental aspect was the hardest....physically, you can do just about anything....

                            the point...you can help others a great deal...even if you are on surveillance...
                            - lump first noticed 11/20/2005
                            - I/O right Dec 8, 2005
                            - 95% embryonal / 5% seminoma
                            - normal markers PRE surgery
                            - no vascular invasion, tunica free of cancer, epididymis free of cancer, lungs free, lymph free
                            - Stage I diagnosis
                            - surveillance
                            - mid feb '06, beta hcg slightly elevated = 4.6...small enlarged lower node seen on CT scan...
                            - 3BEP began feb 20, 2006
                            - finished 3 BEP, last bleo, april 17, 2006
                            - CT scan, blood markers, chest..all clear
                            - back on surveillance

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                            • #15
                              I'm still asking myself the strange question: do I really have cancer?

                              The day after my orchiectomy I had a CT-scan. I was vey relieved when the urologist told me the cancer didn't spread. "I'm cured!", was the first thing I said to my wife. But she was more suspicious than me....

                              And she was right. Although I'm feeling well, I do have RT at the moment, just in case there are some cells they couldn't see on the CT and because they found a lymph-node that's a bit bigger.

                              So, everyday I've to drive to the RT-center, and after those sessions I'm very tired, not feeling well in general and I've to sleep for some hours. I'm also thinking about the fact that about 5 percent of patients who had TC can develop cancer again.

                              This whole experience gives me a feeling I've cancer indeed, although the reports were very good after my CT-scan. It's a very confusing time....

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