jetiv4's Journey with Classical Seminoma, Testicular Cancer

Survivor: Testicular Cancer > Seminoma > Classical Seminoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 9 years ago, Male, Age: 44, Stage II

  1. 1
    • jetiv4
    • Experience with Classical Seminoma, Tes...
    about 5 years ago
    jetiv4's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I was two weeks from leaving for a year long deployment to Afghanistan after one year removed from a previous deployment to Iraq. I was an active duty Soldier of 17 years and healthy, so I thought. It as May 21, 2008 and I was in for a follow up to a recent wrist fracture and I told my doctor that I wanted him to check out my chest that was elevated on the left side. My doc conducted a quick check and told me that he felt a lump in my abdomen. That day he scheduled a CAT scan and I had a follow-up appointment first thing 22 May, my wife Shelli’s birthday. Needless to say, first thing 22 May, my doctor handed us a box of tissues. Shelli and I looked at each other and new something was seriously wrong. I was diagnosed with Sarcoma, although the needle guided biopsy into my football size tumor in my left abdomen was crushed and the pathology report indicated, what the doctors thought was Sarcoma. We really didn’t know. Our journey began. First, I had to tell my 12 year old daughter, Morgan, that Dad was really sick and may die. We were preparing for death. Secondly we were trying to locate a doctor that would operate on the tumor that was very large, wraped around my kidney, and up against my aorta. It took about a month to decide where to go, where my insurance would be accepted, and where the best medical care was that we could find. We found it! We found everything and more at University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Villar, was my first hero! Oh, by the way, my men were crushed and the Army was very supportive although I found my own treatment. While we were waiting for surgery on July 11, we went on vacation to Mexico. And then we went on another vacation to San Diego. There are no vacations if you're in heaven.

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  2. 2
    • jetiv4
    • Experience with Classical Seminoma, Tes...
    about 5 years ago
    jetiv4's Avatar

    Tumor, kidney, & testicals removal

    Procedure or Surgery

    Where do I begin? After many mapping appointments for the upcoming Major Surgery many family members arrived to town. July 9th, we ate a turkey dinner, which may well have been my last Thanksgiving so it was my choice of my last supper; and actually everyone was having fun. July 11th couldn’t come sooner because I wanted the tumor out, and now. July 11, surgery day - It was cool Arizona day and the clouds were lower than the mountain tops; a little ominous so I took a picture. The first surgery went for 9 hours; however, it didn't matter to me, I was in a deep sleep. I don't remember anything but the anticipated gurney ride into the surgery room. Wow was it busy in there, but still everyone was very nice. I awoke in the ICU with a full time nurse monitoring me. Again, I don’t remember much, but I think my wife was the only one that was allowed to see me. Don’t know if she was allowed in, or if she stood behind the glass wall, but I remember seeing her. I was happy to see her. I was moved to a private room the following day and started seeing my family and friends. My surgeon arrived every morning to check my status and slap my 12 inch stabled incision and I believe it was day 2 or 3 after the surgery that the doc told me that my cancer was of a seminoma origin. “OK, what does that mean?” “That means you have 99% chance of living.” That was great news. To a point! The secondary scans, MRIs, sonograms, etc began. Then I found out that I would be having a second surgery, so the story goes. Second Major Surgery in a few days and it didn’t go well for me. I believed that I woke up during the surgery and panicked, but was told afterwards that I never woke. I remember it clear as day but who knows; an investigation was completed and was guaranteed that nothing happened. Hospitals take claims like this very serious. I still believe it happened. Days went by, family members came and went, roommates came and went and I was sick, I was hurting, I was throwing up everything I ate, I couldn’t go to the bathroom, and all I wanted to do was go home; so I did on day 9. I lied my way out, because hospitals won’t discharge you until you’re stable, holding down food and going to the bathroom. I told my wife I was going to die in here if I didn’t leave. She was angry with me, but she let me lie, she loved me. I went home. I went home with my wife, child, mother, sister, brother, in-laws, and uncle. We left together and I went home to my waiting best friend - my Reggie, my boxer, my dog. He was getting old but stayed with me until it was all over - then he died.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • jetiv4
    • Experience with Classical Seminoma, Tes...
    almost 5 years ago
    jetiv4's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    BEP, my body didn't like it. Didn't like it at all and the three rounds lasted about two months give or take. I vomited all day every day, night and day, everything I ate. My oncologist told me that he didn't have a patient that body refused it like mine did in the past 20 years. I was told the advancements in medications make it very easy to treat the side effects of chemo. Not my case, not at all. My sessions lasted about 5 hours a day due to only having one kidney and the precautions to keep my remaining kidney properly hydrated during the treatments. His plan worked and my renal function is stable to this day. I lost over 40lbs of my gross weight, lost my hair on my entire body, looked very pale, and to most people probably looked as if I was dying. People wouldn't look at me outside the hospital, the stare would move quickly with any eye contact. None of clothes fit and I didn't want to go to the store to buy anything new. I just wanted to sit at home and rest. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I hated myself. The only thing I ate was ramen noodles. I tried to drink protein shakes but couldn't keep it down. To say the least, I flirted with death the entire time. Again, my care was great at UMC North and I loved my nurses. They provided support and made me believe in the treatment. The National Cancer Society coordinated my hotels for the week long stays in Tucson and I paid nothing. I can't thank them enough. Acid reflux came in the last month and I had to sleep sitting up, the back spasms came too, and a hot bath was my only relief. What a nightmare! But the day finally came, when my last treatment was over. The support from wife, daughter, mother, family, the military and my insurance case manager made it worriless on me, I only had to recover. More to follow.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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