Strength Is Freedom

I was a prisoner of my past.  My prison warden was someone called “I used to”.  “I used to” would remind me of my previous accomplishments lifting humongous weights, running long distances, and various feats of acrobatics.  The warden was quick to steal the joy out of my life and pull the rug out from under me whenever I attempted to regain the strength I was so proud of having before.  I spent many days feeling sorry for myself and lamenting the things I could no longer do until one day I decided I was done with the suffering.

Read More
Living Under the Shadow Of Cancer

Cancer. The bastard disease of humankind that kills without hesitation, without prejudice. It is one of the most dreaded words in the medical world, especially if you are a patient. Cancer will turn a world upside down, backwards, and inside out. And more than likely, cancer will be what kills me in the end. That’s a depressing thought to have I know. It’s one of those things that is just ingrained in my mind, and something that contributes to daily anxiety. Let me break it down for you.

Read More
Jeremiah Ray - High Dose Chemotherapy Day -5

where and how do i begin explaining high dose chemotherapy with (tandem) stem cell transplants? i have been considering how i should go about describing the process, however i wasn’t even sure i understood it correctly. 
in my case, and this might be the same for other patients, i am not sure, but upon admittance the clock starts at “day -5” (day negative 5). so, “day 0” is when i get my stem cells back. days -5 — 0 are, as you might have guessed, chemo days.

Read More
Ambassador Bio: Jason Greenspan

Hi guys! My name is Jason Greenspan and I'll be a five-year Testicular Cancer survivor in November 2017. In May 2012, I was a very healthy 18-year-old and in my senior year of high school. I already applied to colleges and was excited to attend my senior prom. A week before my prom, I was watching television and had a simple itch. That itch ended up being the most important itch of my entire life. I noticed something hard; something I hadn’t noticed before. I went to the doctors a few days later and he said the words I never thought I would hear; “YOU HAVE CANCER.” When the doctor said those words, my world stopped. The only thing I could think of is what my future would be like. I was diagnosed with Stage IIA Testicular Cancer.  

Read More
Jeremiah Ray - Harvesting II (cell counts)

not the best quality images, but this shows the rapid increase of white blood cells that occurs post nadir (lowest point that an individual’s blood cell count reaches after chemo) coupled with growth factor injections. it is also clear, looking at the counts, why i was suffering from a neutropenic fever and spent a few days in the hospital hooked up tp IV antibiotics and fluids. 

Read More
Infertility After Testicular Cancer

It has been a year since my first blog for TCAF, and I finally feel ready to openly talk about why it took so long to write this. This time last year was extremely hard for me. Four months out from Nate’s RPLND, life had slowly begun returning back to normal and the realities of what that meant were hitting hard. Not only were we recovering from everything we had been through during our cancer journey, but we were suddenly facing a new challenge... infertility.

Read More
Ambassador Bio: Chris Osborn

Hello! I’m Chris Osborn a two-time late stage testicular cancer survivor, I’ve been through 4xEP, 1xBEP, 1xVIP, and 2xHDC with stem cell transplant, and RPLND. I am also a type 1 diabetic. I joined TCAF Ambassadors to help others going through testicular cancer, I have some unique medical conditions and I hope I can pass the knowledge I have acquired over the past few years to anyone who needs it! Here is a brief history of my experience with testicular cancer.

Read More
TCAF at Country Jam 2017

Country Jam 2017 is a wrap, and TCAF was there. Country Jam is an annual 4 day country music festival near Grand Junction, CO, which this year featured Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore, Randy Houser, and so many other great artists! We'll let the pictures do the talking! Thanks to all of the wonderful TCAF volunteers and friends that came out, and for helping to make this event a success!

Read More
Jeremiah Ray - Harvesting

After being in the hospital for 5 days, my oncologist was worried that if i didn’t make it Thursday to collect and thus left only Friday, we were taking a massive gamble as most people need at least two days to collect all the stem cells they will need for a transplant. if i were to wait until Friday and NOT gather all the cells, we’d have to finish up on Monday and just hope the injections were still assisting in generating the needed stem cells. it’s not only the shots that are assisting in this generation of cells! the whole reason for undergoing the monstrous round of chemo/etoposide was to send the body (after nadir) into white blood cell count overdrive! add daily shots to the mix to assist this and boom – massive (daily, maybe hourly?) jumps in cell counts. 

Read More
Jeremiah Ray - Neutropenic Fever

after spending the better part of the day yesterday (saturday) confined to my bed and lacking all energy, i decided to take my temperature, again. i had taken it earlier in the day and it was slightly below normal (97.9F). however, in the later afternoon, when i could barely gather myself to make tea, i thought it best to take it again. it was 100.8F and rising. normally, i would pop some tylenol and call it a night. however, considering the monstrous round of chemo undergone barely a week ago, i thought it best to head over to the ER.

Read More
Ambassador Bio: Carl Russell

Hi, I am Carl Russell.   I am 48 years old and a lifelong resident of the Great State of Texas.   I am a son, brother, spouse and father to my family.  I am a military veteran with 8 years active duty in the U.S. Army, of which 9 months was spent in Southwest Asia to support Operation Desert Shield, Storm and Provide Comfort.  I have lived a great life, but nothing prepared me for the day I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer.

Read More