On Saturday, August 5th, the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation was at Rugged Maniac in Mohnton, Pennsylvania for the day to raise awareness about Testicular Cancer. Jason Greenspan from the TCAF East Crew attended this event. Rugged Maniac is a 5K obstacle course which travels to different cities across the country.
My last post was all about how talking about cancer can be awkward for those who aren’t experiencing it personally, but talking about testicular health as a survivor can be just as hard. I've also shared about some excuses guys may use to avoid doing a self-exam regularly. The topic of testicles can be considered impolite, even if it’s coming from a place of education. One of the primary goals of ABSOT is to get these “private” conversations out in the open, but that’s easier said than done. So to help, a la Barney Stinson’s Playbook from How I Met Your Mother, I’ve crafted various ways to bring up self-checks and testicles into everyday dialogue, based on some real life experiences.
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.
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.
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!
In November of 2016, myself and a representative with the Emerald Coast Beard and Mustache Alliance (ECBMA) put on a few events to raise money for TCAF, and the "Go Nuts for No Shave November" campaign.
It was a beautiful and emotional day for the Jordan Jones Memorial Golf Tournament back on May 20th, 2017, at the at Adobe Creek National Golf Course. It was the 7th annual golf tournament benefiting the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.
One of the most popular books for pregnant women is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. This book details the physical, mental, and emotional changes they’ll undergo as they travel through their journey and get that happy news - it’s a healthy boy/girl.
As I began chemo in November 2016, I realized a male-centric version, entitled What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chemo (Because Your Testicle Decided to Go Rogue and Try to Kill You) would have been a helpful title in my library. Unfortunately, this volume has yet to be written (which I’m going to chalk up to the obnoxiously long title). It looks like it’s up to me. I’ll be penning the first draft here, based on my experience of three rounds of BEP chemo.
Nothing matters more to all of us at the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation than getting out into the public, and helping to raise awareness about testicular cancer. It's the number one form of cancer in men ages 15-44, yet almost no one talks about the disease! The rate of testicular cancer in young men is nearly the same as the rate of breast cancer in young women, yet all you ever see are pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness campaigns. There's nothing wrong with that, but we need to be talking about men's cancers and testicular cancer, too! We need to see more BLUE out there, and so it was great to see so much awareness activity this past week by TCAF Ambassadors in both schools and at health fairs.
Today is a very special day. Not only does today mark the start of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, but my husband, Nate, and I are also celebrating a huge milestone. He is officially two years cancer free! Considering that the majority of relapses occur in the first two years, this is a moment we have cautiously awaited for the last 731 days. I feel so grateful to TCAF founder, Kim Jones, for the opportunity to write my first blog in support of all past and present testicular cancer patients and caregivers during such a monumental moment in our lives.
We are excited to be hosting the Wego Health weekly Health Activist Chat (#HAChat) on Twitter this Tuesday, at 3pm EST. We'll be discussing testicular cancer awareness month and testicular cancer education for an hour!
Take a look at the word cloud above. These words, all of them, spoken by people who have faced testicular cancer, used to describe what their experience was like. Take a moment to go through them and see how many you can identify. Chances are people who have faced cancer of any kind can relate to a lot of those words.
Infertility, especially in men who do not have children and wish to conceive after treatment is a great concern to newly diagnosed patients. Unfortunately, this often gets mentioned in a passive way by doctors, and many men are not fully educated on the potential risks.
Bravelets as a company was then launched in January of 2012 with 10 different colors representing 10 different causes. Since then, Bravelets has come to support over 100 different causes from cancer to autism, to mental health. To date, they have donated more than $350,000 to different organizations.
There is a lot of information thrown at new patients when they are diagnosed with testicular cancer. Aside from the emotional toll that a diagnosis can take, there is understanding surgeries, treatments, appointments, and more. Even though it can be a lot to take in, comprehend, and process, there are still things that a lot of oncologists don't discuss about treatment for testicular cancer. One of the more pressing issues a man can end up facing after treatment is low testosterone. Too often, it is not discussed by the doctors, and many men face the challenges that can be presented by "Low T".
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