My Testicular Cancer Experience by Kenny May
"In July of 2011 I had discovered a lump on my left testicle. After a big push from my fiance to go to the doctor, I went and had an ultrasound done. There was indeed a mass on my left testicle. Soon after I was referred to a urologist. After his assessment, strongly recommended a left radical orchiectomy.
Less than a week later I was having my very first surgery. I was terrified. This happened really fast and kind of put me in a state of shock. The surgery went great and the path report had said it was a mixed cancer. Seminoma and non-seminoma. After that I saw a surgical oncologist, and a chemotherapy-oncologist. My surgical oncologist recommended a treatment of chemo, and my chemotherapy-oncologist suggested RPLND.
I didn't want to do unnecessary chemo treatment so I opted for the RPLND. In November of 2011, I found myself under the knife once more, but this time by a robot. They removed 13 lymph nodes and they all came back clear. At this point I was free of cancer. I made a few follow ups and everything was fine.
I became carefree again and almost forgot I had ever had cancer. Huge mistake. In February of 2014, I had some pain in my remaining testicle followed by abdominal pain. At first, I didn't think anything of it, it was very slight and quite random. A week went by and it was much worse and more constant. My fiance once again forced me to go see the doctor. I didn't feel any lumps and thought for sure everything was going to be fine. They did an ultrasound that very day and discovered two masses that took up over half of my remaining testicle.
Given my history, it was very concerning. The day after, I got in touch to my urologist and he was able to get me in the following Monday. The weekend was intense. So many thoughts and worries, and what I could have done to prevent this from happening again. He saw me that Monday and suggested an immediate open-biopsy. I was in for surgery that Tuesday. Like last time, this was happening way too quickly. I had no time to grasp what was really going on. This time it hit me much harder, the emotions were overwhelming.
The surgery went fine. The first thing I did when I woke up in the recovery room was feel to see if my remaining testicle was gone or still there. It didn't take me long to realize it was gone, which told me right away it was cancer. I was too drugged up to cry. I am currently under surveillance. The cancer this time was 100% seminoma, which is a good thing, if you're going to have any type of cancer.
I'm ordered to have blood work and chest x-rays every 3 months and a ct scan every 6 months for now. I also have to do hormone replacement therapy. This time I have taken cancer more seriously. I'm eating healthier than I was, which is quite hard to do, and I'm exercising more. People ask me if it's weird to not have my testicles after them being there for nearly 26 years, in a way it is, but it's more uncomfortable knowing there was a deadly disease in your body. It brings comfort to know that it's gone.
To every guy out there; always check yourself. Do not hesitate to go to the doctor if something doesn't feel right. There is a high cure rate for testicular cancer, especially if you catch it really early. Listen to your doctors and ask them questions. The only dumb question, is a question not asked."
This story was written by Kenny May. If you need someone to talk to about your diagnosis or treatment, Kenny is willing to give his advice. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.