A blog post by TCAF Board of Directors member Scott Petinga, on the devastating effects that Low Testosterone can have on your life and those that you love, after fighting Testicular Cancer.
In 3 glorious days – magic will happen. My three little girls will tip-toe out of bed as the light of dawn starts to peak up over the homes in our neighborhood. Their eyes will sparkle, their hearts will beat thunderously and time will stand still for a brief, undisturbed second. They will undoubtedly yell and scream for Joanna and I to come witness this incredible event. The two of us, like always, will race out of our bedroom followed by our three furry-friends to partake in one of the most wonderful times of the year.
Fortunately, this year will be much different than years past. I will actually be happy. Not just the typical shit-eating grin, fake smile in candid photos happy, but I’ll be amazed, beyond happy and truly grateful. Ultimately, I will be saying goodbye to the old me. The me full of anxiety, mood swings and irritability, impatience, lack of energy, decrease concentration and memory and appetite and sleep problems. It’s the aftermath of my cancer diagnosis that doctors have failed to recognize and I’ve been living with for the last 10 years. Physically it feels as if I have been riding a bull – getting horned and thrashed around like a rag-doll for 3,890 days. It not only wreaked complete havoc on my body it also ruined my marriage.
Yes, I’m no longer legally married. Mainly because of my own doing or lack thereof. To define the relationship as a roller coaster would be an understatement. During much of our tumultuous union I’ve been this way. I was diagnosed with cancer less than 30 days after our vows. Luckily for me, Joanna believed in those sacred words, "for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” She tried unbelievably hard to hold the family together. In spite of that, I throw in the towel this past April. I gave up. I quit. I was done trying. My emotions got the best of me. I just couldn't handle it anymore.
Several months later I felt defeated. I lost my best friend, became a part-time dad – against my own will. I basically lost everything I ever dreamed of and worked for. My hormonal imbalance was out of control. My life unraveling faster and as chaotic as a toddler with a Duncan yo-yo. I needed normalcy and needed it fast. On August 5th of this year, I had a meeting that would change my life. I was on a mission in search of answers. This wasn’t the first time either. I’ve traveled the country, sought after the top doctors and even moved to the Twin Cities to be closer to the Mayo Clinic; unfortunately I was left unfilled by the encounters. Nonetheless, what an incredible day it turned out to be. I was extremely impressed with the highly-trained physicians at USC and their passion, determination and most of all the chemistry between us. The meeting also left me vindicated. My symptoms that I have are indeed real, not uncommon and definitely not a figment of my imagination.
Life started all over again in the brisk fall. Surrounded by vibrant colors, shorter days and star-studded skies. I realized that I was unequivocally lost without Joanna. She was my guiding light, my muse. The reason I did so many of the things I did. I was destined to rekindle the old flame – hoping it wasn’t too late and her love for me was at least still smoldering and not completely extinguished. We talked for ever. Hours turned into days. Days into weeks. She shed a few tears and on even one occasion I was a total train-wreck. I had a full-blown Lindsay Lohan meltdown. After awhile we decided to live separately for a number of weeks while we dated one another. Fast-forward to right before Thanksgiving and our family is whole again – yet definitely different this time. We both long for each other when we are apart and cherish each other when we are together. Besides I realized only Joanna can give me that feeling.
Since the summer, I have had dozens more conversions with the USC team and even a number of visits out to Los Angeles - the last one being just a few days ago. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be bare-assed at a surgical center surrounded by a few male doctors. I was there to receive hormone pellet therapy – I have hypogonadism and need testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The treatment will provide a steady, low dose of natural hormone that flows straight into my blood stream, restoring my body’s normal hormone levels – something that hasn’t happened for over a decade. That brief moment after the procedure symbolized the slow death of my old self. Like Tim Tebow’s career he will quickly fade away.
Thus, after the magnificent festivities and as the sun sets on this up-coming holiday I will say my final goodbye to my Mr. Hyde. Have a Merry Christmas and I hope I never f*cking see you again.
Joanna Pluszcz - Thank you for noticing my soul could be saved. I love you girl!
Dr. Beth Traylor - You are the spark that ignited the revolution.
Doug Sborov - Your friendship is priceless.
Jonny Imerman - You truly are America’s matchmaker. Love you Bro!
Dr. Sia Daneshmand - I look forward to changing the world of medicine with you.
TCAF Board Member