This post was sent to us anonymously from a testicular cancer survivor, who speaks about the struggles he has faced after his battle with TC.
"You don't survive cancer, at least not in some places."
Yes, this statement might hit you hard, if you are cancer patient, or your close friend or relative has cancer. And no, this story is not against medical science. Scientists and doctors, in fact, are good people. They sometimes, just for the sake of your happiness, say things like "nothing is going to happen to you." You at least get a glimmer of hope by this statement.
But what medical people will not tell you is how socially this may hamper your life. The moment you were diagnosed with cancer, your fate changed. The lines on your palm changed. The future in front of you changed. And some people in your life...CHANGED.
I am from a part of the world where treatment is expensive, and not everyone survives. There is a lack of education, awareness and social factors make it even worse. Most of them are unaware about the symptoms and unable to detect disease at early stages. Survival gets tough, since it's not possible for everyone to afford the best doctor, the best hospital, the best treatment. Eventually you become a "story", which everyone talks about. People do not discuss the disease, and even if they do, they discuss about how one died or what happened to someone and how miserable his/her life became. They do not come to support, instead, they come once, and give fake sympathy.
But thank you God for blessing us with parents & friends. There were the only ones to provide support and drive to return back to normal.
For me, that night was horrible. It came as shock. It was scary. There were thoughts like "it did these germ cell tumors happen to me?"
It all started with a little pain and some uneasiness in my right testicle. Thank God, I am educated, I had internet access and thanks to Larry & Sergey for Google. I read a couple of things about this pain on Google, decided to go to doctor next day. He asked me to immediately get a sonogram where he said it could be a "germ cell tumor". I had never heard this term in my life. That;s when I went back home Googled everything and that night, I read a lot, for the first time about cancer. I decided to tell my parents the next morning. I didn't want to ruin their sleep that night, though deep inside, I knew, the rest of the night will be ruined.
6 months have passed since then. 1 orchiectomy and 2 rounds of BEP chemotherapy, and I am now okay. I am back to work, but not back to normal. Why? In these 6 months my life got changed, fate got changed, and some people changed. I owe a hearty thanks to the medical team, that I am fine today.
I WAS engaged. I had my wedding venue booked, my honeymoon tickets booked. And now they have asked me to break-up with her. They say, "We are scared for our daughter." They say "We have seen lot of problems in last 20 years." She lost her father when she was 3. Her uncle is suffering from some other type of cancer, 4 operations 4-5 types of chemotherapy, and still his chances are slim. He himself now says to her, "I have seen all this. I am trying, but I know I wont live more, so please take your decision very carefully, don't hurt your mom."
They family has seriously not seen happiness in the last 20 years, but then what should we do? We loved each other, we accepted each other as husband and wife, we were about to get married. We planned our life together, we dreamt together. We don't need any rituals to get married, so how do we part ways?
I can understand the fear my fiancee's family has. Especially with the experiences that they have gone through. A lot of people have that kind of fear once cancer has affected someone they love, and it's hard for them to look beyond past experience and hard to not think of the worst scenario sometimes. Especially if some doctors say "I might not be able to father a child", or "This might happen again" though there is only a 5% chance of this. One said "If i had been at your place, I would have not gotten my daughter married to a guy with this problem." There was "We know about this disease and we can cure it, but we cannot make any social decision. He will be fine, the rest is on you." "No one takes 5% guarantee, you might get hit with a car outside this dispensary. Who knows?"
These statements make them more worried about their daughter. They are not wrong.
My life has changed. The way I used to think about it,. The perspective has changed. There WAS the fear of "what if it comes back", but I have been able to overcome this, due to various blogs, articles and most importantly my friends and my parents. We discussed it with so many doctors, and they all say one thing "yeah you are fine and you will live fine". But I keep asking one question, "What now? What should I do" I don't enjoy my work any more. I want to go away, somewhere close to nature, somewhere away from this lifestyle, away from these gadgets, technology, traffic, pollution, and crowded places. I want to go away to some peace.
Officially I am not engaged any more. But my heart beats for her and it will always beat for her. She was with me at that time, and she is still with me. I know, she does pray for me everyday, every time. She fought with her family, made them understand, talked, cried and cried out loud,. She cried in bed, and fell asleep with tears on her cheeks.
I wish to be with her, and take her somewhere far away for whatever life that is left in me. I want to make her smile. I want to fulfill her dreams.
Doctors do not tell, that society might change for you, or how will they look upon you. What comments will be passed. They all might say "wish you a good life" with the though at the back, they will say "Tch Tch, Tch, this is so sad. He was such a good guy".
People will relate the past with it. People will find all the reasonable-unreasonable points to call this relation off. They will link every disease, every superstition thing with this. But no one of them will say, "You are gonna make it, and you will marry her someday".
A lot of emotions and lot of feelings cannot and could never be converted into words. There were nights that made me anxious of loosing her and even I cry alone. I am scared of losing her. Though numerous motivational videos, blogs, articles you read, you see people doing tremendous thing after cancer. But then, these things haunt you at every time of the day. You feel like you are losing the grip on your life. When your personal life gets devastated, if affects your work. Though each day I am trying hard to prove my mettle. My my heart gets heavy over my mind and it tells it stupid things. I have cried inside many times in a single day and I just hide it inside better these days.
And I say to myself "You really don't survive cancer easily."
I Love you my wife....