May 05, 2003 - 1:09 am
I hope I can serve as an inspiration...My first encounter with cancer was when I was 5 years old. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was very hard for my father who was managing his own company and us two kids. Mom was given radiation, chemo, and a lumpectomy. She fought for the better part of three years. Back in the 80's that was astonishing. But it wasn't easy for us kids too, me primarily. For the most part adults made it seemed that my mom was sick and that she was going to get better.I was in and out of hospice counseling. Mom spent months at Sloane Kettering in NYC. To this day, I believe she got the best care possible. Mom's cancer got worse..from the spine it traveled to the brain. She died on January 29, 1987, four days after her 31st birthday. Needless to say, my life wasn't the same from that point.Then the greatest of ironies. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 1999 at the age of 18 which doctors believe was the result of an underdeveloped testes because of my prematurity. I had to have my one teste removed and biopsy done. It was deemed an embroynal tumor. Thank god for no chemo or radiation. But I am not in the clear, I have to wait 5 years from the date of the tumor removal to be cured...so that date will be November 17, 2004. I vowed to use the same courage my mother had in my own struggle with the emotional aspect. It gave me an opportunity to revisit my mother and I would not have it any other way. I had a wonderful team of doctors help me. Dr. Giella of Pomona NY was my surgeon. Dr. Rolf Webber a Urologist in Dunkirk, NY diagnosed me. Dr. Sushil Bhardwaj of Good Smairatan in Suffern, NY was in charge of post-op oncology. Dr. Bhardwaj is a good friend of Dr. Einhorn who was the chief specialist that worked on Lance Armstrong. So, medically, I knew I was in good hands. If I can be of any assistance to anyone please let me know.