Apr 05, 2005 - 7:13 pm
I just discovered this site so I thought I would throw my two cents in.
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1977, when I was 29 years old. I was also a late Stage Four when they told me why I had so much pain. I had cancer all through my back, all through my abdoman, up my spine, I had twelve tumors in my lungs, and my entire lymph node system was infected. I was given six weeks to live, if that. The first four doctors I went to for treatment told me not to waste my time, go out and get my life in order because I was gonna DIE!
So I checked into the hospital on December 21, 1977 and spent the next six months going in for eight days and out for two weeks (to get my strength and blood counts back up) and in for eight days and out for two weeks, etc., etc. I was in the clinical trials of cyst platinum, bliomycin, and valban (hey - so I can't spell).
What a Bitch!! Especially the platinum!! I had every side effect you could possibly have - physical pain, vomiting 24/7, including going totally blind for about a week. I also got a severe case of phlebidis in my left leg due to some of my lymph nodes shrinking and had to go on heperin and some other blood thinners while on chemo.
After taking ALL the chemo they could possibly give me, I went in for another CT Scan and still found active cancer. SO . . . . .they gave me more of the three chemos. After that, they put me through another CT Scan and STILL found active cancer. So, after a consultation with my family (all there was was my sister and me) we went in to surgery and I had 117 lymph nodes removed. Ten hours on the table and 30 days waiting for the results. They told me if the surgery didn't work, I should go to Mexico and drink as much tequila as I possibly could 'cause I wasn't going to be around much longer.
Well . . . .when we got the results from the lab, I was in total remission. Everything was dead. I actually was one of the first to go into total remission with these new drugs.
Having cancer at such a young age was certainly an eye opener for me. I had already been to Vietnam (22 months in country) and had been through college and had a career - but certainly the experience of all the pain and the stress of the expereince teaches you a lot. Once a cancer patient (survivor) always a cancer patient.
It's been 25 years and I have had a life that I wasn't suppose to have. Although I've been sterile the whole time because of the chemo and surgerys, and I've had some physical challenges the entire time because of the cancer, it's a small price to pay to be able to live a little longer, help other people, live in this beautiful Country, and leave the World a little bit better place.
So if any of you reading this are challenged by cancer or anythng else,