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Introducing...Nick

WakesUpSmiling's picture
WakesUpSmiling
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

Hello Everyone,

My name is Nick. I am 31 years old, and I am a 3 year testicular cancer survivor. I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. I have never been part of a cancer survivors group or living with cancer group.

A little aboutt my disease for those who are interested. I was diagnosed when I was 28. I was stage four. I would like to tell how I was diagnosed, because I don't want this to happen to someone else. I was going to college at the time and had noticed two lumps had formed behind each nipple. I went to the medical center on campus and they stated that I had cysts and they would go away. After a while I had a milky discharge coming out of my nipples. I went back to the center and they said the same thing. This went on for about 6 months.

About the time of the Sept11 attacks I was having difficulty sleeping. Then before christmas, during finals week I had been awake for several days due to pain that build up where my kidneys are. I turned in my final project and went straight to the emergency room.

I was diagnosed with several things. I had kidney issues as well as pancreatitis. After a CAT scan it was discovered that, as the doctor said, my "body is riddled with tumors". I had so many they couldn't count. I had tumors from the testicle to the pelvis, kidneys, adrenal glands, stuck on my pancreas, stuck on the aorta, around the lungs, and lymph nodes. In a short order I was put on a feeding tube for a month to get rid of the pancreatitis where the tumors were forcing out pancreatic juices (I am grateful it wasn't pancreatic cancer) and upon that surgery for removal of a testicle. After that started the fun of four intense cycles of 5 days straight once a month for four months of cisplatin, bleomycin, and etoposide. I lost all my hair, I went from 190 to 138 lbs, I have never been sicker (and I was in the Navy, trust me we drank like fish and I was never as sick as this), and fatigue and depression were taking a foot hold. But, I never gave up.

After that, I thought everything was all said and done. But, no...Although my chemo cycle was extremely aggresive;my doctor said since I was young and in good health we should attack it aggresively and I am glad we did. At the time I didn't know but much later he said he was surprised I survived..they thought I had less than a 25% chance of survival. I am grateful he never told me that while I was going through chemo, he is an outstanding doctor with great bedside manners. But, I digress, after the chemo, there were many tumors left. I required surgery...Now for me, who went through hell already, this was the proverbial straw breaking the camels back. My reserves of strength and willpower were fastly depleted. After much thought I went ahead with it...a 13 hour surgery that took a kidney, 2 adrenal glands, gall bladder, switched the piping a bit and removed all the tumors that the chemo didn't take care of.

But, here I am, 3 years later...still kicking.
I am greatful and thankful to be alive and for the support of my family and friends.

My message to you going through this is:
1) Get a second opinion if you are in doubt.
2) Don't wait to see a doctor once you discovered a bump. The sooner you see a doctor, the better your survival if your bump is a tumor.
3) Never give up and always have hope.
4) Don't be afraid to ask for help.
5) Keep your family close.
6) If you survived. Be happy, be grateful, and enjoy your life!

Well that is my story, thank you for reading it, and I apologize if it was a bit long. I wish you all the best...keep fighting, have faith in yourself, and never give up no matter how hard it gets.

Nick

CIS_Admin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2004

Hello,

Thank you for sharing your story. If you are interested in contacting others on this board you can do so by clicking on the envelope icon below their name to contact then through the internal CSN email system. I hope that you are doing well.

Take care and be well,

Dana
CSN Dana

unibal's picture
unibal
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2003

Howdy Nick, my name is Richard
I also had testicular cancer in the left testicle, i didnt have things quite as rough as you but id be hard pressed to say it was an easy time for me. anyway email me if you wanna talk to someone who knows what its like.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Nick,

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer when I was 28 though it only spread as far as my abdominal lymph nodes. I am now 54. Have courage, long life is possible after testicular cancer.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rick

WakesUpSmiling's picture
WakesUpSmiling
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

Thanks for the replies guys. Congratulations to you both. I do have a question. Were either of you able to have children after the treatments? I should go get tested to see if I am still able, but, I was just curious. Again, thank you very much.

Dowling2548
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2006

Nick,

I was going to reply to your original post and tell you what an amazing story you have and how extraordinary you are. I scrolled down and noticed this post. I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer on July 23rd 2003. I initially had my cancerous right testicle removed and then I had my lymph nodes removed a few weeks later. I didn’t need chemo right away but ultimately did need it when the cancer relapsed 7 months later. I finished chemo on 6/1/2004 and have been “clean as a whistle” since.

As far as children, my urologist made no mention of it at all when I was first diagnosed. After it relapsed and I was referred to my oncologist freezing semen was maybe his first suggestion right before chemo started (Bleo/Cisplatin/Eptoside).

I knew I was good after the orchiectomy and the lympectomy (they checked it). I think it was 50/50 that I would be good after chemo. I never got it checked because I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know. My fiancé however “talked” me into it (lol). I was told I have excellent sperm.

I’m not sure what your odds we’ll be but it seems you are pretty good at beating odds. I went to the original place I had it frozen at to get it checked. It was called “The Women’s Institute for Fertility” or something. It was included in my storage, but it only cost $100 if you were to walk in.

Good luck if you have it checked. If you have any more questions etc, feel free to contact me.

BigSkyDude
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2007

Very moving story Nick. I too had testicular cancer 2 yrs ago at the age of 38. I did not go through anything like the horrors you experienced. However, it would be nice to correspond with you sometime. I just found this site and am in the process of making my bio page. I don't personally know anyone that had or has testicular cancer and it would be nice to have someone to talk with.
Kurt

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