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chemo vs. surgery

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

I am married to a man who has testicular cancer. He is 30. I am 29 years old and we have 3 children (1 boy, 2 girls). We just had a baby girl on June 19 (4 weeks early) and found out he has the cancer on July 13. He had the surgery to remove his right testicle on July 16 ( our daughters due date). Recovery has not been to hard for him thank god. We are now finding out that we have a long road ahead of us. It is either chemo or another surgery to remove lymphnodes or he could have to have both. We are done haveing children now so that complication (due to surgery or chemo) is not a problem. This is so hard to deal with. I can not imagine what my husband is going through. What I would like to know is if the surgery to remove the lymphnodes is really as bad as people say it is. And what about the chemo? Is it also really bad?

redheadbass2's picture
redheadbass2
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2007

Doris,

I had the Retro Peritoneal Lymphnode Dissection (RPLND) at IU in Indianapolis, IN (where Lance Armstrong had his surgery). "Nerve Sparing Surgery" is the Key.

For me, having the RPLND meant that I did not have to have 5-10 years of surveillance + CT Scans...

Instead, it was just the RPLND with 2 years of Surveillance (Blood work and Chest X-ray) with Chemo ONLY IF they found cancer there.

They did not find cancer in my lymphnodes, so I did not need Chemo.

I have a 9 inch scar on my abdomen that swoops around my navel. Other than that...I think I turned out alright. I'm 2.5 years out and "99.9% Cancer Free"

Tell your husband I'll talk to him on these discussion boards if he likes--I was 22 when I was Diagnosed, and my wife and I have a 16 mo old boy/ball of fire (who came 3 months early, yikes)!

Take care,

Brandon

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

He went and got his first blood work done today. I am hopeing for the best!!!

tnkjohnson2008
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

Doris,

We appear to be in a very similar situation as you...he is 37, i am 29, i have 2 kids, he has never been able to :( but we are looking to adopt...anyways, Thomas was diagnosed july 19th with testicular cancer, had his left testicle removed the 27th...we received news from the doctor that day that the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes...he will require chemo, radiation, surgery or a combination...we will find out aug 5th...so far he is doing very well from the surgery, praise god....i am worried about the surgery of removing lymph nodes as i have heard scary things about it also, and as a healtcare provider have seen first hand the effects of radiation and chemo...i am scared for him but will never tell him that, i just try to encourage him as much as possible and be there to answer his questions..if i dont know the answer i turn to the internet to look and tell him what i found or didnt find etc...my best advice to you is to go online and research whatever questions you may have as i have found i find more straight forward answers on here...i have talked to nurses and hospital staff but they seem to beat around the bush or dont know but try to pretend they do, and its hard to get the dr on the phone to ask him...anyways i am sorry if i am on a never ending tangent making no sense...my mind hasnt been working properly in the last few weeks :) If there are any questions you havent found answers to i would be more than happy to help you out and find out alongside you...we may have answers for each other as well...god bless and i will keep you and your family in my prayers...
Kymberli

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

Well we got the results back and they are not good. Instead of his counts going down or back to normal they have went up, ALOT. Dr. called him yesterday. My husband has to start chemo as soon as posible. From what I am told he is going to have a port put in sometime this week and go from there. This is so scary. He is going through so much. I want him to have the surgery first just so we know those lymphnodes are gone and then do chemo but I guess the doctor does not want to do it that way. Oh well, doctors know best.

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

Kymberli,

He has finished the first week of chemo. He does 5 days for 6 to 8 hours each day for the first week. Today he had to go in and get a shot to help his immune system. Monday he gors in for chemo but only for 30 minutes, then the rest of the week off. Same thing for the following week. Then the process starts all over again. He has to have 3 of these sessions. He had a pet scan done a week and a half ago and it came back good so no large tumors. Good news!!! Doctor says hopefully after chemo it will all be gone. I am praying this is so. I didnt realize how hard this would be. He is very, very weak.

So how is it going for you guys? I hope and pray he is doing well to.
Write back and let me know how everyone is.

Doris

Bookbuffrbm
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer for the 2nd time. The 1st time was 15 years ago (he was 23 years old and we were engaged) He had a stage 1 seminoma that was treated with orchiectomy and radiation. We have been married for almost 14 years and have 1 son. In late July he had his 2nd orchiectomy and the tumor was found to be stage 1 non-seminoma. His recent bloodwork has been good, showing the levels going down and his CT scan was "unremarkable". He will turn 39 in 2 weeks and this is hitting him very hard! We have been told that because of the previous radiation treatment surgical removal of the lymph nodes is not an option. So now he is facing chemo and is very distressed about the possible side effects. Running has become a serious hobby for him over the past few years, and he has run marathons in PA, NY, TX, Washington DC, FL, as well as the Boston Marathon. He is very concerned about the chemo effecting his lung capacity. In addition to all of this he has a problem with alcohol (he's a functional alcoholic/binge drinker). He was just starting to deal with his alcoholism and was doing really well when all of this cancer stuff happened. He tends to hold his emotions in, so often the only time I really hear about his feelings is at 3am and after he's had 2 or 3 glasses of scotch. He is a good husband, and a good father, but I don't know how to handle his drinking and his cancer at the same time. I feel like if he keeps drinking he is going to hurt his recovery; and I'm worried that he is going to refuse chemo, which will mean years of frequent blood work & CT scans. If there is anything that anyone out there can tell me about their chemo treatment and any long term side effects it would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for listening.

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

I know our doctors told us that he is not suppose to drink at all while having chemo. My husband is starting his 3rd week of chemo today. It is hard, very hard. He just started losing his hair this weekend. He dosent have much of an appetite while having chemo but on the 2 weeks he only has chemo 1 time each week his appetite comes back. He is on a 3 week cycle. The first week he goes every day for 6-8 hours a day. The next 2 weeks he goes in on monday for 1 hour each time. He will do this for 3 cycles. if you have any questions or need someone to talk to write me!!! Take care!

Doris

Tami2501
Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer as well. It has been so hard. At times he seems to be doing so well and I am falling apart. He started chemo this week, same as your husband (BEP) with 3 cycles broken down in 3 weeks each cycle. The first week is 5 days of chemo lasting about 4-6 hours each day, followed by one day of chemo for two weeks, then it starts over again. As of tomorrow we will be on day 5 of chemo. He is taking it well, but in the evening is a little down. He has not had surgery yet, his has already spread to his lymph nodes in his neck (this was confirmed by a lymph node biopsy). They are doing chemo first to get ahold of the cancer and prevent it from spreading and them plan on doing the surgery when chemo is complete. I will start giving him is Neupogen (the medicine to control his blood count) shots on Sunday. He will get these every non-chemo day through day 17 of each cycle.

I knew it would be rough and at time still can't believe this is happening. I am scared for him, I know chemo is hard on your body. It is comforting to know there are others that know what we are going through. When did your husband start loosing his hair? this part seems to bother my husband the most. The nurse said it might happen about 6 weeks in. Did he ever get nausated, if so when did it start? So far my husband has not had any nausea or vomiting but he has started belching alot and getting the hiccups. The doctors says the hiccups could be a side effect of the chemo. So far they have not been too bothersome.

Tami

Doris_Holman
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband is on the same treatment as yours except he only get the shot for his immune system once after the week long chemo. He goes monday thru friday and then saturday he gets the shot. He has has the neausea and vomiting. Vomiting just started last night. The hiccups were real bad but he also got what they call permanant heart burn. The doctor gave him nexium and it helped alot. The hair loss started day 14. We were told that it would start after 2 weeks and it did. It isnt so bad. He will lose his hair but think about what the positives are compared to the negatives that the chemo has. He will have his life!!! It is a very hard proccess. What they have to go through is pure torcher. What I have learned is that I have to be very patient with him. This is the hardest thing I have every had to deal with. What with having 3 kids under the age of 7. My daughter was only 3 weeks old when we found out. The two oldest know there daddy is sick but they dont understand what cancer is. I wish you guys they best of luck and if you ever need someone to talk to write me.

Doris

redheadbass2's picture
redheadbass2
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2007

This could maybe be a resource for your husband...

Cancer Hope Network: 877-467-3638

Cancer Hope Network is a nonprofit organization that matches adult cancer patients with trained volunteers who have undergone and recovered from a similar cancer experience. In one particular program, volunteers who have themselves been on clinical trails provide emotional support to patients who are considering participating in a clinical trial.

The one-on-one telephone support provided by volunteers is free and confidential. Support for family members is also available. In some instances, Spanish-speaking patients/survivors may also be accommodated.

The Web site includes information about support programs and an internet form for requesting services. http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org

They say there is 'nothing new under the sun,' maybe there is somebody that is volunteering at Cancer Hope that has had a similar experience?

I'll keep ya'll in my thoughts and reflections!

Best,

Brandon

shaneo123
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

hey there i am 20 and really shitting my self because i have found a lump on my right testical and i been doing sum reading on it and i am to scared to go to the docters because i dont want to no the worst thing eg(testicular cancer) because from the sound off the treatments are making me freak out and worry i never like hospitals but i just want to talk to some one that has gone throw the treatment and can tell me the truth about what happneds

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