As you would think, I was a little nervous going to the doctor about a bump on my testicle. It was a good thing I did though. The doctor checked me out and then referred me to a specialist. We were lucky we got to see him the same day. After that appointment, more awkwardness. I was scheduled to have a sonogram on my testicle the next day. After leaving the doctor’s appointment that day, I thought to myself, “This might be a little serious.” I think talking with my mother helped a little. She was able to calm me down in some ways like only mothers can.
It is the day of the sonogram, as a young 20 year old with the possibility of cancer looming, I’m nervous and anxious, I mean, all these people looking at your “nuts,” who wouldn’t be. Let’s just say some things you are just glad to get over. It was not painful at all, just awkward, like you’re on parade for the nurses, doctors and specialists, all looking and messing around with your stuff.
Later that day, when I was at home, we got a call from my Doctor. I was informed that I had a “Left Testicular Seminoma.” Of course I was like “A WHAT?” Well, it was Testicular Cancer. At this point, there were tons of thoughts going through my mind. You can just imagine what they were. Later that day we had to schedule a date to have surgery to remove my left testicle. The day of the surgery, I was a little nervous to say the least. But, I did have a great support system. I had my family and a few very close friends there. That always helps.
After the surgery, I had to recoup at home for few days. Well, it was more like a week or so. I then had Radiation Therapy for three weeks. I know that sounds like a long time. It was over before I knew it. The one thing that made going to therapy a lot easier, I had a very good friend go with me every day. Without asking, he went, or should I say made sure I went. It helps…We started joking about the whole process. “ONE” of the ways that I coped with having TC was humor. To this day, there is always a joke or reference to my “ONE” unique quality and it never gets old. The other thing that I have found out is that if you have a Positive Attitude about the whole process, it will make everything else seem like there is nothing in life that you cannot get through. It might not necessarily be the coping mechanism for everyone in dealing with TC, but Humor worked for me. You will have to figure out what works best for you in dealing with TC.
Last thing, if you find that you have TC…you are not alone. Like myself there are others that have had it. Like I did. I of course had it a long time ago before some people made it popular to have..(JOKE) like Lance Armstrong, John Kruk, Tom Green…and so on. I like to say that they found out about me and had to follow my lead…But seriously, If you find that you have TC, think you might have TC, GO SEE A DOCTOR!! This is CANCER…YOU CAN BEAT IT…the sooner you do self-exams the better! Stay Positive, Talk to a Survivor of TC, Ask questions, don’t hold it in!
24 Year Survivor Neal Herbert