As some of you may already know, I was diagnosed with cancer on Wed, October 15, 2008. Wow, what a difficult thing to hear from your doctor. I had gone to the doctor on September 29th with complaints of swelling and generally knowing something was not right... the symptoms had only been there for a couple of weeks prior but I knew something was not normal. Our family doctor put me on 10 days of antibiotics and said if things had not changed before my trip to India the following week then I should give him a call back. Friday came and I felt better; no discomfort and maybe even the swelling had gone down a little but certainly it was not gone. I went to India for the week and came back excited and energized about a deal we've been working. It was a successful trip by all measures.
Kathy and the kids had been sick and so I returned from India to an infested house... A couple of days later, I too got a scratchy throat and so off to the doctor again; this time for my throat and "oh, by the way... ...can you recheck this swelling thing?" After a minute or two, the doctor recommended we get a closer look with a sonogram. She made an appointment for me 30 minutes later; so off I went. Sonogram only took 30 min; so off to my next appointment.
That's when the call came. "Frank are you with someone? Are you with your wife?" "...No, but now you have to tell me what is going on, Doc!" "It's cancer."
I left my appointment only knowing that I had to get to Kathy and somehow break the news while trying to insulate the kids from what I knew would be a moment of intense fear for both of us. I called my Mom and Dad en route (something I regret to this day). In a moment not thought through at all; I let it out. First to my Mom who was home alone and then in a separate call to my dad who was out with friends. Like I said... I was not thinking. I've apologized for how I handled the situation because I totally failed to think of the undue stress and emotional anguish I would put them through; but sometimes you just need your mommy & daddy even if you're 37 years old.
I arrived home and asked Kathy to join me in the bedroom. I shut the door and shared the news. We took a few moments to cry in each others arms.
The next couple of days was filled with information gathering... I went to a urologist the next day who scheduled me for surgery on Monday, October 20th.
The surgery went well and I healed quickly...
The next week was filled with one example of grace after the other. First we learned that testicular cancer is very treatable and curable. We also learned the type of cancer was seminomous which was the "best" kind to get. Next we learned that it had not progressed into my lymph system. If it had; I would likely have been scheduled for another major surgery where they remove the lymph system.
So with the removal of the cancer and it not having spread to my lymph system; two paths were explained to us: 1. wait and see or 2. radiation treatments to sterilize the lymph system and almost ensure recovery long term (99.9% is cured long term).
So that brings us to this week where I started Radiation treatments. I've been doing OK but remain nauseous most of the day. I've lost 2 1/2 lbs in my first week and hope that the increased medication will help with this temporary symptom. I'm looking forward to this being behind us. Mid December 2008 and all should be back to "normal" Wow, what a month will bring!