Thursday, December 27, 2012

great balls of ........ Testicular cancer

Yes, I know; my choice of attention grabbing title is a bit un-lady like? Well, it was the first quirky thought that came to mind and so I went with it. I know, I already touched on it in a previous post but I wanted to mention it in its own post. When my brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in July, I knew nothing about it. I can honestly tell you that, if I were a guy and felt a lump in my 'area', I would have immediately thought it was a hernia. After all, that seems to be what we always knew of those sorts of things. Men/boys often times had hernias there. Hence, the reason they do sports physicals etc.. and they examine men/boys for it. Well, after I found out that my 22 year old brother was now afflicted with it, I did what everyone else does - that they shouldn't. I started surfing the internet for any information I could find. What were the statistics? What were the fertility stats? What if it has spread? Was it aggressive? Man, oh man, were there a lot of stories. Blogs, articles, stories of survivors. I even came upon one blog on a young man, who had felt the lump but had brushed it off. Only to finally address it, once it had already spread far beyond what would have maybe saved his life. SO sad.
I can only hope that young men or men of ANY age, will not let these things slide. Ever.
My brother had his lump for a little over 2 weeks (although if you ask him to be honest, he'll tell you it was longer). Even the doctor knew that it had some good time to grow to the size it was. My brother had been going to the gym and probably thought he pulled something. Just like I figured he had. I dread to think that he could've let it go even longer and it wouldn't have been as good an outcome as it was. It was caught early, and though there had been some vascular invasion, it wasn't all out alarming. The vascular invasion is what really gave the doctors the knowledge to suggest that they start chemotherapy treatments. Vascular invasion means that the cancer is entering the veinous system and therefore is apt to enter the heart, where it will then be pumped out into the rest of the body and surrounding organs. Kind of weird - The heart almost serves as this huge pumping station. I hadn't thought of it like that.
It's the same with anything. Don't let suspicious things/lumps go unseen by a doctor. You know your body better than ANY one.
You know when changes have come about and when something doesn't seem right.
I'm so glad that my brother got that nudge from his guardian angel and called my sister, albeit nonchalantly, to say "hey, I have this lump...."
I will never forget that text I got from my sister telling me it was cancer.
It was a moment forever etched in my mind but thank God for early detection and that he hadn't let it go. SO many people do that and I can't say that I might'nt if it were me. We always fear the worst; I know. Know your body and always get things checked. Better safe than sorry.
What I would also like to note is that boys who are born with an undescended testicle, if left untreated, they are at a higher risk for developing testicular cancer.
My brother was, in fact, born with an undescended testicle. Ladies, if you have a boy, who also has this, stay connected with your pediatrician and ask them what you can do about it.
*** I posted this because I wanted to offer some encouraging words, support, and hope that maybe it will aid someone in getting the courage to go get that "lump" checked out. *** In the event that someone has been or is afraid of being diagnosed, I hope to help them in their journey with it. If you jump on the computer today to search for some answers, or information, you may just land on my blog. Not that it's very informative, as in a doctor's perspective, but we've been there***

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Hi, thanks for YOUR thoughts on MY thoughts! Happy reading!