One year ago today, my little brother called me to say that he was going to the ER with my younger sister, to have a lump checked out. I never thought anything of it. I assured him it was probably nothing. In fact, he had recently joined a gym & was working out a lot, so I was sure it a hernia. It happens, right?
But I found out that same day, that it was testicular cancer. It was the first time that cancer had affected my immediate family, besides my father in law beating prostate cancer the year before. I remember the text my sister sent, asking me to come soon. I was getting nervous & then she finally answered my pleas for more information. One word: cancer. I remember feeling like everything around me ceased to exist and I hyperventilated, for the first time in my life. We went to the hospital to be with him and hear further what the doctors had to say and what the plan was from there.
They decided that they would perform an orchiectomy. So, at age 22, my brother was going to have a testicle removed. That was a big decision for someone, his age, to make. It meant a lot of things for him.
Luckily, they went over his options for preserving his sperm before the surgery... He decided against it, leaving it up to chance. He said he'd be just as happy to adopt children if he weren't able to do it on his own. (their own).
I think I was more upset when I found out he would need chemotherapy; the oncologist felt it was best because he'd had some vascular invasion. I cried so much and usually when I least expected it. Driving home from work, sitting at home. I just didn't want him to have to go through that. I knew it could be so grueling and would be hell on him. I hated the thought of it. But he got through the chemo like a champ. He was a real fighter and he never let it get him down. Being diagnosed with cancer didn't change him at all .. He was so brave; I don't know where he found the strength. I felt like the whole situation was an awful lot for a young guy of 22, to have to face. But he did it with true valor.
I remember the night we found out his diagnosis, I just sat on my front porch and sobbed. It was good to get it all out since I couldn't do it in front of my brother. We had to be strong for him and we were.
It's been over a year since this all unfolded & he's a picture of health. His follow up CT scan was today and he'll see the doctor in a week or two for the results. Which I know will be great!