I headed to an outpatient urgent care near my work, walked in and the doctor instantly sent me to St. Joes to have an ultrasound. His first thought was that I had some sort of fluid build up, need minor surgery, and head on my way. Boy do I wish. After one ultrasound and 7 hours later it was finally my turn to meet with the doctor at St. Joe's emergency. One point of a finger (very unprofessional in my mind) onto a diagnosis paper my life had changed forever. Two words,TESTICULAR MASS, followed by one, LYMPHOMA. Now before you instantly act the way I did (insert blank stare and utter shock face) this was just the doctors initial thought.There needed to be more tests, I however, seeing this black ink of disease, left the hospital and became an instant mess. Now, before I continue, I need to tell you of my rock, my girlfriend Carrie. She had met me at St. Joe's right after my ultrasound. She sat with me for 6 hours, on an empty stomach and still in her work clothes, keeping me upbeat. I mean when she first got there, we were still under the assumption that I just had fluid build up and needed minor surgery. Thank God she was there.
Now if you know Carrie, you know of the awesome things she has not only done for me, but for my life and the choices I make. Well, nothing compares to the way she held my hand that night. She kept me solid and alert until we got the news that altered everything we knew about a Wednesday.Then, she became my rock. When I was finally called back she sat with me in the room. Made jokes about how amazing I looked in the gown I had just changed into. Made jokes about all the little things going on that could make one laugh. The jokes quickly stopped. The doctor came in, slammed me in the gut with the bad news, and walked away. Her eyes met mine, and I instantly knew, no matter what , that I would be ok. So, the doctor came back with a nurse, drew blood, prescribed me an antibiotic, and sent me on my way.
I was set up with an appointment with Dr, Richiutti, a urologist, the same Friday. I went into his office where he examined my testicle, asked alot of questions, and drew some more blood. Now his thought were one of two things, either it is cancer, or there is a chance it was a infection. Given it's sudden growth, I had no signs of any abnormality I noticed, he was leaning towards an infection. I was instantly relieved, all the while cussing out the doctors at St Joe's for worrying me, in my head. He prescribed me some pretty strong antibiotics and sent me home for the weekend. A weekend I did nothing but praise all the things in my life I don't normally take the time to praise. The praise stopped.
That following monday, I received a phone call from Dr. Richiutti at 8 am. The blood work came back, it wasn't an infection. It was, a tumor. He assured of the urgency to remove it due to the abnormal high count of my blood. A count that in men, should never be higher than 2, was 4200. The surgery was scheduled for the next day, Tuesday Feb. 5th. Now, as I said previously, I can tolerate some pain, pop some aspirin and not ever think about it again. Tell me I might have to have a catheter and I turn into a 3 year old boy who just had been told his Donatello figurine was run over by his fathers car. You could imagine my fear and disgust. Now I've never had surgery, and my first encounter with surgery is one that is going to change everything. Not only am I going to lose one of my precious twins, but one twin that could have been growing with something potentially life threatening. Thankfully for me I have a very supportive mom and dad, a dad that has (to my knowledge) never actually run over any of my toys, my rock Carrie, and her loving mother. All of whom came to my bedside to make sure I was ok. Also, I had the awesome timing of being in the hospital while a good friend of ours, Wyllow, was doing clinical and was able to visit as well. Needless to say, I was surrounded by love. Long story short surgery went well, especially the drugs after the fact, and I was home the same night. Now it was time to just wait, relax, and worry. Worry about the results of the biopsy.
Worry was good. Worry prepared us. Worry made our minds go far into what could be, the long road I could have ahead. When that phone call came, the worry HAD prepared us. It was as if when he told me it was indeed, Cancerous, I had already known. However it was not Lymphoma but a very aggresive testicular cancer. What worry didn't prepare me for was the steps that I would have to take. The amounts of blood that needed to be drawn. The worry of chemo, no insurance, and the tolls on my body it would take after the fact. Well its been about 4 weeks since this diagnosis, and we are still waiting on answers. Fortunately again for me, Carrie has been there the entire time. Not only has she been my personal taxi, maid, and dog whisperer, but she has been my faith. Not to mention the countless acts of unselfishness my closest friends, and coworkers have shown. That story however is for a different day.
I've met with an oncologist, one which I thought was going to set me up on chemo the day I met him. What I didn't know was the amount of waiting. Not only the waiting in the offices of the doctors I have seen, but the waiting on blood results, scan results, and the way treatment those propose. Now when I met the oncologist he wanted me to wait 4 weeks and have blood drawn to see where my count was. So ok, now I have to wait until the end of march to see about chemo. That however may change. Dr. Richiutti had ordered blood work 10 days after my surgery to see where the tumor markers as they call them were. I received that call this week on Monday, it wasn't good. The count they were hoping to see was between 0-9 preferably, no higher than 100. It came back 719. So now it's more blood work, and more worrying. All the while still not knowing what the next step is. Pittsburgh is our next stop, that is actually where I am typing from. Dr. Richiutti had set me up with an appointment with Dr. Davies. A renound urologist who hopefully can help make some sense of this madness. So that's where were at. Hopefully we get answers and hopefully I can begin to move forward. Until then, Peace Love and Happiness.
2601 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222unky
Pittsburgh, PA 15222unky