So, a few weeks ago we had some scary things occur within our family and I wanted to share so that I can #1.) get it off my chest and get some closure, and #2.) warn anyone who may come across this same situation not to ignore it.
Back in March, Jeremiah and I found a small lump in the skin of Jeremiah's "man parts." I feel so clinical saying "testicle" so just know that is what I am referring to when I say "man parts." It was sort of like a bug bite in size but certainly not ordinary. We made him an appointment as soon as we could (I think it was about a week) for his regular doctor to see him. At that appointment they suggested that he get an ultrasound.
1 week later we go for an ultrasound (it was actually quite comical because here I was 30+ weeks preggo with twins and we were entering into some role-reversal scenerios). The ultrasound was reviewed and they saw some "graying" in his left "man-hood" and decided to do some additional tests. Mind you, by this time the small lump that we had first noticed was completely gone (probably was some kind of bug bite from the golf course or playing outside with the kiddos). So now this was slowly becoming an entirely different thing.
We were referred to an urologist (who actually happened to be on vacation until May) so were told we could probably just wait for that urologist to return or see someone different in the office. I remember the receptionist saying "according to your chart it doesn't appear to be anything critical so you may just want to wait until May." We decided to see someone as soon as possible and was in the doctors office within another week to see the urologist. We lucked out with an amazing urologist, Dr. Wicklund, who was thorough and kind. After an exam, Dr. Wicklund was a little concerned about the mass and decided Jeremiah should do a "Cancer Marker" test which can be used as another tool to decifer if Cancer is in the system. His "Cancer Marker" test came back clean. But just to make sure, they suggested a MRI.
Jeremiah did the MRI on a Friday morning and by Friday afternoon Jeremiah was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. Dr. Wicklund suggested the surgery to simply know everything we could.
Tuesday at 2:30 pm Jeremiah is wheeled into surgery and this is the beginning of the longest 9 hours of my life!!!
Tuesday around 7pm, Dr. Wicklund comes to the surgical waiting room to talk to me. Let me set this up for you: in the surgical waiting room at the hospital there are about 50 couches and tables where you can sit uncomfortably and wait to hear the news of your loved ones. Most doctors come and talk to you at the couch or table you are sitting at, although there are some little rooms that doctors can take you into which I believe to be perhaps the "bad news rooms." I was called into a "bad news room."
Dr. Wicklund let me know that Jeremiah was out of surgery and that his left testicle had been successfully removed with no complications. Next, the words "testicular cancer" came out of his mouth and time seemed to stop. Doctor said it was a 50/50 chance of cancer. We had never spoken about the "C" word although we knew it was something we had to consider. He let me know that testicular cancer is an easily treated form of cancer for a male Jeremiah's age with a 80% survival rate. The tumor that was pulled out would be tested and we should know within one week if the tumor was in fact cancer.
About an hour later Jeremiah was in recovery and I was allowed to see him. If you have never seen your husband after a surgery (having tonsils taken out, or wisdom teeth pulled does not count) then you are never prepared for it. He was still heavily medicated, pale as can be, glossy-eyed, and scared as can be. He asked me right away how everything went and I didn't have the heart to tell him right then and there what the doctor said so I skirted around the issue and did the best I could to make him comfortable. A few hours later he was allowed to go home...he barely made it to our front door without throwing up and having all the side-effects that they told us would occur. Fever, nausea, the shakes, sweating, and weakness.
I stayed up all night watching him breath and checking his temp. His breathing was irregular so if I didn't hear a little "snore" from my man, I would wake up in a panic. His temp was over 100 degrees but the nurse said he was fine till he got into 101. The highest he got was 100.8...he likes a little drama, doesn't he?
Days later, Monday I think, we got the call that it was cancer. His type of mass, a Seminoma, was rare but responded well to chemo or radiation if that was needed. The next thing needing to be done was send him for CT Scan to see if the cancer had spread at all. For days around here no one ate, drank, slept, or had any fun. You can fake it for a few days, but the stress of waiting for results becomes hard really fast. I think we just all went through the motions of the week and it is a blur.
We finally got that call that Jeremiah was cancer-free and that the cancer had not spread. It is very odd to think that if one doctor, one tech, or one test result had been different we wouldn't have arrived in the place we did. What if it hadn't been caught? What if Jeremiah wasn't bitten by that mysterious bug on our lawn? Feels very bizarre that Jeremiah had cancer removed before he even knew he had it. Changes your outlook about your life and it makes you value the things that are truly important.
He had another follow up appointment with Dr. Wicklund who recommended us to the Knight Cancer institute for an oncologist for J. He had his first appointment on Monday (2 days after I had the babies!!!) and really likes his new doctor. He has appointments every 3 months and scans every 6 months to make sure the cancer doesn't return. If it does, they will hopefully catch it quick and treat it with chemo right away. Jeremiah has a 40% chance that it will return, but we are really optimistic since it is so treatable.
Wow, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me tell our story. Jeremiah is my everything and this entire situation has made us even closer. Now that the month of April is almost over, we can begin the month of May with Jeremiah's 35th birthday and a new start for us and our family! :)