Hello everyone this is my story, I hope it goes some way in raising awareness of testicular cancer. I don't recall the dates that it all started but this is what happend; I was woken in the middle of the night with really bad cramps in my lower tummy, mostly on the right side. The pain was so bad it brought tears to my eyes. This had me awake for the rest of the night (this was the early hours of a Monday), so at 0830 I called my GP. As is the norm these days I was told that there were no appointments and that there was a tummy bug going around and that I should go and talk to the chemist and they would be able to offer over the counter medication. Needless to say I never went and just took some painkillers to help. Tuesday was much the same and by Wednesday I was still having the pain. It's worth mentioning at this point that there is a history of cancer in my family, We carry the BRCA1 gene, so I've always been aware of cancer and how to check myself. I called the doctors again on Wednesday and this time was told that I could be seen the following day. I attended the appointment on Thursday. The doctor checked me over and prodded and poked my tummy. The doctor thought that I had diverticulitis (diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (colon). In diverticular disease, small bulges or pockets (diverticula) develop in the lining of the intestine. Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed or infected. So she sent me to the hospital.
I was seen by the doctors in the hospital and was sent for a CT scan. This was when they found a mass behind my stomach. I was then sent for an ultrasound of my testicles. This confused me a bit since I checked my nuts all the time and found no lumps or any changes. Anyway this was when they found a mass inside my left nut (my favorite of the two). The doctors from this point were sure that I had germ cell cancer in my nut. In order to confirm this they needed to take a biopsy of the mass behind my stomach, this then confirmed that it was germ cell cancer.
I was shocked to say the least. It was at this point that things went from 0 to 100 in seconds. A treatment plan was written up and I was to start chemo the following week. I was told that I would be receiving 4 rounds of chemo as an in-patient. Each round contained 2 types of chemo that I was given for 5 days over night. In total I was hooked up for 12 hours a day, the 12 hours were made up of pre hydration then chemo then post hydration. After each round I was sent home for 2 weeks with anti-sickness medication and an injection that I had to take everyday for 10 days. This was to help replace the bone marrow and increase my white blood cells.
During and after the 5 days of being in hospital I was being very sick, so ended up having to have a syringe driver to deliver a continuous dose of anti-sickness medication. I am now 1 week post chemo and have completed all 4 rounds. At this point I am waiting on more scans to see how the chemo has affected the mass and then I will have to have an orchiectomy (an orchiectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both testicles) Being a gay man, the thought of losing a nut is not much of a deal since my partner and I don't want to have children. In fact I already have 4 of my own children and had the "snip" years ago. That's where I am right now, bald headed and still losing hair. I still find it hard to believe that I have cancer, since I never had any of the normal symptoms of cancer, the cramps that took me to the doctors had nothing to do with the cancer and still the doctors don't know why I had this pain, but it got me the help that I needed. I'm sure someone in the great unknown is looking out for me.