I saw my general practitioner last week, which was the first time I’d seen her since December 2010 when I went to her about the lump on my testicle. She referred me to a urologist and from there I just met with my oncologist/surgeon. I went to talk to her about several issues I’ve been having for a while now, like: fast heart rate which I can often feel pounding in my chest, the tremor in my hands, sleep problems, excessive fatigue, back/neck pain, stomach aches, and just generally feeling shitty.
Her and the psychiatrist I see think a lot of it could be tied to depression and anxiety, both of which I’ve had issues with for the better part of a decade now. So I switched up my antidepressant medication again to see if things improve overall. I’m sure some of it can be at least somewhat attributed to that but I don’t think it’s 100% that. The anxiety has definitely gotten worse since having cancer and it’s difficult to talk to people about that since nobody I know has had cancer. I will admit as well that I’ve become somewhat of a hypochondriac. Sometimes I look around online finding conditions that I’m halfway convinced I have or looking up symptoms of other cancers and seeing if I have any.
I’ve pretty much convinced myself I have what’s called “essential tremor” in my hands as I’ve actually had this slight tremor for as long as I can remember, though it got noticeably worse during chemo. It’s not a big deal I just don’t want it to get worse. I’m also suspicious that I might have some disorder akin to POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is basically where your heart rate goes too high when standing and results in overall inefficiency in blood delivery…it’s kind of rare though so doctors want to rule most things out before looking into that.
Oh and while at the doctor they drew some blood to check my testosterone and thyroid levels, though I haven’t gotten the results back yet. The nurse remarked while trying to stick me that I had “the veins of an old man” and that I was “too young for veins like this”, which is of course likely due to the chemotherapy which I had via IV this time last year.
It has been almost exactly one year since I finished chemotherapy. July 25th 2011 was my last day of chemo infusion. It’s weird to think that it’s already been a year. In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago yet then again it’s something I never can forget about. It’s really strange looking back on pictures like the ones I just posted and sorting them all chronologically relative to the cancer. Like “oh this picture was just before I was diagnosed, this one just after my surgery, this one just before chemo” etc…
I think I’m starting to ramble so I’ll stop for now and if anything else seems worth mentioning I’ll do that later.
It’s weird to learn that people diagnosed with the same cancer as me around the same time are now dead…
I frequent a testicular cancer support forum (http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/) and recently I saw that a man who was diagnosed in February of 2011 has passed away. I was diagnosed with a similar cancer pathology in January of that same year…Sometimes I feel like the cancer wasn’t even real, as mine was cured so (relatively) easily. But then I see things like this where people with a spouse and children are dying within months of being diagnosed. It’s just very strange.
The man I’m talking about was Clint Aaron Miller. You can see his obituary here. May he rest in peace.
Also reading about people who, again, had similar types of cancer are having recurrences as much as 10 years post diagnosis is frightening.
This is a pretty neat book for anyone who’s had chemo.
"Getting two or three CT scans of the abdomen exposes you to the same amount of radiation as people who lived near the atomic blast that ravaged Hiroshima in 1945"
Great…I only get one every 3 months. I get chest/abdomen/pelvis with and without contrast, so it likes a double dose too. Just great.
I saw a girl wearing one of these yesterday and at first I didn’t even know it was supposed to be for testicular cancer awareness because it seems so stupid to me. The vast majority of men with testicular cancer don’t have balls, they have a ball or none (or perhaps a prosthetic or two). The idea that you’re going to “save a testicle” is even stupider. Almost never is a testicle “saved”, as soon as cancer is detected in the testicle, it is immediately removed. Often the cancer isn’t even detected until it has been removed. When I saw a girl wearing one of these I didn’t think “Oh, hey, she must support testicular cancer survivors like myself”. All it did was make me feel self conscious about having one testicle. It just seems like a gimmick to me. Again makes you wonder if these “cancer awareness” campaigns aren’t just for-profit marketing schemes. I think people would only buy and wear these because it seems funny due to the whole “I love balls!” thing. If you really want to help cancer donate straight to a cancer research fund like the Cancer Research Institute.