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8/2/2016 Latest post:
So in light of events that have recently happened to me and the advice of a good friend, I decided to give the site a go to keep everyone updated. Everyone keeps asking me how I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer, symptoms and whatnot so Ill start off with that. I am in a commissioning program in the Navy to become a PA. I have been enlisted for almost 16 years and in Feb will complete my training and receive my masters. I have been striving for this long term goal for around 6 years and this is the last leg of my training. Since Jan 2016 I have been doing my year of clinical rotations at Balboa naval hospital. Me and my class mates need a "physical" prior to our commissioning and my commander put a deadline on when this needed to be completed. Over the past couple rotations I started to notice left testicular changes in April, small at first, no lump maybe just increase in size. I thought maybe it was scar tissue from a vasectomy I had in 2014. I mentioned it to my rotation partner Missy a couple of times and she told me to check it out. I did not. My fear was that I would not be able to get commissioned and not be able to finish my training. It got to the point whereI just knew inside that something wasn't right. Monday July 25th 2016 I went to see my IDC friend Justin who is my medical provider. He put me in for a consult for a testicular ultrasound and gave me my commissioning physical paperwork. The next day I started knocking out some of the requirements for the physical an Xray, eye exam and hearing test. That night Justin call me and said that he got an email that i had some irregularities on my films and that I needed a CT. He told me to make an appointment in the morning and he would put the consult in. The next morning Wednesday the 27th I reported to my current rotation which is general surgery. Before checking on my patients I looked at my X-ray which showed a couple of nodules in my lungs . I waited until after rounds and went over to radiology to schedule my testicular ultrasound and CT. They said next available appointment was in august. I reported back to my general surgery team concerned and worried. One of the residents on the general surgery team was a urologist. I have only worked with him for that week so maybe 2/3 days. I told him what was going on and he asked if he could look at my X-ray. I said yes, immediately after, he suggested that he do a testicular exam on me. I was reluctant, but he professionally persisted. After he examined me he said he was concerned and put the CT, labs and ultrasound in stat. I texted my wife telling her that I was actually getting my imaging done that day. She asked if I wanted company, I said no thinking it wasn't a big deal. When the radiaologist showed me the screen while she was doing the ultrasound she explained to me that my left testicular had good blood flow. I thought it was a good sign because she was looking for an infarcted area(no blood supply). But then realized that tumors need blood flow. She followed up the lymphatic system to my diaphragm and saw the nodules in my lungs. She said "I'm sorry" to me and that she has seen this many times and that the nodes in my lungs came from the testicle. I was alone changing in the little X-ray exam room, looking at my phone deciding what to text my wife Kerry. Instead of texting her I started crying and texted my partner missy instead. Missy was waiting for me in the waiting room. Everything after was very blurry. Kerry texted me again and asked if I wanted her with me. I replied that I can't stop crying, she texted back and said " that means I'm coming". When I met back up with Missy I couldn't hold my emotions. Knowing that I may not graduate my program with the people I've spent 2 years with struggling and overcoming with was too much. Just a mix of emotions. The urologist who I was working with on general surgery walked me to his chief resident in urology along with the chief resident from the general surgery team. We sat in his office just the 4 of us where they proceded to do their patient presentation. Ive sat through 100s of patient presentations but this time it was about me. Probably the weirdest thing I ever had to listen to. "34 year old male presenting with bla bla bla" in my head I'm like, WTF I'm right here. Just ask me and ill answer the questions. The urologist said that I would have surgery the next day and after they send the testicle to pathology they would know what type of chemo to use for my lungs. The night before surgery my good friends the Rodriguez's came over and lifted my spirits. Our kids played and they said prayers with us. Im not an overly religious person but they are. They always know how to spread joy and laughter and are extremely giving people. They were with me when I needed them the most. Long story longer, I got surgery on thursday 28th. My cousin who is more like a brother to me and his wife watched my kids all day. During surgery Missy stayed with Kerry for like 7 hours. The support I have received has been overwhelming. All my classmates came to visit me at one point. During pre op I think we pissed off every other patient in the waiting room. I had so many people visiting. We may have been a little loud and the mood was fun. Maybe inappropriate for a surgery waiting room. A chaplain that I knew from Okinawa visited me in the waiting room pre surgery. We talked, caught up and he put half a reeses cup in my shoe for after surgery. Not sure what the plan is now. I have to make an appointment next week to follow up on the pathology and go from there. It's amazing how many people reached out to me or came to my house. People I haven't spoken to in years called me. Being in the military you create relationships that are real. I wanted to thank everyone who checked on me pre/during/ post surgery. I can't name every individual who helped me because its too numerous, but know that I appreciate all of you. Special thanks to DR. Rocco who pushed me through to get surgery so fast. Missy for letting me cry on your shoulder and being there for Kerry all day during surgery. My cousin Jake and his wife Julie, The Rodriguez 's. Dr. Keith Stuessi who shared his unbelievable story with me. And my wife Kerry, who deals with enough shit. She never complains and is my rock. There is no person in the world I love more than her and am so blessed to have her in my life with my 3 boys. As long as I have her by my side I can do anything. I will post on here to update when I find out more information periodically. If you want to sign the guest book you can so I can see who read this run on scatter brained post.