One man...one ball...fighting testicular cancer one day at a time
On May 29, two days after our first wedding anniversary, Jon was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Still reeling from the news, 15 hours after his diagnosis we found ourselves at the hospital for surgery to get his left testicle removed. Instead of spending the past two and a half weeks on a long awaited trip to Greece and the Amalfi Coast of Italy, our days have been characterized by surgical recovery/caregiving, numerous visits to specialists offices and testing centers, dealing with runaround from insurance/benefits providers, and anxious anticipation of the results of the next test/scan/pathology.
The type of cancer Jon has is fairly aggressive. For those medical professionals or interested folks out there - the initial tumor that was removed was a nonseminoma mixed germ cell tumor made up of two types of cancer - embrynol carcinoma (95%) and yolk sack (5%) (different than what Lance Armstrong had - although everyone has been making the comparison). At this point we know that it has spread to his lymph and vascular system and that he has two cancerous lymph nodes in his pelvis. He will be getting a chest CT scan later this week to determine if the cancer has spread to his lungs which we are praying it has not. The course of action from here, and we hope the only further course of action, is to begin chemo on July 1st. He will start with 3 rounds of chemo in 3 week cycles including five 8-hour days of treatment the first week followed by once a week in weeks 2 and 3. The hope is that the chemo will be able to eradicate the cancer. If it does not, then more surgery will be in store to remove all of the affected lymph nodes.
Jon is eager to start chemo and start kicking this cancer's butt but we still have about 10 different appointments between now and then. Since I'm not capable of fighting the cancer myself but I am also known to be fairly aggressive, I'm channeling my aggression into intensively organizing all appointments and logistics and trying to make things as easy as possible. In my new job as Cancer Manager all the nurses, doctors, and schedulers now know me by name (after initially knowing me as "that sobbing wife who needed a hug" from the day we got his diagnosis).
It has become very clear though in these early whirlwind days of our journey that Jon and I cannot do this alone. We have been so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from family and friends that we've shared this news with to date. Every text, e-mail, call, card, and treat has helped remind us of the amazing village we have behind us. Although we're struggling to keep up with updates to everyone - we welcome the continued outreach and Jon has said it has already been hugely encouraging and meaningful thus far.
For those who have asked how they can help or stay updated I'm sharing the following:
- MEAL TRAIN: If you're a local who is interested in making/delivering meals https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/ze070y
- GIFT CARDS: If you'd like to help provide us options for food delivery or entertainment - You can send gift cards from UberEats, Door Dash, Amazon, Fandango, or Mighty Meals (DC based prepared food company) to firstname.lastname@example.org
- CARING BRIDGE: Sign up to follow this page to receive notifications when a new post is made
For any that would like to send Jon a card or a surprise, our address is:
1320 N Veitch St
Arlington, VA, 22201
If you send anything larger than a standard envelope it will get placed into a package locker. It is best to either send it to me directly or to include my name on the item so that I can get sent the access code directly to retrieve the package.
Finally - while we welcome all kinds of love, prayers, and support we also are seeking infusions of joy and humor in our lives to help keep our spirits up. Our home is full of one-balled jokes. Jon is really psyched about having a hashtag #hodgstrong and has visions of one day a race being named after him. We've found that the times in the last week where we have been surrounded by friends we've been able to forget for a little while what we're facing and be more positive once we do remember. We are grateful for your comfort but also ask for your help in keeping us smiling. Stay tuned for more.
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