Editor’s Note: Our focus on men’s health issues in the month of Movember continues. In this guest post, BD, a member of our Chicago Dads Group, writes about beating testicular cancer, which is the most prevalent form of the cancer among males age 15 to 35.
Twelve years ago, when I was 30, during an annual physical my doctor found a lump on one of my testicles. Within a very short time that lump quadrupled in size. My team of urologists said they have never seen that before.
After a few more tests, my doctor sat me down to tell me I had testicular cancer and that I had a life changing decision to make with little to no time for a second opinion because he feared the cancer would spread to other area’s of my body. About one week later, I was under the knife having both testicles removed.
Hearing those words “you have cancer” was hard enough to accept. Processing the loss my manhood and any possible chance to have a family in the future proved even harder.
While my treatment for beating testicular cancer meant my wife was not able to get pregnant the old-fashion way, she was able to the scientific way. We used in vitro fertilization (IVF) and purchased donor sperm from a reputable organization in California Cryobank. After six attempts and four miscarriages, my wife and I we were blessed with two precious girls, now 4 and 2. To top it off, I have also been blessed with the opportunity to be a stay-at-home dad, an adventure that I have truly loved.
While you will experience some side effects and hardship along the way with this type of cancer, you can make it. With a skilled, proactive urologist you will be in good hands. I see my urologist routinely every three to six months so he can check my prostate since the meds that I take for low testosterone put me at greater risk for prostate cancer — a balancing act to say the least.
Men’s health education on these two types of cancer has come a long way since my diagnosis 12 years ago and the Movember movement is one I support 100 percent since the ultimate prize is to be alive and cancer free. I have joined this cause as a survivor to be a motivator to any men faced with a similar story. I want to tell them that life is not over but only beginning again.