Take Me Somewhere Else
I’m not even sure where to start here. I wasn’t going to write about the experience I’m going through UNTIL I started talking to people in my real life and they seemed genuinely concerned about my well being. And, as it turned out, they were also going through something they thought was embarrassing and since I shared my story with them –they would just tell me what they’re going through. This has really been a bonding moment for me and a lot of surprising people.
Off the bat…here it is…I was taking a shower a few years back. Maybe it was in 2014. I felt a lump next to my left testicle. No big deal to me. It didn’t hurt, and since I DO trim the southern garden and keep the boys shaved I thought it was maybe an ingrown hair. Both Tim and I thought this was what the lump was and that it would just disappear.
But it didn’t disappear. It grew. To the size of a golf ball. My boys had a room mate. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the “lump” developed a lump. So now I’ve got two lumps. And they’re the size of a small tennis ball. It took a few years for it all to be this size. In the meantime – every time I sat, or walked, or went up and down the stairs, or drove more than 10 miles or cooked…my boys reminded me I needed to stop doing whatever it was I was doing. I kept getting lower abdominal pains JUST AS IF someone had kicked me in the junkyard. This pain happened at least 10 times a day and would always take the wind out of me.
Tim and I were wrong from the beginning – this isn’t just going to go away.
So I buckled up and told my female doctor what was going on in the South Forty. I was embarrassed initially, but my doctor rawks so hard. So I dropped trough and showed her what was going on. Which, in turn, led to a trip to a Urologist. Again – I had to drop my pants and put my boys on Show and Tell. My Urologist (BEST guy I have ever dealt with in this kind of situation) put me through so many tests. I’ve had two ultrasounds, a CT scan, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, blood work, a nuclear stress test…ALL since Halloween. I am seriously tired of my arm being poked for IV’s. Seriously – I look like I shoot up. I have bruises and needle marks in both of my arms. I’ve been wearing long sleeves since this all started. I’ve lost weight because I have to fast for this test and that test. Or I’m nauseated to the point that I just can’t hold food down.
After all of the tests, the diagnosis is in. My Urologist is removing the lumps (2 of them) and my testicles. They are cancerous and he doesn’t want the cancer to spread. We have the date — January 3, 2019. That’s like in two weeks.
Did I cry? Yeah. A little bit. I tried to hold back because I didn’t want Tim to see me have a breakdown. But then I thought I did this all myself. I KNEW the lump was there. And I did nothing because I was too embarrassed to show anyone. This didn’t have to happen. And I’m not vain. I could really care less what anyone thinks of me, except for (of course) Tim. It’s not like I’m going to be going around showing everyone I have lost my testicles because I was stupid. I’m luckier than most. Especially women who have breast cancer and can’t really hide it. I can at least hide mine. I was given the option of prosthetic testicles. I declined only because I’m not sure the insurance company I have would cover the expense since prosthetics isn’t a “life saving procedure”. Besides – who would really see me naked? No one. Just Tim.
I talked to someone earlier tonight – someone I don’t even know – and we were talking about health insurance. I was telling him that I have insurance but never used it. He said the same. I told him my lump story, it turns out that he has a lump. He’s in his 30s but was not about to tell anyone about his lump. I asked him if he wanted to lose his junk and he said he was going to make an appointment with his primary care provider. Which is a great first start. He HAS insurance, but isn’t using it to save his testicles. I made that dumb move. Look it where it got me.
The moral of my story: Don’t ever be too embarrassed to talk to your doctor about anything. They aren’t there to guess. They can only help you with the information you give them. You have insurance, and you’re going to be usually behind closed doors when talking to your doctor. Tell them everything. They’re a medical professional and they’ll know the best steps to take so YOU don’t lose body parts like I’m going through. If you have a lump – get it looked at. No matter the size. It’s better for the medical professionals to say it’s nothing rather than to come back to tell you it’s cancer, like they did to me.
If MY story can help save you the hassle of what I’m going through – then all of what I’ve written here would have been worth it. Seriously…go get checked.
I’ll keep all of you reading this up to date on my progress. This isn’t fun at all. But I HAVE met some wonderful nurses and doctors and people that poke me in my arms. If it wasn’t for those in the medical field being as kind, gracious, and warm to me AND Tim…I don’t think I could have made it through this with such a positive state of mind. But I will let you know how it feels to be testicle – less. So stay tuned.
Note: I’m not a doctor (apparently) so I’m not too familiar with all the terms. It took me a week to learn how to say Endoscopy until I was told today (while I was being wheeled into the room to get it done) that I could say “ECG” and people would know what I’m talking about.