Sunday, January 16, 2011

12.28.10 "...a 90-95% chance..."

"There is a 90-95% chance that you have testicular cancer..."
How does one prepare to hear those words?
How did I come to hear them?
Let me back you up a couple of days.
Ellon and I were making our rounds visiting family during the holidays and on the morning of the 26th, the day we were due to travel home, I woke with pain in my right testicle. I figured I had somehow "slept wrong" and thought the pain would go away as the day progressed. As we made our way back home weather conditions stretched a four hour drive to seven hours, all the while me sitting behind the wheel in a decent amount of discomfort. That evening, as we headed to bed, I convinced myself that the long trip in the car hadn't given me a chance to sit comfortably and after a good nights rest the pain would go away.
Not true, I was still experiencing a good deal of pain when I woke the next morning. Luckily I had a fair amount of shoveling to do and was able to distract myself a bit so I could try to stop thinking about the growing pain in my boxer shorts. That plan didn't work too well, instead, I found I was becoming more conscious of it and brought Ellon up to speed on what was going on.
After a sleepless Monday night Ellon strongly urged me to take myself to the hospital and at that point I really didn't need any convincing as I was now experiencing some of the most intense pain I had ever felt. Thankfully things moved very quickly for me at the ER, they take a complaint of testicular pain quite seriously. My ER doctor told me that their #1 concern was testicular torsion so I was sent for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound was complete I was wheeled back to the ER so my doctor could go over the results with me, I was told there was "good news/bad news". The good news was that I didn't have a testicular torsion, the bad news was that there was a tumor present and that it could be cancer.
It could be cancer, so it could also not be cancer right? That was my thought, 50/50, not terrible odds. I was told that my next stop was going to be the Urology department and that they were waiting for me. Thankfully Ellon had made the drive to the hospital, at my request, and was able to be there with me for this portion of my hospital visit. And that is when I heard those words, there was a 90-95% chance that I have cancer. Not 50/50, not maybe, not possibly, but a 90-95% chance that I have cancer. I was told that I was going to need an inguinal orchiectomy and that is was scheduled for Thursday the 30th of December. In less than four hours I had gone from arriving at the ER with testicular pain to finding out I was less than 48 hours away from having my right testicle removed and that I most likely have cancer.

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