Out of the blue after a life(i'm 42) of no illness at all i was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October last year (2017), had the left testicle removed on 23rd November and physically recovered through Dec and Xmas. You'll notice i've only said 'physically' recovered, and this is why i'm here. I had the single blast of chemo in January, 3 monthly appointment cycle now.
I've suffered from depression and anxiety before, but up until the diagnosis 2017 was the best year of my life. In the March i met the most amazing girl and fell in love, and anything that did come up I felt in a good place to deal with. Even the diagnosis i felt i faced it ok, scared to death, but ok. As you'll know the wheels of treatment move really fast and it was one appointment after another, one blood test after another, scan after scan, everything was happening so fast there wasn't really time to sit and think as it was always looking at the next thing. My partner was amazing, i don't think i'd have coped at all without her, but i felt guilty i'd brought this into her life and worried that it might be too much for her.
The wheels started to fall off AFTER surgery. I won't list a whole bunch of things and point fingers at this and that, i'll just talk about the general feelings and hope for, if not answers/solutions, at least some understanding.
How am i feeling?? Confidence is destroyed, i mask it to many with bravado(only recently told my partner this). I feel embarrassed that this happened, that part of me as a person has gone, that i feel a bit of a joke 'heres the guy with one ball', the 'i'm not me now, i'm cancer Rich with one ball'. Always been a sensitive person, the heart responds before the head, but the over-sensitive since is horrible, i get so uncomfortable about some things and i've had to fight to not let some things really eat me up. I feel inadequate, oh my god in so many ways - it hit me financially(not recovered), my body is different (can't bare to self examine, i never touch it, even avoid as much as possible in the shower/drying), intimidated perhaps by some situations. Pretty much defeated right now, one thing after another just seems to add to everything i've listed.
Writing this to a bunch of strangers is embarrassing, but its also what i'd like to shout at people when asked how i am, or when told 'i bet thats a relief that its gone'. Actually its not a relief at all, i'm cross and feel like s@%!
My best to everyone with or affected by C.
I was glad to read your post. Not because of what you are currently going through for which I am very sorry, but because you were able to post it. I am a similar age to you and although a completely different cancer, a lot of what you wrote resonated with me, and I think sometimes us blokes have a hard job in opening up, so I am glad you did.
Mine is a cancer of the blood and so I can't see anything related to my cancer, but I did break a vetebrae in my back on diagnosis, and so every time I feel a twinge there I am reminded what went wrong and what might go wrong in the future and so I definitely understand how the absence of one of your testicles would be a bad visual reminder for you. In my experience, things settle down with time. You have been through a massive upheavel, your body and mind went into fight or flight mode, and it is only now that you are digesting what has happened. There is probably no going back to how things were before, and it might take time to completely digest that, but that doesn't mean that there are not very many happy places that you will get to in the future - I think it will probably just take time.
I also wondered if you had come across an article by Dr Peter Harvey? - I have attached it here -
Dr Peter Harvey - Life after treatment.
It resonated a lot with me and a I know lot of other people on this forum as well. It talks about how when treatment finishes is when the battle in the head begins. I hope you find it some use.
Also hope this provides some comfort in letting you know you are not alone in feeling like this.
You also mentioned you have suffered from depression and anxiety before, so hopefully you are up to speed with being able to assess where you are at and can take any steps as necessary - please look after yourself in this respect.
All the best,
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Hi Greg, thanks for your post and most definitely the article. I hadn't come across Dr Harvey before and so much of it resonated. I've said to my partner many times that i've been waiting for that moment of 'relief' and it just hasn't even come close to appearing. In some ways the treatment was the easy bit, the can of worms its left behind are truly something else. Today is the first day i've really opened up and exposed myself to this level, one day at a time i guess.
All the best to you.
Those can of worms just seem to multiply no matter how much you hit them on the heAd.
Does anyone have a strong mallet or a poison that might kill them?
Some days it can be very hard to cope.
Have had a mastectomy. and knew I had a loving husband and he wasn’t offended and your partner will not be bothered. Worse if you withdraw from her.
I also suffer from depression and am not good now. They can’t get it lifted then I got a diagnosis of recurring breast cancer so I’m not in a great place. Feel I’m on rollercoaster.
Remember Depression is liar (hence your irrational thoughts) and anxiety a bully.
Keep those thoughts in control x
Thanks for the replies.
Had a far better day today, but still it takes very little to feel yourself pushed back, rocked. Got a few big days ahead, lots of different things going on, could be highs and/or lows. Fingers crossed that positivity comes from these days, gotta somehow keep the faith. Having an angel by my side, and me by hers, is something i'll always be thankful for.
Hi Bat. Your story completely resonated with me. Eerily similar. I'm 40 years old was diagnosed at the end of September 2017. Left side as well. I get what you mean when you say everything moved so quickly. I was diagnosed and had my surgery within 4 days. I understand the lack of confidence thing to It sounds like you have a loving partner who was willing to go through this struggle with you and stick by your side. For me I am single and thought "how will I ever find someone". I couldn't look at myself. I ended up getting an implant. For me it helped the visual aspect of things but still nervous around women that they might "find out". I am doing the 3 month intervals as well. Today my latest results uncovered enlarged lymphnodes. Now I het to get a PET scan!! Anyway Not sure if any of this will help but mainly wanted to let you know that your not alone in feeling the way you do.
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