The spouse and I went to the urologist today to get the verdict on the biopsy on his removed right testicle.
I was hoping for "benign."
No such luck.
Follow me below the fold...
(He's the handsome dude on the left, though he's wearing his old glasses; his new ones are a lot more flattering.)
Cancer is a scary word -- but it's no longer the automatic death sentence that it was many moons ago. In fact, the type of testicular cancer he has is one of the least aggressive types, which means chances are good that it didn't spread. A chest X-ray he had pre-surgery came out clear, which is a very good sign. Next step is a full body CT scan, which is scheduled for a week from this Thursday. Like the surgery, this is a new experience for him. (I had a CT scan on my head several years ago when I split the back of my skull in a dumb accident, so I have medical proof that I have a brain.) The CT scan results will determine the next stage of attack -- whether we go directly to radiation therapy in the affected area, or if we'll hold off on that and just monitor progress every 6-12 months.
He's actually in good spirits, all things considered; he's determined that we can beat this thing. I'm trying not to jump 12 steps ahead with the "what ifs" -- I know that we're more fortunate than many people in that we've got decent health insurance (thanks to a strong union that's fought for health benefits for their members), we have family nearby who we can call on if necessary (his parents and my siblings), we have several good friends to lean on and vent with, and most important we have each other.
It's a scary new path that we're traveling on -- but I think we'll make it one way or another.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
This section is for the male Kossacks, or for Kossack women who have men in their lives whom they love.
So many times we hear the importance of women doing their monthly breast self exams -- but we only hear about testicular cancer when someone high-profile like Lance Armstrong or Tom Green gets hit with the disease. There is no "Testicular Cancer Awareness Month", no colored ribbon to represent it.
Men, if you're not already doing so, and at the risk of sounding crude, CHECK YOUR BALLS MONTHLY. Here's some links to YouTube videos demonstrating how to perform a self-exam; I won't post the videos directly because they're definitely Not Safe For Work, and you'll likely want to make sure the kids aren't looking over your shoulder unless you want to give a quickie "birds and bees" lecture. ;)
You can also search "testicular self examination" on YouTube and find more related videos.
Testicular cancer can hit anywhere between 18-40, but can strike any age; the spouse is 52. The earlier you catch something odd, the better chance there is of catching and curing it before it spreads. Let's keep you guys around to fight for many years to come. :)