Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So, How's it Hangin'?

I went to the doctor’s office with my wife yesterday. I went through my List of Questions my wife found online. He answered a lot of questions in the initial foray of discussion and then we went through the rest of them. Here’s how it works.

First, I have a lump on my boy (Lefty…sorry, Red) and that’s a 95% indicator of cancer. There are two kinds of cancer it can be, a seminoma (the good kind, and the type that most likely affects guys my age), or non-seminoma (that really aggressive type that laid Lance Armstrong out and almost killed him…before he went on to win 7 Tours de France). There is a VERY high cure rate for both kinds (95%+), especially since we’re catching this early.

I had blood work done, and they will test that for markers, which are anomolies that in the blood that indicate an illness is present. There is usually (80% of the time) significant elevated marker levels for guys with testicular cancer. They measure these before the operation to get a baseline, realizing after they take Lefty, if they get all of the cancer, the markers should drop to zero. If, however, it has spread to the lymph nodes or the lungs (the first two places testicular cancer heads for a vacation property) then the markers will remain elevated, and I will have additional conversations with the oncologist.

Here’s what goes on in the operation, according to Dr. Wenger (he was DESTINED to be a urologist). The actual removal is done by making about a 4 inch incision along the bikini line (HEY! DON’T touch the Penis Lines!!!) through the lower abdomen on the side in question. Once the incision has been made, the doc pushes the testicle up through the pelvic region (GENTLY!) and out it comes. A snip here, a stitch there, and it’s a done deal. The doc expects me to be in surgery for about 45 minutes, and then another 3-4 hours to let the anesthesia wear off. Mrs. Fish will drive me home and I spend as much as a week taking it easy.

After that, they send the boy out to be biopsied, and figure out whether I have seminoma, non-seminoma, or a mixed bag…so to speak. I also have several weeks of radiation, but it’s not likely I’ll have chemotherapy, so I don’t have to worry about hair loss, weight loss and all that. In the realm of cancer, my row is an easy one to hoe...The only bummer is that I’m not allowed to lift more than 20 pounds for a month. I see a decline in my curlz and abz in the near future.

Again, thank you so much for your thoughts, your well wishes, and especially your prayers for me and my family. The support you offer is so greatly appreciated.


hardrox said...

Thanks for describing the procedure and posting the list of questions, Rob. Very informative.

Any idea of when the operation will occur?

FishrCutB8 said...

Next Friday, time TBD. Again, it's really straighforward. I couldn't believe it when he said OUTPATIENT. I'm really stoked about going home to my family.

...and, my sister in law is getting me a gift certificate from the local hotwing house for when I get home...

Redlefty said...

At first I wasn't sure about being named for a cancerous testicle, but I've been called worse. :)

Thank God for pain killers, huh?

Rob (K-Court) said...

Thanks for keeping us up to speed on things, Fish. I must say your description of the procedure made me cringe. Like RL said, thank heavens for anesthetic! Good thoughts and prayers continue to be sent. - Rob

FishrCutB8 said...

Red: I named it in your honor! That, and I was thinking, "Red's a good guy: easy going, warm, likes to hang around, friendly. Kind of like the way my boy used to be."

The procedure does sound pretty heinous, but it's not. It makes me cringe a little, but a 45 minute outpatient procedure that kicks cancer's ass to the curb? I'll take it.

bob redding said...

I suppose you'll be bringing a little mason jar to the show and tell segment of mbs.