Saturday, July 28, 2007

My Battle With Testicular Cancer

In the year 2000, while I was driving a small motor scooter, I had head on collision with an automobile. I broke my ankle and couldn't walk for a long time. The doctor's at the hospital looked at my middle and found nothing wrong.

Then in the year 2003, my family moved to Idaho. Our new doctor once again didn't notice anything wrong with my body. It wouldn't be until the year 2006 that I had my battle with testicular cancer. I'm not big on medical jargon so I'm going to put that information in links. it will help others understand what happens when you go though it.

The real battle began in July of 2006. I was 33 at the time. I was working full time at Ace Hardware in Burley, Idaho. Then I started having instense pains in the middle of my body. It became more difficult to stand and walk. So my dad and I went to our local hospital to find out what was wrong with me. I had to some blood tests and a urinal test. Both were very painful for me at the time. While we were waiting for an answer, I had already requested vacation time off from work. My family was going to Yellowstone National Park for a week.

While at Yellowstone, one of my older brothers who is a mechanic told my father of my enlarged balls while swimming at the lake there. He didn't totally believe him. It wasn't until my younger brother who is a EMT that he started to believe him. When we came back from Yellowstone on July 20th, the pain had'nt stopped. I was starting to get worse.

Then on my second day back at Ace, it was Sunday July 23rd. I was working at my job until 4pm. That's when they closed when I worked Sundays theree.Now it's 9am-5pm on Sundays. One of my fellow co-workers named Barbara told me to go the ER. So we called home and went directly to the ER after work. Little did I know I was going to be in for a long night a head of me.

At the ER, the doctor's there told me and my dad that we had to drive 40 miles to Twin Falls. We had to go there because I needed a emergency operation. I was going to have my testicular cancer removed that night! The hospital we were going to was named St. Luke's Regional Medical Center. Upon arriving there, they put in a rolling bed and then in room by myself with my parent's. We called a dear friend of mine in California. Her name was Sandy Barber. She told me not to worry. I forgot to mention that I have fainting spells in hospitals. It's complicated to explain and is'nt really part of this part blog.

Around 11:30 pm I was taken to the Operating Room(or OR for short). I was given something to put me to sleep. It was almost July 24, 2006. I do'nt remeber much as I was knocked out by the sleeping medicine. I woke up a few hours later back in my room. My family was there. I could'nt go to the bathroom as my rear was covered in blood. I also could'nt walk . It made me dizzy trying to. So I passed my time in the hospital watching TV, trying to walk, sleeping and taking my pain medicine.

About half a week later I was ready to come home. But I still could'nt walk very easily run or work. I think our family Jack Russell Terriers(JRT) knew that something was wrong and wanted to protect me. Their names were "Scruffy" and "Liberty".

My battle with cancer was far from being over.In fact the real battle for me was about to begin. I was going to have "radiotion thearpy" to destroy any remaining cancer cells left in my body. It was'nt going to happen right away. I had to wait a few months before it started. Eventually over the next few weeks I got my strength back and returned back to work. I went back to Ace full time. I was going back to work so I could see everyone ,get back to my customers and out of the house!

But before I went back to work, I needed to have a "CAT" scan on my body. They make you drink this white liquid stuff. It comes in small container or a tube. The medicine you drink tastes really nasty and feels like caulking. This medicine allows the doctor's to see your insides. My flavor I was given a "berry smoothies. I'd rather have a Dairy Queen bizzard or a real smoothie over this stuff any day! I only managed to drink 3/4 of it before I gave up. Then they come get you. You then have to change your clothes into a white gown. They then take you into anther room where they stick you with an IV. The machine that takes the pictures of your insides tells you when to breath and not to breath. Afterwards, I felt rather strange headed,thirsty and dizzy. My father got me a wheelchair and took me out to his truck. When I got home , I laid down and rested for the rest of the day. The first time doing that test took a lot out of me. Little did I know that I have to do that test for the rest of my life!

Then one day in early September 2006, the tumor instiute at St. Lukes called. We were finally going to do my radiotion thearpy. It was going to start on Septeber 16, 2006. The whole treatment was painless at first. But I was going to get some very bad news from home on that same day.

The bad news was that my Jack Russell terrier "Scruffy" was killed by a "hit and run" driver who fled the scene. I was sad, angry, mad , etc. I was very close to Scruffy. I had plans to train him once I felt better. Scruffy was a JRT that my family rescued from anther family who abused him. When he came with from California, I was always spoiling him, his daughter "Liberty" and his mate "Princess". Princess is the only one alive of these origianl dogs we brought with us to Idaho.

The next day I told the girls at radiotion treatment about Scruffy. They knew that I was having a hard time with his sudden death. I promised them I was going to bring in his picture so they coud see what he looked like. It came with me the next day. They were sad too because he was a very beatiful dog. We continued my thearpy daily for about 3 more weeks. I tried working as hard as possible despite being under the effects of the treatment. It was'nt very easy on my body. As we got towards the end of my treatment, I stopped watching "Six Feet Under" on DVD. It on the second season when Nate is in the hospital. It felt for me like a bit too close to my reality at that time. I have'nt been able to watch it now for several months.

As my thearpy was down to it's last days, my body could'nt take it anymore. I was having a hard time eating, sleeping and working. My body often felt fatigued and wore out. I saw my doctor at the cancer institute once a month for a few months afterwards. Eventually my doctor in Twin Fall finally gave my back to my doctor here in Burley.

Everything went OK but I had to drink energy drinks for a few weeks afterwards. On the down side, I was fired from Ace Hardware. I one of their hardest working employees there. I was employeed there from October 2003 to Febuary of 2007. I did'nt leave their empty handed though. I left with my 401K and another new JRT whom I called "Precious" . Precious was purebreed JRT my boss Laura and her husband Bob got me for Christmas since I was having a difficult time without Scruffy. I always bought Scruffy and Liberty Christmas presents every Christmas. They enjoyed them a lot! To make matters worse I was running the pet department so for me it hurt a lot at work!

Then in March 2007, I got hired by our local Wal-Mart. I was hired for overnight matience . I basically clean all of their wooden floors. It's hard for me as my body is always worn out and tired. I re-applied for SSI and Social Security due to my disabilties and cancer. It will be helping me once again starting this fall. I do not know how long I can last at Wal-Mart with my health problems. I also cannot lift heavy items too . It's my doctor orders relating to my operation and the seal they put down there could break.

It was'nt until May 2007 I would be visited the loss of another beloved pet. On May 7th, 2007 one of my younger sister's friend came by to see her. I accidently opened the from door and Liberty went out into the street. A yellow truck tried to avoid her but she got hit. My younger brother( the EMT) took her to the vet. It was going to be the last time I would see her alive. My next door neighbor came by a few hours later. He told me that they had to put Liberty to sleep. I was very upset as it was the second dog I've had killed since we moved to Idaho. My younger brother buried her besides her father Scruffy. I think I'm the only person who goes out there to see them. I was very close to them and I miss them a lot . I think Precious misses Liberty as there were playmates. I suspect Liberty somehow told Precious to watch me for me. Precious does that a lot. She's very protective of me and my middle. In a way, she like both Scruffy and Liberty combined sometimes.

As for me , I try to enjoy life as much as possible. I still normal stuff guys do. But sometimes I have a hard time going to the bathroom. But for me and working, I'm trying to open up a store on Ebay selling DVD's . I try to go the movies at least once a week(if possible). One of my older brothers who is majoring in International Business made me a webpage called "Popcorn Review"(it's one of the links). I also might try my hand at blogging online and try to make a little money with it. I have a few ideas for blogs besides this one.

Offline in the real world, I'm going to breed Precious when she's a one and half years old. Her birthday is August 23rd and I'm still looking for a present to get her. In a way, she's kinda like Scruffy and Liberty, but not too crazy about the world outside.We've also bonded so Precious asn I are very close to each other. She never lets me out of her sight.If I leave she cries about me leaving! Meanwhile I'm trying to train her to obey people. More specifically me!

I also have to take regular "Cat Scans" for the rest of my life I think. My doctor also wants me to give the hospital a blood sample monthy. I try my best just to be me but when you have a major operation like I did it's kinda hard to forget it! It's hard to forget as my body is still healing from all that it's been though. Your emotions everything in your body is out of whack.

Please read the links in this blog to help you or someone you love from going though this.