True to Dr Watsons word, a day after my appointment with him and his team I received an appointment to have an Ultra sound on my testis that week and an appointment with the Urology consultant the following week. The NHS once again performing in a time of need.
I arrived at Doncaster hospital (DRI) for my scan and being a pretty private person this was by far the most awkward of the tests I’d had to date. Laid on the bed bearing all the doctor tried to put me at ease by making small talk. All I could do was look up at the ceiling and hurry the whole experience up in my head.
Without prompt the doctor said, all done and for your peace of mind your testis are fine.
All fine? I’ve been told I have testicular cancer. “All fine” he replied. My mind was split, was this good news that my testis were OK or did that mean there was something more sinister going on? I’d have to wait until I saw the consultant in a couple of days time.
It’s worth saying that by this point in my diagnosis I had started to tell some of my (and my wife’s) close friends as well as immediate family. If there is one thing I would learn from this experience (which I’d find out throughout my journey) is that your support network is one of the best medicines. Even if you’re not married or don’t have a partner or if perhaps you’re not close to your parents, PLEASE reach out to those that you are close to; don’t be afraid to speak about your feelings, they make you human!
Friday arrived and so did my support. My wife, parents and lots of received WhatsApp messages in hand we headed over to the hospital once again. The four of us sat in a corridor in front of the consultants office; all I can relate the scene to was one of being sat outside the headmasters office at school waiting and wondering what would happen ( and trust me, my mind was running at 1,000,000 mph).
In I was called. My mum and wife by my side. My Dad waited patiently outside as for some reason I felt more comfortable with just two people with me.
Like Dr Watson my consultant was fantastic, right from the moment I sat down he made me feel more at ease, that was until I had to go behind the curtain and drop my trousers for another testis examination!!
Once that was over and done with and my face colour had gone back to normal we sat down and heard what my FINAL diagnosis was………………….
External Germ Cell Seminoma! Yes, that’s what I thought!
Basically, I had Seminoma cancer cells (the type I mentioned in a previous post – it causes testicular Cancer in men and Ovarian cancer in women) but in my case, the cancer hadn’t travelled to my testis, instead it had been caught by the Lymph nodes. One Tumour in my neck (the large lump I’d found) and two smaller tumours in my mediastinum ( not visible to the human eye but were to a CT / MRI scan).
So with this not being a text book case ( the consultant I was seeing had only read about it and he’d been in Urology 20+ years) he referred me to a specialist germ cell cancer team based in Western Park hospital, Sheffield.
Next stop, Sheffield Cancer hospital….
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