20 (AT THE TIME)
MONROE, NEW YORK
I was diagnosed with non-seminoma testicular cancer at age 20 on NYE 2019. I had a large tumor on my left testicle that spread to my lymph nodes and lungs. Long before this i had an enlarged testicle that i had discussed with my Dr who was not worried but obviously i should’ve been more aggressive and wish i had been.
I started my chemo regimen on January 14th, 2020 and although it was not fun by any means it wasn’t horrible. I was able to stay positive and remain happy and just go with the flow, sometimes I think it was easier cause my life really just involved laying around, occasionally going to lay in a chair somewhere else for the day. During my first cycle of chemo I had a pulmonary embolism in my lung which was 0 fun, but a few days in the hospital later I was fine.
Covid came around right after my third cycle and ill be honest it scared the living shit out of me. still did until I learned how to deal with it a few weeks ago. I had to go through my fourth cycle alone which kinda sucked because i was bored but we were all making sacrifices.
Wrapped up chemo on April 14th, 2020.
After that finished I had about a month wait until my Retro peritoneal lymph node dissection and orchiectomy This surgery FUCKED ME UP MAN. Spent 9 days in Memorial Sloan Cancer center in NYC (who are the absolute best in the business). On May 29th when I went home my surgeon informed me my biopsies came back clear, which in my confusion at the time I was unclear on but was later told by my oncologist this was obviously a good thing. I guess May 29th is my Anniversary of being cancer free but since it took some time till i was clear i always say June 7th, which happens to me national cancer survivors day. I think its just got a better shine to it.
After I went home from my surgery i figured within a few weeks i would be buzzin and i was wrong. For weeks after my surgery i was nauseous, had no appetite, could not sleep and was constantly in pain. After a little over a month and at a tipping point scans revealed i had a surplus of ascites in my stomach as my lymph nodes did not heal correctly. A parasynthesis drained nearly 15 liters from my stomach. Paras would become a weekly endeavor for me, usually yielding a similar number.
Around late august i had an unsuccessful surgery to seal the lymphatic leaks, and another unsuccessful attempt in mid September. This lead to me having shunt placed in my body to redirect fluid back in to my body, giving me back a quality of life I had not had since may.
The shunt was removed in Late January and i returned to college at SUNY Brockport in Rochester, NY where ill graduate in may on the anniversary of my surgery.
It was certainly a long and unwanted challenge but i rose above and came out on top, i made several friendships and connections that will last forever.