Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

You’re Cured

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“Yeah, as of right now you’re cured.” The words hung in the air as my urologist waited for a reaction from Julie and me. As I ponder what he said, part of me wonders if I’m really cured. Is it really possible to catch testicular cancer so early that so quickly after being diagnosed with it I could have it removed and be declared cured? It’s very difficult to believe.

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Yesterday I had an appointment with my urologist to go over the Pathology report and blood work. Both Julie and I were hoping for good news. There are several types of testicular cancer (and for more in depth look go here), but two are the most common; seminomas and nonseminomas. Seminomas tend to grow and spread slowly and are easily treated with surgery and if needed radiation, whereas nonseminomas grow and spread quickly. Because the cancer seemed to appear so quickly I was thinking that I probably had a nonseminoma. Which meant that it would be harder to treat.

Yet the CT scan was negative, the blood work looking at the tumor markers showed that I was normal, and the pathology report came back saying that it was indeed a seminoma. The good news kept rolling too. The tumor was contained in the testis and had not spread anywhere else. And we also found the reason for the terrible pain I had been experiencing: the tumor showed signs of hemorrhaging.

My wife and I sat there with the doctor unsure of what to say. We were insanely happy and grateful that we caught it early. But it almost didn’t feel like the end. How could it be over? Isn’t cancer supposed to be something that you deal with for a long time?

As if reading our thoughts the doctor starting talking about what would be next. Since the seminoma had been contained he was recommending that we just monitor for awhile to see what happens and referred me to an oncologist to go into more depth as to what that means. Which means, even though I am declared clear of cancer, there still is a lot to do. The oncologist may order a couple more tests (another CT, a PET scan, etc…) but my doctor is sure that we will just monitor me.

We’ll have to wait to meet with the oncologists to see what that will look like. But for the moment my wife and I are relieved with the news.

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When I was first diagnosed with testicular cancer I tweeted Lance Armstrong this tweet:

Tweet

While I don’t believe he is the greatest role model, I have appreciated his bulldog approach to cancer and cancer awareness. But tweeting Lance Armstrong is not what I want to highlight. Because I publicly tweeted about my testicular cancer the Testicular Cancer Society sent a reply to the tweet:

Tweet

Through this whole process I want to thank the founder of the Testicular Cancer Society Mike Craycraft. Throughout this whole process he’s checked in on me, offered advice, and just given general support. It blew me away that he would do that for me, so Mike thank you!

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My story is far from over. There will be other posts dealing with my cancer in the future. Because of what I’ve gone through I’ve now become an advocate for pushing awareness of testicular cancer. As young men the last thing we want to admit is weakness. Our society pushes the thought that pain equals weakness. We tell our young men that they’re not a man if there is some sort of problem down there. So much of our identity as men is wrapped up with that area of our body. Joking about young men only having 1 testicle doesn’t normally help either.

And because of this we are embarrassed to talk about problems there. We hope by ignoring the problem it will go away. Don’t wait if you feel something different! If you feel a lump in your testicle that wasn’t there before, go to your doctor. If you’re experiencing pain there that you haven’t had before, go to your doctor. The sooner you catch it, the better off you’ll be.

If you’re looking for ways to support, you can donate to the Testicular Cancer Society, you can participate in Movemember, or you can always talk about it. The more we make young men aware, the better off we’ll be.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Nick, it was so great to hear the news today about your pathology report. I was also stage I seminoma in 2006 and went on surveillance. Thank you so much for your kind words. I wasn’t expecting to read that in your blog and it certainly made more than just my day. I am so glad that things have turned out for you the way that they have.

    • Mike,
      Knowing others have gone through it has helped. My wife and I have spent quite a bit of time on your society’s webpage learning about testicular cancer. Thanks so much for starting it and being active with it!

  2. Ah Nick you are so courageous! Your openness and willingness to speak up will save lives! So proud of you and Julie for the way you two have handled what to many would be totally devastating to go through. God knows you are strong and bold for Him. And Julie is an angel–she looks like one and acts like one! You are both so lucky to have each other! I pray for you to have many wonderful years serving God together!

  3. You don’t know who I am, I am friends with Kimberly and Charlie Little. My husband had Testicular cancer 6 years ago and is cured! Opt for Chemotherapy. The only way to catch it quick enough and make sure it doesn’t spread (which it goes to the brain when it becomes metastatic) is to have the very rigorous very scary bliomyecin treatment. They will tell you that it causes respiratory distress, and it does, but that will eventually go away. My husband had a 78% chance of it returning without it and a 13% with. Like I said, he’s cured. It took awhile but the asthma from the Blio and the liver damage from the Chemo has all but vanished.

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