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browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515
New here!

Hi! I'm Jess, 24, and I'm engaged to be married next fall.

The past few weeks have flown by, as my fiance and I got some unexpected news. We found out almost three weeks ago that he has testicular cancer. His urologist tried to perk us up a little, and explained it as, if you were told you were going to have cancer, and you could choose whichever type you wanted, this is the one you'd want to choose. Regardless, it's terrifying. We've gone from making appointments to meet with photographers and see venues, to scheduling surgery, cat scans, and urologists. He's scheduled to have surgery to remove the offending testicle on Wednesday, and I really hope it all ends there, but he'll be under observation for the next while to watch some of the questionable markings on his last cat scan.

So, why am I here? The fear of possible radiation, chemo, and further surgeries aren't without cause, all of which will affect fertility. We've had family members generously offer to pay whatever costs come with sperm banking and treatments, but that's really not what we had in mind when it came to having children. We've decided that we can do this now, I'm going to stop taking birth control, and just let it happen. I think we'll try up until August, if it doesn't happen by then, we'll be a little more cautious. Conceiving any later than that would leave me largely pregnant at our wedding, I'd be perfectly happy to be within the first trimester at the time of our wedding.

I never thought I'd be putting any of this into words, but there are some things that just can't be planned for! I'm sure we'll get criticism for PLANNING to get pregnant before we get married, but we both seem to stray from the traditional, and have families who are supportive of this decision.

I'll likely give an update on his condition, but won't really have more answers for another two weeks or so, at which point we'll learn whether he'll need chemo or radiation, if at all! Fingers crossed!

lemonlemon's picture
Joined: 12/30/07
Posts: 1904

Hiya!!
Wow! Thats so much to deal with!! I cant imagine having all of that on my shoulder.. Makes me feel that my "worries" really aren't that big of a deal Beee
But I believe things happen for a reason! Maybe it was meant to be for you guys to have your child/children sooner rather then later!
If I may ask, why does the doctor say this is the cancer you'd want to have? Is it a more isolated type thing (easier to get rid of with removal?)
Also- Does the radiation/chemo/treatment type things affect his sperm.. as in.. could you not TTC during treatment? (I didn't know if it makes the sperm... non working for the moment?)
I think it's sooo great that your families offered to do that!! That must mean you guys have a great support system!!
When is the wedding? You said fall, so I was thinking Sept/Oct? But not sure where your from so maybe "fall" isnt until winter here.. hehe.. But I wasnt sure by what you meant about STOPPING in August so you wouldnt be largely pregnant at the wedding, but it would seem like the SOONER you start the MORE pregnant you'd be KWIM? So even if you tried up until you got married, if you got pregnant two days before the wedding you wouldnt be large at all?!?! Unlless Im reading this wrong hehe... Or you meant about having the wedding like NEXT year and didnt want to be large from AFTEr having a baby?!!
Fingers crossed for you and hope you guys get some good news soon!!!

lemonlemon's picture
Joined: 12/30/07
Posts: 1904

Okay just saw your ticker... one year 4 months UNTIL.. now I get it Smile So you'd either have the baby before.. OR take a little break until closer to time? Sounds like a good plan..!!!

IMO it wouldnt be the worst thing to be largely pregnant at my wedding... beats the first trimester of being exhausted with morning sickness Smile and Im sure people would understand, if not then they shouldnt be there! Smile Could always have a special honeymoon or ceremony in a few years after Smile

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

"lemonlemon" wrote:

If I may ask, why does the doctor say this is the cancer you'd want to have? Is it a more isolated type thing (easier to get rid of with removal?)
Also- Does the radiation/chemo/treatment type things affect his sperm.. as in.. could you not TTC during treatment? (I didn't know if it makes the sperm... non working for the moment?)

Good question! The reason why the doctor said this was because at the stage he's at, the success rate is 95% with treatment. They're trying to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the testicle, but won't really know until they wait a little and do another cat scan. Some of his lymph nodes are showing as enlarged, but not large enough to "definitely" be cancer.. it could just be that this is the way his have always been.

I'm not sure about radiation, but with chemo, it's probably best that we abstain. I have a LOT of questions to ask. He has an appointment with our regular family doctor coming up, so I'm hoping he can clear up a lot of the confusion, and put us on the right track when it comes to TTC.

Oh, and you were right.. if we don't get pregnant before August-ish, I'd like to wait another 6 months or so to try again. The wedding isn't until Sept 2012 (SO glad now that it's that far in the future, I wouldn't be able to deal with high wedding stresses right now!).

daria's picture
Joined: 07/22/03
Posts: 496

Welcome!

That is a lot to deal with! I'm glad his prognosis is good. Keep us posted!

Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 17

:wavehello:
Hi there and welcome to the boards. Sounds like you have a lot going on at the moment and very sorry to hear about your fiance. I hope he gets a speedy recover and you can start looking forward to your wedding. I can understand wanting to try for a baby soon and think you guys should just go for it. :goodluck:

mwilliamson006's picture
Joined: 09/10/08
Posts: 928

Hi, and Welcome to the boards! You must be a strong woman! I cannot imagine being at that stage of life planning a wedding and then finding out that news. I completely agree with everyone else here! If you guys want to try now, then go for it! A baby always lifts everyone's spirits, and will give him something to fight for to be better. I hope that everything works out and that the cancer has not spread. Good Luck! Please keep us updated.

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

Thanks for all of the well-wishes ladies!

I think we're both pretty optimistic, but really can't shake the underlying concern. We're confident that he'll be able to shake the testicular cancer and make it "yesterday's news" in no time, but I really won't feel at ease until he gets another cat scan that shows that it's no longer a concern anywhere else in his torso. His bloodwork didn't show any of the markers for anything else.. so we're basically crossing everything on our bodies in hopes that we get the answers we WANT to hear.

We're going to go ahead and try up until August, then call it quits until late spring next year!

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

Hi and welcome!!
Sorry u r going through this and hope your plan works out. Can't wait to know you better through these boards.

AshG's picture
Joined: 02/02/07
Posts: 233

Welcome!! :wavehello:
Sorry to hear about your DF! That's scary but it's great that you guys have a plan and are being optimistic. Biggrin Good luck with the TTC. Glad to have you on the board!

Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 39

Best of luck with everything! Welcome to the boards!:yahoo:

Joined: 03/01/09
Posts: 655

Welcome and best of luck TTC and with DF's fight.

If you don't mind me asking, how was the cancer found?

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

"nero1281" wrote:

If you don't mind me asking, how was the cancer found?

Most people are curious, it made for a very awkward conversation with my male boss. I understood where he was coming from, probably curious for his own health. DF had made a few comments about how the right testicle felt weird, kind of like it was getting more firm. I kept nagging him to go get it checked out if he thought it was weird, but he kept shrugging me off thinking it was nothing. It kept getting firmer, and larger and didn't really.. (for lack of a better word) hang like the other anymore. It started to get a little sensitive, so he finally listened to me and went to a walk in clinic.

The urologist told him to spread the word to his male family and friends that the best way to screen yourself is to check fresh out of the shower, and take a really good feel. If they do it often enough, they should be able to notice even small differences. DF said that now that he knows, he can feel three distinct lumps.

Tell your men to check themselves!

jubileerose's picture
Joined: 06/12/09
Posts: 549

Hi and welcome!
I want to say I'm sorry about the bad news of your fiance's cancer, and wanted to thank you for sharing how he found his cancer. I will mention it to my husband and gently remind him to examine himself after the shower. Knowledge is power- thanks for spreading it around!

Also, about you two going for the baby right now- YAAAAY!!!! How wonderful! I completely understand your decision, and think it is probably the right thing for you guys to do, given your circumstances. Good luck on trying to conceive, and good luck with the treatments and wedding planning!
You have so much on your plate right now, but I think you both are going to be just fine. Congrats on getting to try to conceive! WAHOOO for that! Biggrin

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2439

Hello and welcome! I'm so sorry to hear about your fiance. That is a lot for you both to go through. I hope that he has a speedy recovery. Congrats and good luck on TTC. That's a fun positive in the midst of all this news.

Looking forward to getting to know you more on this board. Keep us posted on your DF and your TTC journey Smile

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

"jubileerose" wrote:

Knowledge is power- thanks for spreading it around!

This!! Can't agree more. I wish that DF wasn't setting the example for all of his friends, but everyone thinks that it won't happen to them.

I'm taking him in for surgery tomorrow morning, can't wait to make mental notes of the funny things he says when he's coming out of the general anesthetic. Just can't wait for this part to be over so we can find out what happens next. Fingers crossed that it's nothing, and this was the final step.

acandjh's picture
Joined: 06/26/07
Posts: 303

Hi Jessica! Welcome to TOC! I'll be thinking of you and your DF today. Hope you're right, and this is the final step. How long will it be before you get the results?

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

"acandjh" wrote:

Hi Jessica! Welcome to TOC! I'll be thinking of you and your DF today. Hope you're right, and this is the final step. How long will it be before you get the results?

Thanks! I'm thinking it'll be about a week before we hear back? However long, I'm sure it's going to feel like forever. It felt really weird today to drop him off for surgery, and then go put a deposit on the venue for our wedding.

Once we get the results, I'm sure they'll give us the next steps. If he's going to need chemo or radiation, I think we're going to TTC for sure in the time between. If anything is going to affect fertility, those treatments will.

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

The surgery went well! He's in a decent amount of pain, I'm still convinced that any woman who went through an equally invasive surgery would be back to business as usual already Blum 3

He's in good spirits, making lots of "One Nut" jokes, and is only slightly milking it. He did bring up TTC again, he seems to be having second thoughts. He keeps saying how we "can't afford it"... I don't think he understands that fertility treatments aren't cheap, and they'd be in addition to the cost of raising a child! Just plain ol' sex is free, and I have a great job that has generous maternity leave, as well as an ever-standing opportunity to work at a local cloth diaper shop. At the CD shop, it's encouraged to bring your baby to work!

I think we have some talking to do. We have a really great family support system, I don't think we'd have any problems making it work. I'll keep you ladies posted!

acandjh's picture
Joined: 06/26/07
Posts: 303

I'm glad the surgery went well. Sorry he's waffling on TTC. He's probably pretty scared. Having a baby is scary on its own... add in a pretty significant health issue and it's downright terrifying. You're right, talking is a good place to start. Good luck.

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

The verdict? We're going to wait at least until we go for his followup appointment on the 27th. I think at that point, we'll start asking the doctors if the reproductive concerns are immediate, or "down the road". If it's not of immediate concern, we agreed to wait until next summer (still before the wedding) to try. I'd be content to be 3-4 months pregnant for the wedding. Unless I was definitely showing, no one would be any wiser, since I don't drink alcohol anymore anyways. Then again, with my luck, we'd conceive twins or something (they run rampant on my side of the family!), and there'd be no hiding it.

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

Oh, PS. Since his surgery, we've booked our venue, photographer, and florist! Yipee!

lemonlemon's picture
Joined: 12/30/07
Posts: 1904

Yay!! Came to check up on you and am happy to hear the good news so far!!! Hope everything keeps going well!!!!

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

So, it's been a while since I've logged in, but we've had a bunch of great news since then. Bear with me here:

DF recovered so well from surgery, doctors were super impressed. We met with the urologist again, who broke it down simply for us by saying again that if you *had to* choose a cancer to get, this is the one you'd want. Not only is the cure rate for testicular cancer high, the specific type of cancer cell that occurred was called a pure seminoma, which is apparently the "best" type of cell to treat. We met with a medical oncologist (chemo), and a radiation oncologist, and both agreed that they'd rather monitor him than administer any treatments, because as far as they can see, he's cancer free!!!

He goes for another cat scan this week, which we'll get results for at the end of July. they want to continue to monitor him by doing a scan every 3 months for the next 3 years, every 6 for the 3 after that, and annually for the rest of his life. Depending on how you look at it, this whole cancer thing could work out to a GOOD thing. If anything crops up, he'll be scanned regularly and anything new could get taken care of right away. They want to watch the lymph nodes near his groin, kidneys, and a spot on his lung, as they were questionable from the start, but we'll deal with that if we have to.

So the last bit: We were referred to a fertility clinic here in the city, and heard exactly what we wanted to hear. If anything comes up, and he needs chemo (slight possibility only because of the larger than average lymph nodes), he can just walk into the clinic without an appointment to do his 'deposit'.

It's SUCH a relief to have this behind us. Now it's on to planning the rest of the wedding.

We've also agreed that we're going to start trying for a baby mid-May next year, I'm also excited for that!!

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

Oh yay!! Glad to hear all the good news!!!
How exciting!!!:p:p

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2439

That is great news about your DF. I'm sure it was a scary ordeal and happy to have it behind you!

And Happy Wedding Planning to you! Sounds like you have done a lot already and you still have quite a bit of time left. I'm in the phase of my wedding planning where I can't wait for it to be over. I'm ready for the honeymoon and babymaking already!!!

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515

"eliann" wrote:

And Happy Wedding Planning to you! Sounds like you have done a lot already and you still have quite a bit of time left. I'm in the phase of my wedding planning where I can't wait for it to be over. I'm ready for the honeymoon and babymaking already!!!

Oh man, I can only imagine! I already can't wait for it to be over! How is your family with all of the planning? Have they let you do your own thing, or are they over involved? My parents are great, DF's mom is great, but his extended family is crazy!!