There's a new twist in our story.
For those who read my earlier posts, skip forward a paragraph. For everyone else, here's the Coles Notes version: My husband found out in April 2011 that he had testicular cancer and had the offending testicle removed. We discussed many options back then, and decided to wait it out and see what the treatment plan was. The surgery went very well, and he's been considered in remission since May 2011, no need for chemo or radiation. The doctors planned to monitor him every 3 months for the first year, every 4 for the second, and he only just now graduated to every 6. They kind of flip flop between CT scans and MRIs, and they've been watching a couple of enlarged lymph nodes in various places throughout his torso. Back when we first found out, we discussed our "family plans" with almost every doctor we encountered. They said that losing a testicle (especially in his case) usually makes the other work in over-drive, and since he wouldn't be needing any drastic treatment, his fertility was unlikely to be affected.
Fast forward to yesterday: I was in another province for a vacation, DH had to work and stayed home. He had an MRI the week before I left and his follow up appointment was scheduled for the 27th (aka. has not even occurred yet). Every scan since his surgery in May 2011 has been great. It got to the point where it was kind of useless for me to take time off work to tag along for appointments because we kept getting good news. Yesterday, via FaceTime (not complaining about the delivery of the news), DH let me know that the lymph node that they were watching in one of his kidneys has grown, and that they want to do chemo. *sigh*
I really don't know what to think/say/do. I realize that all I can do is be there for him and make sure he has everything he needs/wants to get through treatment. We still don't even know how aggressive it'll be. With that said, we need to start taking the actions we discussed two years ago. He's already spoken to the fertility clinic, which has been great about it. All he has to do is call the day that he's ready to provide a "deposit" to be frozen and they'll get him that day. I don't know about other clinics in Ontario, but here, the insemination is free when you've frozen sperm. I don't know whether it was the radiologist or whoever he spoke to at the clinic, but apparently we're not even supposed to BD while he's going through chemo. He has a high libido, but something tells me that he probably wouldn't feel up to it anyways.
His appointment to find out when treatment begins is either late this week or early next week, and depending on when he starts, this will likely be our last cycle TTC for a bit if we even get to at all.
The good news in all of this is that treatment at this stage has a 95% success rate, and he has finally gotten a scare big enough that he truly understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle (like cancer isn't a big enough scare already). He has been referred to a Naturopathic Doctor (I already see one), and a nutritionist, and hopefully one of them can show him that living healthy doesn't have to be hard work if you're willing to commit!
Sorry for the short novel, I don't really have an outlet for this major stressor in my life. This is something that we haven't shared with friends and family..
((hugehugs)) I'm so sorry to hear this update It's definitely great news that with treatment at the stage he is at the results have a high success rate. Many prayers for you both that you are able to grow closer as you go through this together, that DH will deal well with the treatment and be cancer free, and for you to be successful starting your family whenever the timing works out.
I'm so sorry!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband. I pray that it all turns out just fine for him, and the treatment is a success!!!! Big, big, big, big hugs!!!!
Thank you ladies..
Seems as though whenever things are starting to even out and start working in our favor, we get tossed another curve ball. I'm really bummed about this one though. What makes me most nervous through all of this is that we're only 26 and 28.. isn't this supposed to be the portion of our lives where we're in our best health? What are the next 20, 30 and 40+ years going to be like!?
They want to do the chemo as a preventative measure, and I'm grateful for that. Depending on how you look at it, DH is lucky that he'll get at least an annual MRI or CT scan for the rest of his life and they'll likely catch stuff like this before it becomes a serious problem. It's pretty safe to say that there are millions of people who have not been or will not get to be so lucky and have illnesses nipped in the bud like this.
I'm so sorry you have to face this. I hope the treatment goes well. I'll be thinking of you both.
I am sorry you have all of this to go through. Thinking of you and your DH.
Oh no. I'm glad the doctors are being proactive. I wish you both didn't have to go through this though.
So, we had the appointment with the oncologist yesterday afternoon and got the run down on everything and had our chance to ask a bunch of questions. It's funny(sad) that neither of us thought to ask until our appointment was almost over whether "it" was back or not. The doctor kind of blinked at us with a "Really?" expression on her face.. I guess it's a kind of silly question to ask when you're seeing an oncologist. That was when the dead weight hit and sucked every drop of air out of my lungs.. The cancer is back, and from what I understand, it's still testicular cancer, but in or around his kidney. It's a stage 2b seminoma, and is about 3.5cm. The whole cancer thing isn't new to us, but this just sounds so much... scarier.
DH starts chemo on June 3rd (aka. next Monday), so this is going to be a busy week getting him to get to the fertility clinic and provide some semen for banking. He'll bank as much as they'll allow him to (not sure of the required amount of time between visits) before next Monday. There's a 50% chance of him regaining fertility after treatment, but the Doctor advised us to act like this is it. I should ovulate somewhere between Wednesday and Monday (fingers crossed), so this may be our last cycle TTC naturally. Like.. forever. Crazy. Once we see how DH feels during treatment, we'll decide whether we'll start working towards IUI or IVF and when. Can't believe I just put that in writing, but we've been forced to discuss how far each of us are willing to go when it comes to having children. Turns out that we're on the same page when it comes to everything (yay!), which includes everything from IUI to IVF, to adoption. Basically anything except for donor sperm.
His chemo is going to be 3 x 3 week cycles, the first week of each cycle is the intense week and he'll be at the hospital every day. His work is great about it and told him to take all the time he needs, my work as well, I'll be able to go with him on the Mondays when he's spending almost a full day attached to a drip.
I'll try to come back and post some updates, but between this, and all of the crap I have happening for the weddings that we're in, I don't know how much I'll be around pg.org. If any of you are interested in keeping in touch, PM me with your email address and I'll reply with mine. I'm more likely to send updates that way since I can get away with doing that while I'm at work. It's not that I don't want to see how everyone else is doing, but... you know.. this is going to be hard.
Anyways, sorry for such a bummer of an update, but it is what it is, right?
Hope that you're all doing well!
I'll be thinking of you both. I really hope he responds well to the treatment.