Testicular Cancer-diagnosis day

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When you marry your partner you usually vow to look after them in sickness and in health, but you never really think about what that might mean (unless they are already ill). You are just full of love and hope and look forward to a long and happy life together.

I never expected to become so sick that I had to take one of my husbands kidneys from him! He’s always been the strong one so I never expected him to be ill either.

 

These recent events have been very stressful and exhausting for both of us (exhausting for me mainly due to the fact that my husband has needed to sleep on his back and seems to be going for gold in the snoring category!!).

Suddenly we had been thrown into a world we couldn’t control, and reliant on people we didn’t know and a testicular tumour that even the experts didn’t recognise. We have also been blessed with wonderful friends who have checked up on us both and prayed for us each day. You certainly know who your friends are when something like this happens!

Last night we went to see the consultant for the final diagnosis. I’m relieved to say that nothing sinister was found. We had obviously hoped for this result and we can finally breath! We still have a way to go as Darren still has an open wound from the emergency surgery. We are going back to the hospital daily for the packing material (seaweed would you believe?!!) and dressing to be changed. The wound is deep and the consultant has suggested that he stitches it up next week. It will mean another anaesthetic (more worry) but it will heal a lot more quickly than leaving it to heal upwards.

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So, this “young” couple, pictured here years ago, full of dreams and hopes can stop worrying for a while……..about cancer at least.

If anyone feels a lump or feels unwell we both urge you to get checked out without delay.

 

Testicular cancer-update……things took an unexpected turn! (as life does……)

Darren had his first check up on Monday. He was feeling extremely tired and looked very pale. His check up went well and all looked good. He mentioned that he felt uncomfortable and had some pain and was given a prescription for antibiotics to take only if he had a raised temperature.

Over the next few days he felt worse and we rang for some advise. His temperature was normal and the wound clean so we were told the tiredness and some pain was to be expected and not to worry. I even bought a new thermometer in case our thermometer wasn’t working but it was all normal. We thought he looked worse than he should have but equally we thought it was normal to be like it.

Yesterday, Darren was shivering uncontrollably and was in a whole heap of pain. He became really emotional and unable to cope with himself. I rang his hospital ward and they suggested I took him to our GP. Luckily they gave us an appointment for that morning. The GP could feel a swelling under the wound in his groin so he sent us back to the hospital.

After a CT scan, blood tests etc it was discovered that he had a bad infection there and needed immediate surgery. It all happened so quickly. His temperature shot up to 39.5° C and the surgical team were called. Literally within the hour he was signing consent forms and being whisked away to theatre.

IMG-4014As I looked down the long corridor I had the immediate thought that my whole life was being whisked away from me in such a sudden and unexpected way. Darren was suddenly so poorly, and there was a mention of sepsis, and the fact that he may be transferred to a different hospital after the operation if he went more downhill. It was all very frightening. The picture here summed up exactly how I was feeling right at that moment and I felt compelled to take it. It wasn’t intentional that I was behind him at that moment. We had said goodbye in his room. It had been a long, worrying, day and I just needed to distract myself by going for a walk and grabbing a sandwich to eat while I waited for news (as I was feeling a bit unwell myself from not eating since the morning). It was 6.30pm by then.

He was about to turn the corner and disappear from my life……and I knew that if it turned out to be sepsis it could potentially be very serious indeed. The walls felt like they were closing in and it all begun to hit me.

The surgeon came to see me and told me that the infection was very bad but they had flushed it all out and now he had an open wound, which would take a few weeks to heal upwards. It will need to be redressed every day and at the moment he is on IV antibiotics. He can possibly go home tomorrow if all is ok.

He looked so much brighter immediately after his surgery and today he looks better still.

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I have my crazy man back!!

We are still awaiting his results from his removed testicle. Our appointment for that is on 7th. No other dramas can happen now so we are still expecting the best results! x

 

Testicular Cancer-operation day…….

So the day has arrived, and I must say that Darren has remained calm over the past week. I guess we both know that, these days, the anaesthetics are very safe and you get given anti-sickness drugs and pain relief whilst you are asleep, so by the time you wake up you feel fine and can even feel like eating. I remember in the “olden days” (when I was a child lol) having my teeth out under gas. That horrible rubber mask over my mouth and nose and me fighting to get it off until I was overcome by the fumes. I remember waking up after having 4 teeth removed (I didn’t have enough room in my mouth for all my teeth) and feeling awful! I was basically carried across the road to the park to get some fresh air. My parents were firm believers that fresh air was the cure for everything. It didn’t make me feel better that time!

So this past week I haven’t slept very well. It’s always assumed that I’m the family member with the health problems (since my Mum passed from kidney disease/heart attack). I’m not used to seeing Darren having many health problems, whereas I was quite poorly for 6 years and had numerous stays in hospital. I hid my kidney disease well most of the time though.

I feel very sad. I mean, he saved my life by donating his kidney so surely that should give him a health pass for life? I also feel guilty that he is having an anaesthetic with only one kidney. It’s not actually relevent to the operation itself but it does mean that some drugs, like anti inflammatory medication the Doctors may otherwise use, are no longer an option for him and really no pain-killer apart from Paracetamol type drugs. There’s nothing wrong with Paracetamol (I’ve been allowed only those for years) it’s just that sometimes you need something a little stronger. He isn’t allowed now he has donated.

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Darren has just gone down for surgery. He will have his operation and then be cared for in the recovery room for a while. I will see him in 2 or more hours time. I’m allowed to remain in his room and wait. It’s a lovely room and has a shower room/toilet so that’s great for me as I drink 3 litres of water a day! Darren is covered by private medical care. Under our local NHS hospital I wouldn’t be allowed to use a patients restroom so would need to go to a different floor if I needed it. As I work from home it would be difficult to keep packing up my laptop so I’m really grateful right now for this room! Not that this is about my comfort! It’s not a slur on the NHS in any way either, I might not be alive today if it wasn’t for them. For today though I am grateful for being in this hospital. We feel spoilt for the comforts of this room.

I have been using the internet to look up the percentage of testicular cancer being benign and the odds are really in his favour so that makes me feel a lot less nervous. We won’t have the results of that for a week or so but are both expecting the best result from this. The surgeons had their meeting yesterday and no one had ever seen this before so we are no further to finding out what it is without testing it in any case. One suggestion was a crush injury causing the tumour but I really think that would bring tears to the eyes and he would have noticed that?!

So I sit here waiting (and working) and if I get very agitated I might even take my knitting out to take my mind off things! There’s nothing like fresh woolly stitches on a knitting needle to give you comfort!

I’m trying hard not to think of all the things that could go wrong during the operation. There’s no room in my life for such thoughts (or so I keep telling myself). I’m not feeling alone. We’ve had so many messages of support and even FaceTime from my Daughter and youngest Granddaughter (little un doesn’t know what the operation is for but wanted to say good luck). I know my family/friends are just a phone call away but for now I just need to be calm and alone.

Having Aspergers means that emotions can be overwhelming. I tend to suppress them unless I am very stressed. Even then I just tend to hide away and cope on my own, so for now, I’m happy in this closed room with my own headspace and sit and wait for Darren to return. He won’t be long……just a few hours of worry that’s all!……….it’s actually getting dark outside already so it feels kind of comforting if that makes any sense?

I have snacks and my 2 litre water bottle to keep me going.

to be continued………

Testicular cancer…..tests results day….

So yesterday we went back to see Darren’s consultant for the results of his blood tests and CT scan.

Thankfully the results were as we hoped….no cancer markers and no signs of any spread on the CT scan. In fact the only abnormalities shown were the tumor on his testicle and a space where Morgan used to be!

I must admit the consultant looked very perplexed as if he was hoping to see something. He said that it was unhelpful as he still doesn’t know what it is. It’s so abnormal that they will discuss at the regular consultant “meet ups” where they discuss their complex cases to see if anyone had any ideas. A picture sprung into my mind of a book club meeting but about testicles…….funny how the mind works sometimes!!

In any case it needs to be removed so next Wednesday is the day. It will be in the afternoon.

Of course the operation carries risks, as does any surgical procedure. He can expect anything as he has surgery there before so there may be adhesions and it may turn out to be a bigger operation than planned.

It’s best not to focus on what could go wrong or we’d never do anything in life. I like our optimistic view on life! It’s our positive approach on life that keeps us going no matter what life throws us.

I can stay with him and stay in his room while he has surgery. I might even knit a scarf while I wait…..isn’t that what people do?? What do you do??

Darren is different to me in the fact that he doesn’t like spending a night without me whereas I’m more like a “woohoo I can eat crisps in bed and make a mess” kind of girl!! So I will stay as late as I can so that he’s not alone and then pick him up and take him home the next day. I expect I’ll be home too late to want to eat crisps in bed though haha.

The next step is for it to be sent away for testing. We are hoping that’s the end of it.

Darren has the option of having a testicular prosthesis inserted. We have discussed this together and he has made a decision. Although I want my blog to be as open and honest as I can be, I don’t feel this is for me to discuss! It’s not necessary for people to know but if anyone is going through this and want help making a decision then there are plenty of discussions on the internet. It’s worth getting as much information as possible. Don’t be hasty either way or you could regret it later.

There are also other options like banking sperm. Again it’s an individual decision. I think that looking after our 3 young Grandchildren has made him realise that having more of his own is not something he wishes for haha!! (I let him make this decision with my blessing as we have to face facts that although I plan to live until 100 anything can make Morgan fail and I could be dead within a week…..not likely though!! Just being realistic). I think this has to be the mans decision and it’s of no relevance to the relationship as we never know how life will turn out from one day to the next.

So in 5 days time I will probably be a nervous wreck with no fingernails but for now I need to get ready for 3 beautiful monsters descending on our house for the weekend. Nothing more lovely for taking your mind off things than having Grandchildren staying for the weekend!!