In a few days, I will be celebrating my 5th anniversary with my wife Kristine. She has been by my side through some of the toughest times. I am grateful for her love and support through these past five years. I love her with all of my heart.
Testicular Cancer Diagnosis
Not many people know that before my second anniversary in 2010, I found a hard lump in my right testicle that hurt when touched. When I told my dear wife, she had me schedule an appointment to see a urologist as soon as possible. I am so grateful to her for loving me enough to get me to go to see the urologist. My wife accompanied me to the appointment. At my appointment with the urologist he examined my right testicle and confirmed my observation. He immediately had me go do an ultrasound at the Riverwoods Imaging Center. After the ultrasound was conducted, they had us wait and it felt like forever. Finally the doctor called and told us that I had a tumor and I needed to receive treatment for it as soon as possible. This meant that I had testicular cancer.
Kristine and I evaluated our options and decided to do the surgery and treatment in Hong Kong. We left for Hong Kong and as soon as we got off the plane, I was rushed to see several doctors. It was confirmed by the doctors in Hong Kong that I did have a tumor and that surgery would be required. Dr. Tam, the best urological surgeon operated on the tumor and removed it successfully. The next few weeks that followed consisted of recovery and careful care of the surgical wound. Once I had recovered, I would begin a course of preventive chemotherapy to ensure all the cancerous cells were destroyed.
It took a few weeks to recover from the surgery. I had to sponge bathe my wound area and try not to immerse it in water. I felt like a dog after surgery. They pretty much should have put the surgical cone around my head like they do to dogs after their surgery. My wife and I knew that I would be undergoing preventative chemotherapy treatment. We were not sure if I would be well enough to celebrate our anniversary, so we went to Hong Kong Disneyland for our second anniversary.
Life after Surgery
Once I regained my strength from surgery, I was put on a course of BEP chemotherapy. I was in the hospital for the first week of chemotherapy and it was difficult for me because I couldn’t eat much and was hungry all the time. The medicine made me nauseated most of the time and the only thing that helped was smelling orange peels. My wife would visit me during visitor hours. Just seeing her face would make me smile.
Diet and Nutrition
During my chemotherapy treatment it was extremely difficult for me to eat. I felt sick all the time so I would drink a nutrition supplement called Ensure. I found the chocolate flavor to be the best testing during my chemotherapy treatment.
Complications During Chemotherapy Treatment
I finally made it out of chemotherapy and was able to go home and spend time with my wife and my parents. A few days later I went back in to get my chemotherapy shot (for day 10). Within 18 hours, I had a very high fever which is never good for chemotherapy patients. My wife and parents rushed me to the emergency room as soon as possible. They took a sample of my blood and verified that my white blood cell count had dropped significantly so the doctors had me admitted to the ER ward. That night was a very difficult night for me. I could not sleep well at all. I was in the most exquisite pain that I had ever experienced in my entire life. I remember praying to Heavenly Father to deliver me from this pain. At around 3 AM in the morning the nurse came by with a ginormous needle and administered a shot into my shoulder. I was already in so much pain that I didn’t really care that the shot hurt so bad! Shortly after receiving the shot, I was able to sleep. It turned out that my white blood cell count was so low that my dad, a nuclear medicine doctor, was very worried that I wouldn’t make it through the night. After I had been admitted to the ER ward, he spent the next couple hours pleading for the other doctors to help his son. My dad used all the connections he had to save my life that night. I will always be grateful for his sense of urgency, his ability to anticipate, his aid and for his love for me.
I was eventually moved to the Oncology ward and my wife and parents were able to visit me there too. Since my white blood cell count was so low, they put me in a sealed isolated room. However, this was not the only issue that I would face. I was still unable to hold food down very well so my nutrition was not good. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong. It turned out that I had magnesium deficiency. Once my Dad administered some vitamins which contained magnesium I was able to recover and was discharged from the hospital in time for my second anniversary. During the struggle, the only thing that kept me going was to get better in time to spend my anniversary with my wife. On Thursday we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary with our two baby daughters. We have come a long way since that summer 2010 when I found out I had cancer. I am so grateful to my wife for standing by me when I had cancer. I know that I am a cancer survivor because of her and my parents.
Miracles do Happen
I believe in miracles. My recovery was a miracle by the hand of God. I learned that the people that love you most when you’re in the hospital are the ones that visit the most. In my case it was my family. I know the power of prayer. If you pray Heavenly Father will hear you and will comfort you. The savior Jesus Christ knows what your going through and he will lift you up. Look to Christ and live.