Last year I was doing a regular check with a doctor for my last visit before I was to let my insurance lapse. See, I have never had health issues. I only go in because someone wants me to. The biggest health issue I had was an ingrown toe nail when I was in the 5th grade. My insurance was due to lap in a couple of months because I was turning 26, and my plan was to let my insurance lapse until I graduated college in a year and half and then get a full time job and get insurance. I had never needed it, so why pay for it.
During this very routine check in with the doctor, I was told I should go and see my PCP (Primary Care Physician) for a problematic area of skin. Fast forward two months and I underwent a surgery to remove this patch of skin and I found out I have pre-cancer. The surgery was hard to recover from due to its location and the healing process which was painful and uncomfortable. I was told because it was pre-cancerous I needed to get it checked every 3-6 months for the rest of my life to pre-empt any cancer developing. I decided I better keep my insurance current because of this.
A month after this surgery, and a couple weeks before my check in with my PCP, I found a lump on my testicle. My brother had testicular cancer 4-5 years ago and underwent chemo and came out very well. My family has no cancer in the history besides my brother and my maternal grandpa who died from cancer due to smoking. I had my appointment with my new doctor (under a new insurance company) in two weeks and thought I'll just wait to mention it to him when I go in.
My PCP felt this lump and ordered an ultrasound as a precaution, but said it was nothing to worry about. Shortly after this, the patch of skin with pre-cancer grew back and I was told by my other doctor that I need to have a repeat surgery to remove the patch of skin.
Fast forward to today. I am two weeks into my recover from surgery for testicular cancer. That lump I found was cancerous, and thanks to the experience of my brother having cancer I knew how to check and was able to catch mine early. I am awaiting results from a CT scan I got after surgery to determine if the cancer spread or if I need Chemo or any treatment to finish off the testicular cancer.
I am also currently prepping for my third surgery for the pre-cancer next week. I am not looking forward to this procedure because of the complete pain I went through the last time.
In the past 6 months I have seen 5 different doctors 9 times. Will have had 3 surgeries, and had over 10 blood draws or tests or scans. And to think I was going to let my insurance lapse!
I am grateful that I am relatively healthy and that I have insurance. I am blessed with a loving family and parents who worry, pray and care for me. I honored to have friends who support me and love me. I'm lucky to have a brother who has been such a wonderful resource and support for me while I go through exactly what he did. I'm lucky to have a brother and brother-in-law who are doctors and can explain complex terms and confusing explanations from my own doctors. I feel optimistic about my future even though I believe it holds chemo treatment and possible progression of my pre-cancer to cancer. I look forward to being a cancer survivor and possibly a two time cancer survivor. I am blessed.
CT scan came back as good. Looks like the cancer didn't spread anywhere so Chemo might be off the table of options. Going to see an oncologist to get a second opinion though.