February 08, 2006

It's Official

We went in for blood-work and an appointment with urologist Craig Rogers today at 12:15. An hour or so later my blood was drawn and we got upstairs. After another three hours I got to see the doc, who had already scheduled me for surgery tomorrow morning. We finally got to the car at 5pm after more blood tests were completed, and I am writing this, exhausted, after basically just walking in the door.

The blood test results today confirmed that the tumor in my right testis is cancerous, though the type is yet to be determined officially. After an extremely brief examination, Dr. Rogers walked us through the steps of this process and outlined some details of the surgical procedure. An incision will be made above the affected region somewhere on the right of my groin and the cancerous testis will be removed through it. The procedure is often outpatient, but I think I'm going to be staying a day due to my CFS problems. I requested that consideration and I think it's likely to happen. If I stay over I'll probably be in the Marburg building, but I'm not certain of anything right now.

After the surgery, I'll go back in a week to have the dressing removed, and I won't know anything conclusive about whether or not the problem has spread until a month after the procedure, at which point I will have further blood-work to re-test the presence of the tumor marker(s). If my blood is clear, I'll just be observed. If not, I'll have to get chemotherapy and possibly other treatments and things unfold.

So, here's where I am...

The recovery rate for testicular cancer is about 99%, so that is good. That said, I am still extremely concerned about making a recovery from surgery, and further concerned by the prospect of treatments that, by their very nature, wear down the body even more. I am also angry that I had to go through a roughly five hour process today just to have my blood drawn and have a fairly brief consult. I feel I get absolutely no consideration as a person with CFS going through something like this, because no one at any point ever made any attempt to expedite the process, have me get the blood-work done at the same time as my other blood draws, or anything else. I further feel that this consult could have essentially taken place over the phone, legal requirements aside. The position in which I was placed today is much the same as requiring a wheelchair-bound patient to walk up 5 flights of steps to get testing done, then back down for the appointment, then back up again for more testing. I am as tired now I think as I was after the wedding I described on my blog in mid-October, and I have to go in for surgery tomorrow morning at 8:30am.

I was afraid I was going to just totally lose it coming out of Hopkins today, and I did briefly, but as I have found on countless prior occasions, God granted me just enough to get through. After my consultation I was sent back downstairs for what I assume amounts to pre-surgical blood testing, and my technician, a mostly bald, middle-aged African American man, was incredibly friendly and conversational at a time that it just had to happen. I would like to submit his name to the Hospital just to tell them how important it was, but I don't know if I can get that information or not. We talked a little about life, he brought up politics, and by the time I left I was much better equipped to handle the car ride home and the evening still ahead.

So, it's quarter of seven now as I wrap this up. Please pray for me. I am really scared about getting through the recovery from this surgery due to my energy level right now. When I get this tired I often get "regular sick" as I tend to call it, and that would be just horrendous at a time like this. Please pray that I'll get through it, and please also pray that this will be the end of it. Please also do what you can to keep me busy without a big energy requirement attached, as I have found it nigh-impossible to think about anything other than this since I received first word on Thursday. Somehow I am going to get through this surgery and come out shining. My will to live is not remotely reduced despite my physical condition, and I know I'll get just enough at each step to be ok.

I thank you all profusely for your comments over the past day or two. I have commented in return, but you might not realize that if you didn't check for yourself. You can call the house (410) 255-2308 for any information you need. Our answering machine is misleading and generic, but rest assured it is us. If you leave a number I'm sure my folks will get back to you as quickly as they are able.

Goodnight everybody.

Posted by Andy at February 8, 2006 06:48 PM to the Health category

maybe this cancer could have been contributing to the state of your immune system somehow- it could very well be that you'll recover slightly from cfs afterwards, who knows?
there's not much else i can say other than i'm sorry and that i hope for the best.

Posted by: heather at February 8, 2006 07:00 PM


Isn't it something how the good Lord always steps in, right when you feel as though you're at your wits end? You'll most certainly be in my prayers, my friend.

Here's wishing you a quick and full recovery!

Posted by: Joe Lex at February 8, 2006 07:49 PM

Good Luck tomorrow. Have you parents call me and let me know where you are and I will stop by to say hello tomorow (God knows I spend enough time at Hopkins).

God Bless!

Posted by: Pat at February 8, 2006 08:36 PM

Praying for you Andy. Mind if I pass this request on to my small group at church?

Posted by: Bobby at February 8, 2006 11:39 PM


We'll all be praying for you!


Posted by: Nic at February 9, 2006 09:22 AM


I am praying for you. Hang in there. Sorry I could not write last ngiht. You are in my thoughts and a lot of other ppls today Andy.

I am thinking like Heather is above, maybe this was somehow making the CFS worse? I don't know.

I pray you come through this and you get better. And feel better then you did before. I have been praying for you to recover from CFS before this. I will continue to pray for you through this. May God see you through it. And help you recover.

I wish I had been able to write this last night. As I am not sure when you will read it. But when you do please remember someone was thinking of you. Many are. And I might try to call in a few days.

My husband found out some bad news yesterday about his health. And we had a really rough evening.

I need an edit button here, hope I got this right!!!

Your Friend Always,

Connie lynn :)

Posted by: Connie M. at February 9, 2006 12:16 PM

Good luck Andy!

It seems as though you're about to teach me another lesson in perserverance.

Although my faith in God is not as strong as yours, I do have faith that you can make it through this. After all, you always do.

Posted by: Kevin at February 9, 2006 03:02 PM

Andy, I've just caught up on reading your health section. By now you have had the surgery and are probablly (hopefully) zonked out. I just want you to know that you are in my prayers and like Kevin, have absolute faith in your ability to weather yet another storm. You may be physically weak at the moment, but in all other matters of spirit, very strong. Let your spirit conjur up more "spoons"!

Posted by: dave at February 9, 2006 04:08 PM

Most people don't have the balls to endure what you have and I know that even with only 1 you will show them all up and set an example of strength for everyone. May the force be with you!

Posted by: Tric Marcoon at February 9, 2006 08:58 PM

Just read your "final decision!" They didn't waste any time setting up surgery and that is good! If you requested to stay overnigt..they will keep you 23 hours. That's what I did, with CA breast surgery. Keep your Faith strong... with your physical weakness already... it will make it a little longer on recouperation time? Or this may play a part in your CFS?? You are in my prayers... you WIll have enough "spoons" to get through this! I had to play the waiting game too for the test to be sent out of state...99% is very good and keep that upper most in your thoughts. We all care about you and looking forward to your next post!
Love and hugs...Sara

Posted by: Sara @ Friends at February 9, 2006 10:19 PM


I don't know how much of this I should post, but I don't think Andy would mind.

I was able to talk to Andy after surgery yesterday, from what the Doc said it all went well.

The fast-paced heart thing that happens when he gets stressed (I think they call it tachycardia) happened near the end of surgery and they caught in on the monitors for the first time which allowed him to stay the night there. [Not life-threatening for those of you who don't know.]

He is in Marburg 2 0 9 and the desk number to Marburg second floor is 410- 9 5 5 -5420. I haven't called only because there is no way I want to wake him if he actually is getting any sleep, but I would guess that you could ask the floor nurse if he's awake.

Last I checked was that he would be released Today, Friday at 10am.

From what I understand it's about a month till ALL the tests come back and the next steps get determined.

Andy, when you're home and read this, know that you've been in everyone thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Mei at February 10, 2006 07:38 AM
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