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Well, I found an unusual way of upgrading my aperture!


BrownClaw
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Hey everyone,

As a relatively new member, you probably haven't even seen any of my posts. I've only owned my scope since December 09 and I've posted a few lunar pictures and commented here and there. I'm hoping I won't offend anyone with this post, so apologies in advance if it's gross/scary/pointless.

I love checking the forums and seeing what's new but haven't been on for a while; things have been a bit mental as I discovered this past week that I have testicular cancer! Obviously it's the kind of news that hits you out of the blue and so I've spent the last few days in and out of various checks and scans and all that rubbish. It's been great to actually come back on here though and catch up on what's been going on 'up there', when 'down there' has been on my mind pretty much exclusively =]

The prognosis for TC is great though, and I'm awaiting my first surgery date through soon. In the meantime I'm hoping I can make the most of it and get some clear skies! Here's the BEST bit though!

I discovered that the company I work for has a Critical Illness cover on all its staff; that's a tax-free lump sum for any employee diagnosed with certain illnesses, mine being one of them. My wife has already agreed to an observatory dome and big scope in the garden if I promise to get better quickly! :)

Sorry if this post is a bit of a downer; it's intended to be light-hearted and look on the bright side of everything =]

- Jason

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Good luck Jason, as you say, the prognosis for TC is very good, and your positive outlook will be a great help to you.

No doubt you will keep us posted on how you are getting on.

Edited by crepitis
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Good luck Jason, as you say, the prognosis for TC is very good, and your positive outlook will be a great help to you.

No doubt you will keep us posted on how you are getting on.

Thank you, if that's ok I will. I'm sure the thought of a 12" scope will give me extra fighting strength :)

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Best of luck to you Jason. Just live every day and do what you feel is important to you :)

Thanks DarkerSky ;)

It's really quite ironic in a way. My wife and I work in the same office and a few weeks ago we'd had enough and had the whole 'How can we (a) get the courage up to jack this in and (B) afford to do something else.'

'I'll think of something' I said.

I'm wishing I hadn't now :D

It sounds really corny doesn't it but it totally skews EVERYTHING that you previously worried about. Suddenly everything comes into perspective and you think 'When all this is over I'm never going to moan about anything trivial ever again!' :D

My motto at the moment is "As long as I'm waking up every morning and feeling well, then bring it on" :)

Edited by BrownClaw
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Glad I didn't have to go through all that to get my obsy. Good luck with the treatment Jason. If you had to have any cancer I guess this would be the one. It would be an interesting poll deciding on the name of your new obsy!

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Might be a good idea to post what your symptoms were or how you discovered you had it as it's something we all hear about but know very little and with all these things, early discovery is a major factor. Hope it all goes well for you anyway.

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Thanks everyone for all your support and well wishes, I really really mean that :)

I joined a Cancer Support forum when I first found out, and now of course, I know that people find them very helpful, it was all a bit grim. I'd much rather be here =]

As we're an 'all ages' forum, I didn't know how I'd go about describing my symptoms, discovery, examinations and all that. I didn't want to offend anyone and get told off ;)

FTR though I'm perfectly happy to go into it; knowledge is the most powerful benefit any of us have :D Perhaps a moderator wouldn't mind saying that it's ok or not?

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Hi Jason,

Just want to wish you a full and speedy recovery and I really admire your positive attitude - that's half the battle.

good luck to you and to your family, sounds like you have a fabulous "other half" there, and it's times like this that you really need them.

best wishes

Dave

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I am happy to confirm that you can describe what happened as graphically as you like. This subject should be no more taboo than breast feeding. I'm sure no members will debase themselves by prurient responses.

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Hello Jason....good luck with your treatment....a very good friend of mine has had testicular cancer and is now fully cured ;)

One of the best helping hands on the road to recovery is happiness, and a 12 inch scope in a dome will certainly put a smile on your face :)

Cheers

Rob

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Thanks Martin :)

Well, phew where do I start?

We've all been made aware of the need for regular self-examination of the testicles - but I'm not entirely sure that the information out there is always pointing us in the right direction. Many of the guides for checking yourself tell you primarily to look for 'pea sized lumps' on either t esticle, but my radiologist informed me that a great many of the lumps found turn out to be non-cancerous.

A more common symptom for TC (and this was the case with my discovery) is a uniform swelling and hardening of the t esticle. It usually only affects one or the other, and is generally painless.

Indeed, having a swollen t esticle WITH pain is usually a good(!) sign that things aren't as bad as you think; pain accompanies infection and/or injury;on the other hand, a tumour is a transformation of one cell into another and generally isn't uncomfortable in that area. Crazy isn't it?

You'll get different results when it comes to the age groups of men affected too. Some say 15-35, others 20-45. The fact is that *any* man can be affected; I just hit 40 last December.

The first I knew about it was a swelling/dull ache in the left t esticle. Initially I thought I'd injured it (you know, sat on it at work or something lol), and thought 'I'll keep my eye on this'.

A few days later I was in the bath 'washing myself' and noticed that it was bigger; a lot bigger, and felt harder. I texted my wife who was out at the time and said 'Uh oh, I think I should go to the doctors' and explained what was wrong.

The next morning saw me in the doctors surgery with my trousers and pants down, lying on a stretcher and having my fellas felt. The doctor did look concerned, I could tell; tumours, especially testicular ones, grow really quickly (some reports say double their size in 30 days).

He shone a light through the offending globe to see if it was fluid; if the light shines through, you're 'in the clear'. Unfortunately it was opaque, and so he expressed to me that it was very possible I had a tumour. Of course I was terrified, and he sent me for ultrasound which I had yesterday.

The ultrasound people aren't the most talkative of folks, and after another (very wet) examination, told me they'd fax the results off to my doctor who'd be in touch. The doctor called me last night to confirm the tumour.

Strangely, I got calmer after that - the enemy was now known, and treatment could begin. It's true when people say it's the 'not knowing' which is the worst part of all...once you've got an answer, once you can 'see the white's of their eyes' so to speak, then you can begin to start planning the treatment.

In 99% of these cases, the first thing is an operation to remove the t esticle. Biopses are too risky, as cutting the t esticle could cause the spread to other areas of the body. There will be pathology done on the removed t esticle, to ascertain the exact type of cancer.

Depending on that, treatment could end up being simple surveillence (if blood tests and CT scans come back clean), or a few cycles of chemotherapy to nuke any remaining bits floating about that have spread.

The doctor did say to me that when he did my initial examination, he had a feel for enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen and groin (the first place it would spread to) and found nothing out of the ordinary; and the ultrasound revealed my OTHER t esticle is right as rain, lol. The doctor even said 'Plum normal' ;)

There is a lot of waiting around for results in this game; but I am so relieved to have reported it, had the checks, and moving onto treatment; it's so important that guys not be embarrassed about telling their partners, doctors, etc - don't literally die of embarrasment, it's not worth it.

One humourous moment of my ultrasound was just before the radiologist had come into the room; the elderly assistant asked me to 'drop my trousers to my knees' and get onto the couch.

I misheard her and proceeded to take OFF both trousers AND underpants. But they got wrapped around my feet so I ended up doing that 'bedtime stomp' you do when you're trying to get undressed in the dark. I almost tripped, and kicked my underpants off, which went sliding over to the door, just as the doctor walked in...

:D

Edited by MartinB
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It would appear that the forum has blanked out the offending part of the body in the above report. As if I didn't have enough to cope with losing one of mine, now the forum is removing them ALL :)

EDIT: A further insult; "Testicles" seems to be ok, but the singular item appears to be wrong. Brilliant lol ;)

Edited by BrownClaw
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T esticle typed correctly gets the asterisk treatment so I made a little edit. A very informative account and hats off to your GP for his prompt diagnosis and action. You are old to be presenting with t esticular cancer and it would have been all too easy to diagnose something different.

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