Andrew's Message

Most of the stories in this section were written soon after the author survived their cancer. I would like to perspective in this story of someone who is several years out from beating my cancer.

Four years ago in 1997, I was diagnosed with seminoma. It was found because I had been seeking a solution to infertility for the past 8 months and my doctor and I decided to do an ultrasound. At 4mm, it was quite possibly the smallest seminoma on record. My urologist removed the offending testicle about three days later and attempted to fix the fertility problem. Despite, the small size of the cancer, I was still faced with the idea that I had cancer. The weekend after the diagnosis was especially depressing to me.

I went to the medical library and got myself a review article on seminoma and one on non-seminoma. Some of the treatments such as the RPLND did not look very appealing. Also, my doctor had not yet decided on surveilence versus radiation. In restrospect, surveilence was a no brainer. On Monday I went in for the operation. Because of the infertility operation, it would be a three to four hour procedure. They asked me if I wanted to remain awake, but to me the only appealing thing about the operation is that I would be asleep and thus not worried about it.

The doctor and I decided on surveilence, so there was no radiation involved. It took me about eight weeks to fully recover from the operation, and another several months to get over the shock of the cancer and the disapointment that the infertility operation failed. I also had to fight with my insurance company to make them pay the bills. Seven months after the operation, my wife and I used doner insemination to conceive a child.

My son is now two and a half years old. He is the cutest boy on the face of the earth. This July we are having a daughter. As for the cancer, I went every three months for x-rays, and every six months for CT-scans.

Now I go once a year for an x-ray and a CT scan. Other than that, and writing this article, I hardly ever think of the cancer. I am more worried about the possiblity of heart disease in my 40s and 50s. The experience does not even seem like such a big event to me anymore. I wrote this because I figured some people would like to know that the cancer is often curable, and will not haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Andrew Getter

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