Drew's TC Story

I am now 33, but was 30 at the time of my diagnosis for testicular cancer. In fall of 1995 I noticed swelling and pain in my right testicle. The testicle was like a hard lump in my scrotum, it was very swollen. I also had lower back pain. I went to my primary care doctor and he told me I had a hernia - I knew that it wasn't a hernia.

I went to a urologist, who sent me for ultrasound tests. Immediately after the test I went back to his office and he told me I had testicular cancer. He scheduled me for surgery the next day. I had the orchiectomy. Upon my follow up visit he had results of my tumor markers and the pathology tests. I had two cancer cell types: embryonal carcinoma and teratocarcinoma. The tumor markers had dropped by more than half in a week since surgery. I opted for surveillance instead of having my lymph glands removed or having chemo.

I am still cancer free after three years and very thankful. I had some concerns about sex and my appearance after surgery--I am a gay man in a monogamous relationship. My fears were unfounded: my sex drive was unchanged, and my partner told me that it wasn't an issue. I have made some lifestyle changes: I eat a little healthier and exercise a little more. But I did make one major change--my primary care doctor. Not once after he misdiagnosed me did he call to see how I was doing or schedule a checkup. I now have a great primary care doctor.


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