Going To Bed Knowing Things Are Different


Photo: NHS

Ethan McLaughlin

This blog originally featured on http://dealingwithtc.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/going-to-bed-knowing-things-are.html

So coming home was a very weird night, trying to remember everything I was told. It was a struggle.

The Following day I went in with my mum, armed with a notebook, having eaten lunch so to not make the mistake of the day before. I had two appointments; the pre-surgery and talking to the specialist. So when I went in to talk to the specialist, he said what had known for a very long time; it was cancer. He also then explained how I was also technically pregnant, which definitely lifted the tension in the room a bit.

My blood had the same markers as someone who had recently become pregnant. To put it simply, what was in my body to the best of my knowledge was acting like a very early foestus. (IF I AM HORRIBLY MISTAKEN MY APOLOGISES).

I, again unsurprisingly, had to go au natural from the waist down. The specialist, on first examining the testicle, said “well there’s no doubt there then”. My mum couldn’t stop laughing. Once I had regained my modesty, the serious chat began. The specialist complemented me on my great timing of getting cancer during the Easter holidays. Never have I been prouder of myself.

He then went on to outline that chemo was going to happen, even if the removal of my right testicle worked by removing the blood marker and there was nothing to be seen in a scan. I would have one dose just to make sure.

However, if it didn’t work then I would need between three to four dose of heavy chemo and would suffer everything I knew was associated with that. Yes ………….
I think even while I write this and only recently having researched all the side effects and rules, I have to adhere to chemo. I am still not mentally prepared for it. Mainly my hair, my poor beautiful hair. He also offered me the opportunity to have a fake testicle put in.

Now, saying nothing against men who have them, but the idea of having a ball sack where one side drooped was not appealing. After finishing with the specialist and choosing to not ask for a copy of the ultrasound for the memories, I went on to the pre-surgery nursey. After complementing me on being one of the healthiest people she had seen, she went on to break the bad news that on the day of my surgery I had to stop eating at 7 am. The full fast would begin from 11 am.

So after a long couple of hours, I went home knowing I had cancer; knowing I was going to have one ball for the rest of my life; knowing I might have to lose my hair; knowing this could stop me from graduating in June; knowing this could affect my ability to have a family in the future. Also, wondering how exactly I was going to tell people. Having to tell my girlfriend I was not going back with her to Belfast was not fun. It is a strange thing at 21 to realise.

Yep, this is one of those moments when life is different than when I woke up that morning.

Yep I have had better evenings. If you have made it this far, thanks, my next post will be the big one itself. SURGERY. Also a big thank you to the specialist Nurse, Paul. He not only told me I was only one out of 160 men that he saw a year. Yes I felt so special. But who covers all testicular cancer cases in Birmingham. He has been a great help to me and my mum.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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