The Beginning

For the past couple of years I had these on again, off again pain in my groin. Kind of like a dull racking pain. Since it came and went, and since during one of those times I had a doctor check (in which he didn't find any lumps), I kind of figured it was scar-tissue from a vasectomy I had 14 years ago, or Toby (my dog) jumped in my lap and landed squarely on my left testicle. And since my birthday I've been joking about turning 40 and all the aches and pains.

About Feburary/March 2009 the pain was becoming more constant and more noticeable. Finally April 8th I went to see a physician assistant at my doctors office. Once he felt the lump, he immediately set up an ultrasound for the next morning.

I had the ultrasound on April 9th at 7:30am. By 10:00 am the doctors office called wanting me to come in today at 12:15pm. Oh shit! Here it comes.

The physician assistant, visibly shaken, discusses lump and that it looks like cancer. Sets up appointment with a surgeon at The Urology Center of Colorado (by Mile Hi/Invesco Stadium) on April 15th. The PA asked if I was still with Tyler (my partner) since I will need a support system. Told him I would be fine, would joke about it, and would have my “moments”. Left the office and called Tyler. Started to cry when telling Tyler that I needed to talk to him. I don't know if I was more upset about the possibility of cancer or how much this was going to cost.
Met Tyler at his office and he was immediately kind/sweet/caring/concerned. Left his office to go home and called Mom while on the way. Told her not to freak. She said we had a bargain (her children are not allowed to die before her). I told her we might have to move up her time table as a joke.

Have told most everyone what is going on.
Talked with Jeremy at lunch on Saturday. He was (and will be) extremely helpful. My fear up to this point is the unknown. What kind of fight am I about to engage in? How will it affect me physically/mentally? Will I be able to work? Will I be able to go to the IUG Conference? Memphis in June? Idaho and Chicago in July?
Jeremy explained what he went through with lymphoma and skin cancer, chemo and radiation. Said treatment days would be exhausting but he built an outdoor deck while he was going through it. At the same time, Jeremy started to tear up a couple of times. This gave me the indication that while I will be fine and can fight this, it will be emotionally tough for me and people around me.

Finally did some brief internet research. Figured I need to be prepared for removal of the testicle. Now the immediate question is whether to live with just one testicle or get an implant. I think I would be okay without it if I knew what my scrotum would look like. Wasn't able to find any photos on the web to get an idea. Also seems like most of the postings on the web of guys who opted not to have the implant are straight/married and let pubic hair hide the missing testicle. I'm pretty sure I'm going to want the implant.

I'm decently focused on work. There is a sense of urgency to get things done before this fight begins. I'm making my jokes about the situation, but in my quiet moments am anxious/nervous/scared. I feel fine and am not having thoughts of dying, but I still have moments where I'm scared of what I'm about to go through.

I feel my best case scenario is that the lump is not cancerous and that surgery will be performed to remove the lump/cyst.
The worst case scenario is that it is cancer and it has started spreading. From talking to Jeremy I know I'll be able to handle the chemo/radiation if it comes to that. I'm just still in a “scheduling” mode with this. But I'm trying to prepare myself for what may happen. To be honest I think I'm doing okay with that, but maybe not. Deep breath and the next step is the urology appointment.

I looked up The Urology Center of Colorado, which is where the surgery will take place.. Wow! Nice center and close to the house. If I have to do a lot with this situation, I can do it all there.

Everyone is telling me how I'll make it through this and that Lance Armstrong and others have said how positive it was for their lives. A challenge. I guess coming out wasn't enough of a challenge. My coming out was a massively positive thing for me. Good god what am I going to learn from this?

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