I just visited this blog after a long hiatus, and feel horrible...Blogger was not notifying me when I received new comments, so I just noticed a lot of comments from YEARS ago that I just read today. Sorry about that...I only assumed that a blog associated with my G-mail account would notify me by G-mail with any changes. Apparently not.
Anyways, if anyone wants to get in touch with me, in the future, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I should at least get in touch with you ASAP rather than notice a comment several years later.
Well, now that I'm here, I suppose I should give an update.
I went in to my five-year appointment less than a year ago without even realizing that it would be my last appointment. We went through the usual dance...my oncologist asks about my family, shakes hands with my ball, and then immediately washes his hands thoroughly. After checking my lab results, he says, "OK, you're cured. We're done." I was so blown away by this information that I actually attempted to argue with him.
"Shouldn't I at least keep getting the lab work to keep an eye on my tumor markers? I thought we were supposed to monitor this for 10 years? Why are you leaving me?"
He assured me that I was going to be fine...5 years out is a good milestone, and he was confident that my cancer was "cured"...a word that made me bristle as I attempted to stave off superstition. I always preferred the term "remission" because it at least elicited a sense of attentiveness. It was there, but it may come back. The term "cured" makes me feel like I can put it behind me and pretend like I can live the rest of my life without an assumption that I may get cancer again. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do that completely, but that's not to say I'm not enjoying life.
I speak to college students now every semester in a human sexuality class about testicular cancer...it's every college student's dream to someday go back to their alma mater and speak to a couple hundred students at a time about how they lost a testicle, so that's pretty awesome. Right?
I'm also attempting to write my whole cancer experience in a book, and am currently about 10 percent through a first draft, so we'll see if I ever finish that. Either way, it's fun to revisit my feelings about all of that, which led me back to this blog in the first place.
Thanks to everyone for the comments, and for reading this, and if you ever need any advice, direction, etc. just drop me a line. Take care!