The Gippy Pages


Pathology, Finally

Apr 16, 2015 | Cancer, Life | By Shawn Parker

I finally got the pathology back on the removed nugget today. While the mass found within the lil acorn was not cancerous, it was a cyst, there is cancer. Type: seminoma.

So, course of action and diagnosis of the stage of the cancer is still to be determined. I do have enlarged lymph nodes and a small 2mm spot on my lungs, but as of yet nothing has been conveyed to me about what stage this might be at.

If I’m lucky, and I mean really lucky, the lymph nodes reduce in size with the removal of the rotten vegetable and I’m considered stage 1 and thus stay in a monitoring stage. If I’m not lucky the lymph nodes need some convincing and that’s where chemo and/or radiation come in. Worst case scenario is that the lymph nodes require removal. Nobody wants that. That’s an ugly surgery.

So. Still scary ‘cause I just don’t have enough information to know what the next 4-6 months of my life are gonna look like. The single spot on the lungs is not a good sign, but at the same time it is inconclusive because of its size. Tomorrow is a meeting with an Oncologist and I’ll hopefully at least get a tentative timeline on what the next steps are.

It also appears that since Kaiser feels that it can adequately provide care here, and I’m sure they can, that a referral to a larger, specialized, cancer center is probably not in the books. Which is a shame with UCSF right here. I’ll be challenging that should this come to surgery as that procedure is not for unskilled hands.

Fortunately work is still being downright amazing. It’ll be new territory for all of us. I’m the fist employee to need long-term leave so what happens here will help shape company policy. I’m getting constant reassurance and positive feedback from those at work so I’m feeling really good, nay, I’m feeling damn lucky, about being able to tackle this without worry for my job. The wife is getting good support as well and will be able to be there for me should I need her without fear of losing her job either. With all the horror stories you hear about workplace instability at times like this I feel downright lucky about where we are right now.

Something that I’m not quite used to yet is fishing all of the information out of the doctors. My PCP is pretty good about being verbose, but everyone after him has been pretty dry on the information delivery. They’re more than willing to answer questions but I have no fucking clue what questions to ask… that and I’ve typically just been slapped in the face with something new that I don’t like as well as need to write it down so that I don’t forget it. I need a doctor that realizes that while I have this malady that I don’t have the foggiest idea of what is actually going on… and I don’t like that.

Tagged as: cancer, leave, pathology, testicle