It is the end of chemo round three and I hope the end of the chemo treatments! I met with my doctor on June 2nd for my follow up to round three and we both agree that I got through the three rounds of chemo treatments about as good as one could hope. The next phase of treatment is surgery and my consult will be in about 6 weeks. The degree of surgery will be dependant on my next CT scan. If the secondary tumours have been eliminated by the chemo then the surgery will be minor and involve the removal of the offending testicle. However, if there is still a remaining secondary tumour then the surgery will be somewhat more invasive. My doctor seemed to want to prepare me for the major surgery which is called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. I'm really hoping that it turns out to be minor surgery as the major one kinda scares me. It is a 5 hour surgery that involves removing most of the lymph nodes in my torso and possibility one tumour which has wrapped itself around my abdominal aorta. Scary stuff but until then I get to recover from all the poison in my system and mend physically.
I am glad that the chemo part is over with, as it has been a real challenge to get through. When I met with my doctor this last round though it felt almost surreal and anticlimactic when he said this hopefully was the end of the chemo. I figured it would have been a big relief or that I would have felt like I had successfully reached the end of something or at minimum that I would have felt some sort of closure but I felt none of that. I felt no finale, in fact it was more of a realization that this will be with me for much longer than I had realized. Not only is there surgery to look forward to but even when that is over I have a chance of it reoccurring so must do follow ups and CT scans on a regular basis for the next 5 years. So right now I feel frustrated as what I wanted was a clear and decisive finish line or achievement and there isn't one.
I do have to say though I also feel very lucky! I have an amazing and supportive family and group of friends. I have to thank my family for coming out to visit me and spend time with me. My friends who where able to hang out with me while I was sitting in the hospital going through my treatments. All the letters, e-mails, and phone calls showing support and words of encouragement. To my friend Kirk who would drag me off the couch and make sure I got out. To my dad who made sure that there continued to be a roof over my head. To Noelle who made sure that I continued to gain weight, take my meds, down my vitamins, have a shower, get to all my doctor appointments and most of all stay positive. I would say this has been and continues to be a challenge but with the love and support of everyone in my life I must say I feel so very lucky and as always I love you all!