My brother Bryan.....a man so many of us love because of his kindness that has no end. His drop everything to help anyone in need philosophy has touched so many lives. As many of you know, Bryan has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Here is his story...
Many of you have been curious as to what has been going on with me and me having surgery. Now that the surgery is over with and the results came in, I feel it’s time to come out and let everyone know. I am sharing my story with everyone in hopes others make themselves aware and go in for testing if something doesn’t seem right with their body. As for me, if it wasn’t for me being in pain, I would have never gone into the doctor and found out I had cancer.
Thursday, December 29th, I woke up with pain in my lower left abdomen and the pain spread around my back. Thinking I either messed up my back while sleeping (as I’ve been seeing a chiropractor since 15 years old) or pulled/strained a muscle, I started by going to see a massage therapist. Being as I received a full body massage, I felt much more relaxed that evening when going to bed.
Friday, December 30th, I woke up in the same amount of pain I was in the previous morning. Due to this, I basically laid in bed all day other than quickly running down the street to drop something off to my roommate at where she works.
Saturday, December 31st, I was in the same amount of pain as the last 2 days. Checking my Amazon account, I noticed something was delivered to my full time employer after the business shut down on Friday at noon (they delivered at 3pm) and the business wasn’t open again until Tuesday, January 3rd, so I left the house to go pick that package up to prevent it from being stolen (I could see it on the security cameras from work).
Sunday January 1st, the pain was still there. I left my bed and the house only to work the Packer game (DJing) where I was on my feet the entire game, which I actually felt fine until I packed up and got into my car, which at that point in time the pain returned. I went home to go to sleep.
Monday, January 2nd, I couldn’t stand being in pain any more and called and made a doctors appointment. At that point in time, they had no available appointments that day but I described my symptoms to the person on the phone and they said they would have my doctors’ nurse call back. They called back and I reviewed what was going on with them for the pain. They had just received a cancellation for that afternoon so I was able to get in for an appointment. During this visit, I had a urine test, blood test, and CT scan as well, all while thinking it could be something to do with my kidney. After three hours of being there, I was told I would have to come back the next day for an ultrasound, as that department was closed for the day by the time results came back.
Tuesday, January 3rd, I went in for the ultrasound and was told the results would take about half hour, but the doctor wanted to review the results with me. When the doctor came in, he told me to make an appointment to see an urologist, as it appears I have testicular cancer on the left side. The doctor told me repeatedly that “if you get cancer, this is the type of cancer you’d want to get because it’s a 98% survival rate.” Hearing this, did NOT comfort me any, because let’s face it, who really wants to be diagnosed with cancer?
Wednesday, January 4th, I went and saw the urologist who informed me the same thing of it being the type you want to get if you get it. They told me they could get me in for surgery the next day. I asked if that it was that critical to be done the next day, as I had things I wanted to accomplish prior to going in for surgery. They had told me no, but I wouldn’t wait a month for the surgery either. I asked if they could at least wait until January 16th so I could get some things taken care of. They said that I could get in on the 16th for surgery. I was told recovery time would be 2-3 weeks, but could be longer or shorter; it always depends on how the person is doing after the surgery and what type of work they do.
Fast forward to Monday, January 16th, surgery happens and I come through fine. Since then there has been pain (which I was given some crappy viccodin for which doesn’t help much) and a lot of lying around with a follow up appointment on Monday the 23rd. I came back home to my place on Friday the 20th.
My results came back on Friday, January 20th. It was stage 1 testicular cancer, but due to the lymph nodes that they removed and tested as well, it was classified as 2a, which is still a very early stage. Treatment for this is being debated between a round of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. I will find out either Tuesday January 24th or Wednesday January 25th.
Letting family, close friends, and employers know was difficult for me. As many of you aren’t 100% aware of what I’ve been going through until reading this now. Those that I have told prior to the surgery have stated to let them know if there’s anything they can do for me which has been greatly appreciated, but being as I’m supposed to rest, not much can be done.
Now, to get to the full point of me sharing my story with everyone, as I’ve been told testicular cancer is as common as breast cancer. I have NEVER heard of anyone with testicular cancer previously to me mentioning it to anyone (with the exception of Lance Armstrong). That testicle that was removed has been not like the other one for as long as I can remember. Not a single doctor appointment that I had I suggest they take a look at it. Could this have been caught sooner? Possibly. Is it something that is I have all the answers on? No. Am I afraid of what is going on? Yes. Do I feel alone? No.
There is a 2cm lymph node and two 11mm lymph nodes that are cancerous, which is the reason for me needing treatment.
Bryan will be starting a three vicious rounds of chemo to help kill the lymph nodes. Because of this, he will need to take time off of work, which does not help with the amount of medical bills that are already piling up and causing more anxiety.
I have created this site for 4 reasons:
1- If you or anyone else has any signs that Bryan has talked about above, please get tested. Bryan is hoping that his story helps others catch cancer before it spreads and to help raise awareness.
2- To have one central place to continue to update everyone following Bryan's story.
3- To ask you all to keep Bryan in your prayers-that God gives him the strength and courage he needs on his most dfficult days. All prayers and words of encoruagement are greatly appreciated to help keep Bryan's spirits up.
4- If you are able to donate to help Bryan with his medical bills, it would be much appreciated. The cost of all of these appointments and treatments are adding to his stress.