Looking at my second cancer

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Looking at my second cancer

Five years ago, I had testicular cancer. I detected it fairly early, myself. The lumps were obvious, one mostly in the epididiymis, another in the testis. That was dealt with with a lateral inguinal orchidectomy (that is to say, removal of the ball through an incision above the groin). It was determined to be "T0", which I understand to mean it had not spread beyond the offending article.


Since my surgery, maybe even before it, it's so hard to tell, it's all a blur, I have had a consistent abdominal pain. At every surveillance appointment at the hospital, the doctors have made all the right concerned noises, but have been largely dismissive. I was never taken seriously. I had a CT done elsewhere, and they found masses (apparently cysts) on my left kidney, which the doctors at the hospital claim to have known about all along, but never saw fit to tell me about. Meanwhile, my pain was gradually getting worse, and they assured me, these could not be causing pain.


Fast forward a couple of years, finally my pain peaked to debilitating, barely able to walk and wincing and gasping with every step. For the past weeks, It's felt like someone has inserted a hook into my perineum, and forced it out through my abdomen, and every step feels like someone is yanking on that hook. This coincided with a surveillance scan. A couple of days after the scan, I went to my GP for some pain relief, still having no idea what was causing it, as, afterall, these masses on my kidney could not possibly be causing this! After the appointment, my GP called me that night, having reviewed the CT and radiology report himself, and told me this seems serious.


A 17mm exophytic mass on the lower pole of the left kidney, suspected neoplasm. My followup appointment with my hospital is coming soon, and I don't know what to expect of them. Chances are they'll fob me off and tell me this is of "no concern" again. Against that eventuality I have a referral to a different cancer centre. I wanted to get the ball rolling on a second opinion, because I just don't trust my hospital anymore.


One way or another, I'm probably looking at being told for the second time in my life, that I have cancer. Last time, I had the strength, and I guess the sense of "duty" to those around me to take it in my stride. My partner took the diagnosis worse than I did. I was pretty flippant about it, saying things like "anything you're born with two of you can get by with one of". This time, I feel so much worse. The pain I'm getting now is worse than it ever was with testicular cancer. I'm so much more tired, too, and last time I was cramming full time university study in with four days of work a week! I was literally catching myself snoring while walking, last time, and I am somehow more tired. I'm already exhausted, and I haven't even had the "it's cancer" talk. I genuinely don't know if I have it in me to face this again. How can I do it?

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