Mikes New Trial For The Family - A Cancer Diagnosis
It’s now the start of a new college school year. As always, we all load up the car and take Mike back and get his room all set up for him.
New pain in the groin area
This was a tradition for all three of our children during their college years. Two weeks later Mike calls home and tells us he has a lot of pain in the groin and states he thinks he has cancer. Since he did have his car there we said to come today and we will see our family physician.
The doctor stated that it looked like a hernia and referred us to see a surgeon. Two different surgeons examined him and scheduled his surgery.
This was supposed to be a same-day surgery and go home. The kids went to school, my husband Dennis went to work, and I took Mike to the hospital. I was to call Dennis as soon as the surgery was over.
A change in diagnosis during surgery
Unfortunately in the middle of his surgery, I was pulled into a room where the doctor explained that it wasn’t a hernia, but indeed testicular cancer. They were removing the cancer.
This was truly like being in a bad dream. By the time Mike came out of recovery, Dennis was there with us. Their recommendation was for us to fly to Indiana and see a doctor who is the guru for testicular cancer.
Seeking a second opinion
Luckily, our neighbor was a nurse and gave us some good advice to get another opinion. She explained that we have a great cancer hospital right in this area.
So after getting all of the records of his surgery and tests, we were off to Fox Chase Hospital. Before they started treating him, they checked with Sloan Kettering Hospital because they never treated someone with a neuromuscular disease.
They needed to confirm that there wouldn’t be any additional problems. Mike went through three rounds of chemotherapy and by December he was declared in remission. He pushed to get back to college in January!!!
Our son is a fighter
As we dropped him off at his dorm with his bald head riding his scooter, I understood our blessings. This young man is a fighter.
While he was home recuperating, some of his college friends came to visit. This one day I hear them talking and his friend says “Mike we never think of you as disabled." He answers “My parents didn’t raise me as disabled.”
Can we as parents ever feel more proud that just maybe we did something right?
Emotions as parents and not feeling guilty
In the same thought, were we giving our other kids enough attention they deserved? We did talk with them both and being the great people they are, the answer was always “We’re good.”
I think they were being easy on us. So many emotions to process. It's important for parents to remember you can just try to do the best of your ability and don’t relapse to guilt.
When you need to release some of the tension and sadness, find a good shoulder to lean on. You will be better for it and your strong shoulder will feel happier knowing you could share the burden of sadness with them.
Have you found an SMA specialist you trust?