Jeff's TC story

I am Jeff's Mom, telling you about his Testicular Cancer. Jeff is now 37 years old. When he was just under 2 years old, in changing his diaper, I noticed a bulging in the groin area, and called the doctor. I took him in right away, and was told he had a hernia. Not so unusual in boy babies. He had surgery to repair the tear which was quite a big one for such a little guy. The surgeon told me after surgery, that he had left the testicle on that side up inside his abdomen, but not to worry, it would come down by itself during puberty. [Editor's note: Pretty dumb thing to do....]

At age 14, Jeff came home from school and told me that when he played football in PE, if he caught the ball low on his abdomen, it hurt like someone was kicking him in the "balls". I was concerned and called his doctor, and got him right in. He was sent to a Urologist, who told me he needed surgery to bring the testicle down. It had not come down as we were told before. It was a 5 hour surgery, as adhesions had grown all over the area twisting the vas deferens. It took that long, as the surgeon carefully snipped away all the adhesions in order to save the vas deferens and testicle. After a successful surgery, Jeff was told that when he reached 18 years of age, to have it checked, and a sperm count.

Jeff went into the Army, had it checked, and was fine. He married and fathered 3 children. At age 36, Jeff felt a hardened testicle on the same side. I told him to call his doctor immediately. He sent him to a Urologist -- Yes, he had Testicular Cancer. The Urologist, upon hearing of the story of that testicle, told Jeff, that almost always an undescended testicle can turn cancerous [Editor's note: there is evidence of an increased risk of TC in men who had an undescended testicle, but not always]. He was scheduled for surgery. He had his testicle, 4 lymph nodes, a major artery, and some veins removed. The nodes tested clean, as did the artery and veins.

The uncanny thing is that he told his best friend, who in turn called another mutual friend in Seattle, who said he also had a swollen testicle, and didn't know what to do about it. He was also told to get to a doctor right away. Yes, he had TC also, and went right into surgery. He is the father of 2 children.

We live on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Jeff was told he had to go for radiation treatments when his surgery was healed. The HMO was not willing to send him to Honolulu. I called our State Senator, who also happens to be an MD, and told him Jeff's story. He got the HMO to give Jeff a month's pass to Honolulu for the treatments. Now, Jeff is a Fishing Charter Captain. He earns his living by taking tourists out big game fishing off the Kona Coast. He could work 1/2 day charters, hop a plane, get the hospital van to the radiation lab, get zapped, and be home for dinner. He kept working and smiling the whole time.

He only needed 17 treatments. On his last day of radiation, the lab people gave Jeff a bouquet of balloons, telling him that he was their favorite patient. Well, he couldn't get on a plane with balloons, so he waited at the gate for the incoming plane to get passengers off, and looked for some tourists who looked lost, gave them the balloons, saying, "Aloha, enjoy your trip to Hawaii", then got on the plane leaving them even more confused!!! .

Jeff has had his 1 year check up, and was clear. He goes in for his 6 month scan and X-rays in early May. We expect another clean bill of health. He is still fishing, and loving it, and just loving God, and life.

If anyone needs to talk, I'm here. Hugs to you all, Jeff's Mom. (Penny)


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This page was last updated on Dec 05, 2012
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