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A Survivor’s Tale – Chris, 14 year cancer survivor

December 29, 2014

My cancer journey started in 2000. As a 31 year old, I never expected to be diagnosed with such a serious condition.  I still felt pretty invincible.

Oddly enough, it all started with an accidental kick to the groin from my 18 month old son, who had recently suffered a broken leg. During a typical toddler temper tantrum, he kicked me in the groin as I picked him up with his casted leg. One word- ouch!

After a week of being in pain, I thought I felt a lump on my testicle, and went to see my doctor. Shortly thereafter followed with a visit to a urologist, an ultrasound, bloodwork, and a diagnosis of testicular cancer.  I felt like I had just been kicked in the groin….again! Honestly, I was afraid that I could die from it, not knowing much about the disease, my treatment options, etc.  The internet was a huge help in learning more about the disease and my treatment options especially the testicular cancer resource center, hosted by acor.org.

I had surgery to remove the tumor and shortly thereafter and it was found that the cancer had already spread to my abdominal lymph nodes. It was recommended to receive  chemotherapy.

I was told I could expect to lose all of my hair, which I wore quite long at the time, and would likely get very pale. I was given the option of having a pic  line, and told that it would just be there and make getting chemo and getting bloodwork done (sometimes 2-3x per week) easier. I would have to be careful about keeping it clean.

Given the fact that chemo would change my appearance and the way I felt about myself so much, I really didn’t want another visual reminder that I was going thru cancer treatment when I wasn’t in the hospital. The pasty white skin, nausea, and hair loss were enough!

My choice of no central line resulted in me having ugly black lines down my arms, and made the constant needle sticks quite uncomfortable.

If I had the option of something like Care+Wear's PICC line cover available to me, it would have made my whole cancer experience more tolerable.  Not only would there be one less visual reminder of what I was going through, but it would have made all the chemo and bloodwork less uncomfortable.

– Chris



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