It's never easy to see someone you love suffer. I will never forget the feeling I had when I received the call that changed my life forever.
My boyfriend at the time, Patrick Ryan, was diagnosed with testicular cancer on June 4, 2012. About two weeks prior, he was telling me about some discomfort in that area. He debated several times whether to go to see the doctor and finally decided it wouldnt hurt just to see someone so he scheduled an appointment with his primary care doctor for that week. His doctor examined him and did not feel anything but Pat insisted on doing an ultrasound just to ease his nerves. I thank God every day that he pushed for the ultrasound.
On Monday, June 4th, Pat went in for the ultrasound. That morning he had debated serval times if it was necessary but something pushed him to follow through with the appointment. I was at work when I received a call from his mother saying they found an abnormal mass and they think it's cancer. My heart dropped. How do you react to this type of news, what do you do? My body was shaking, my thoughts were racing and I couldn't even cry because I was in such shock.
I met Pat and his parents at their house within a couple hours and we left immediately to meet with a urologust for a second opinion. Sitting in that waiting room felt like an eternity. We sat there knowing that this doctors appointment was going to determine the next several years of our lives. The nurse came out and called Pat and his parents in to meet with the doctor. Within, what felt like hours, his mom stepped out into the waiting room to bring me back. I could tell something was wrong just by looking at her face. I walked into the examination room and saw Pat there with his head in his hands. His parents stepped out to give us some time; my stomach was killing me. Pat looked up at me and said, "it's cancer." I collapsed next to Pat and held on to him for the next 15 minutes and didn't let go. We just sat there, speechless.
The doctor walked back in with his parents to go over the plan for the next couple of days. The next couple of days would consist of scans, bloodwork, surgery and just waiting (the worst part). No one woud be able to tell us 100% what we were dealing with until it was removed and sent to the lab to be tested.
The next morning, we headed to the hospital for the surgery. I remember asking Pat if he was ready. What a weird question....is anyone really ready for something like this? Pat had a successful surgery that morning and now it was a waiting game for the next couple of days until the results came back. Within 2 days, the results came back as being seminoma cancer. This was the best result we could ask for in the situation we were in. From there we decided that one round of chemotherapy was the best way to go. Within a week Pat had the transfusion and started the long road to recovery.
Through all of this, Pat and I have been able to realize how blessed we are in so many ways. We were dealt this challenge but nothing that was going to stop us. He is the love of my life and on July 27, 2012, Pat asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I AM A HAPPY GIRL!!! It has been a challenging year but now we are looking to turn this experience into an educational lesson for other men like Pat.
Thank you for reading my story! We would love for you to donate to the Cancer Prevention and Treatment organization if you are able to do so. We also want to make sure that young adults don't forget to check themselves regularly. Please learn more about a cause very important to us by visiting #TheMovement on Facebook. This is a group started to help promote cancer awareness.
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