I was diagnosed with Stage IIB Testicular Cancer (mostly embryonal carcinoma) in February of 2011, on Valentine's Day no less, and went through 4 rounds of EP chemo followed by the RPLND surgery by Dr. Joel Sheinfeld at MSKCC on June 22nd, 2011. After 5 brutal months of fighting cancer 5 years ago, as much as I wanted to believe that life would just resume and get back to normal, little did I know just how different and challenging life after cancer would be during survivorship.
My mission is you, fellow cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers. By sharing fully and intimately in my cancer journey, I hope that it helps to make your own journey through cancer survivorship just a little bit easier, and that you feel a little less alone. My mission is also to help educate the medical community about what the lives of young adult cancer survivors are like and the challenges that we face, such that our needs can be better served in the future.
I put my heart and soul into all of my writing, but I'm especially proud of my essays. Many of the essays that I've written have involved more than a year of thoughts and ruminations. I tried so desperately at times to get to the bottom of things that had been hurting me through my cancer journey, so that I could understand and express those pains and needs, and ultimately find solutions to them. My essays have been a huge source of healing for not only myself but others, and have been shared by Livestrong, Critical Mass, Dana-Farber, Johns Hopkins, and other cancer organizations. My writing has been hosted at the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation for which I've blogged since 2014. It's a great pleasure and and honor to be able to share this writing, and to serve as one of the voices of the young adult cancer community.
Life as a cancer survivor was far more than I had ever bargained for. I became so distressed that I had contemplated suicide at one point, nearly two years out from my cancer diagnosis. Cancer brought so much uncertainty into my life, and there were so many unexpected challenges that I was simply unprepared for. It broke me as a person, and I'm only here today because of the love and support of my wife, and some very near and dear friends of mine. It was during this time that I realized the need for a full and complete reset and reboot of my life after cancer. I took to writing as one of many different forms of therapy, and it's through the process of writing that I began to unlock the mysteries of the person within, all that was hurting me and why, what my needs really were as a person, and how I needed to live my life after cancer in order to thrive once again.