Living on the Edge: Navigating Life After Cancer

Four years ago I was quickly swept up in a whirlwind of surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, and hospital visits. Quite frankly, my focus was on beating an invisible disease that threatened my plans and the dreams I had for myself.

My focus was so engulfed in just surviving that I didn’t have much time to think about what life may be like after. That’s something they don’t discuss during those visits. And, probably, rightly so.

Sometimes I feel the ‘after’ is worse than the ‘during.’ Before my diagnosis, I was clueless. I had no idea what to expect or what was coming. Now, that’s all changed.

Before any blood work or scans to check for a recurrence, my anxiety swells up as if someone has wrapped their hands around my chest. The grip gets tighter as the date of the tests comes nearer and peaks right before learning the results. This endless cycle repeats for each and every test.

While, thankfully every result thus far has indicated I’m in remission, it still feels like I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff. Like myself, we all could be standing closer to the edge than we think. But after a diagnosis, with a chance of recurrence even slightly higher, it feels as if I’m hanging from the side of that cliff with just one hand.

When I feel a change in my body that I question, it’s as if one more finger cannot grasp the side of that cliff. You know you’re still hanging, but for how long? A cancer diagnosis makes you feel as if your life is entirely spent dangling, with a threat imminent at any moment.

It’s something I’ve had to deal with constantly since February 2020 when I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer and it’s a feeling I’m still working through today.

Almost all of us know someone who has passed away from cancer, it seems. It’s hard for me to determine if cancer is on the rise, or if I notice it more frequently now because of my own diagnosis. But, the effect is the same.

That was me. That could be me.

Cancer has an immense effect on the body. I’m still experiencing the effects of it and my treatment today. But, I have no comparison to my body pre-cancer. So much has changed since then. Is the change normal? Is it a sign of recurrence? How do I determine the difference?

I know I’ll be on the edge of this cliff for the rest of my life. But, I pray I’ll be standing at the edge one day instead of suspended from the side.

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Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor

This is my unfiltered story of surviving Testicular Cancer during a worldwide pandemic.