- Posted November 13, 2013 by
New York City, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
CNN Fit Nation: 2014 Triathlon Challenge
The Come Back Kid
In early 2013 I decided to attempt my first Olympic triathlon, when I was plagued with a lot of injuries no one could figure out. It started in my back and my first thought was I was over training. After trying many different remedies to try and fix my back (acupuncture, chiropractor, PT), we were still unable to figure out the problem. Then overnight I developed a belly. Confused, I took the advise of of physical therapist and asked my GP to get a scan. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with stage 3-C testicular cancer. It had spread into my stomach and chest. The pain I was having was from the inflamed lymph nodes pressing against my spine.
I was quickly introduced to a wonderful doctor who became my oncologist and underwent 4 rounds of an aggressive form of chemotherapy called BEP. After 4 long months, my tumor marks still hadn't normalized and the lymph nodes hadn't gone down in size; they had calcified and it was time for surgery. I met with a surgeon at Sloan Kettering to preform my RPLND and unfortunately that turned out to be bigger than we had hoped. After an complicated 12 hr surgery where they removed my spleen and my kiddies where in jeopardy they got it all out and my tumor markers normalizes. Today I'm still recovering but I'm cancer free. I have to rebuild my muscle and regain my lung capacity and strength. This will be no easy feat, but I know it's possible.
I understand that my story might be different than those who are joining your team to become fit and make a lifestyle change. But I too am trying to get into shape. The B in BEP stands for bleomycin which causes lung toxicity. The after affects of the surgery and chemo will make this a huge challenge but I have to prove, not only to myself but to other cancer patients and other survivors that life does go on after cancer. It's a new beginning. Being apart of the Fit Nation team could help get that message out.
Through this ordeal, I was lucky to have great support from family and friends but I had no one to turn to who had been through this. No one to let me know it was going to be okay and that with the shortness of breathe and fatigue I was feeling, I could be fit again.
I can't just forget what I went through and move on with life. I have a cause now. And that cause is cancer. I need Fit Nation. And hopefully Fit Nation needs me.