READ MY STORY - Damian Flowers
Hello my name is Damian Flowers and I have recently had an orchidectomy on my right testicle.
It all started about 2 years ago where I noticed that my right testicle was noticeably larger and more sensitive than my left one. I went to my GP and was examined and was told that were no lumps and that I may have an infection in my epididymitis of my right testicle and was given antibiotics for this.
The antibiotics did not clear the problem up. So left it for a few weeks then went back and was seen by another doctor and was given the same treatment and had the same results. So I left it for longer this time and went back again and was not even examined this time and was just given antibiotics again. This happened over the space of about 2 years with no change in the testicle. If anything it was getting gradually getting worse.
I went to my doctor again and was this time referred to a urology specialist who talked to me and examined my testicles and said that he could not find any physical problems and that I may just be unlucky and be one of those men who has extra sensitive testicle/s but he would send me for an ultrasound on my testicles to give me piece of mind.
I think it was about 2 or 3 days after the ultrasound that I had several missed calls from an unknown number and I finally got to answer the phone and was told that I need to come in to see my consultant and they had a slot for me the next day. On that appointment I was called in and the consultant and a urology support nurse were in the room and the consultant got the ultrasounds on his screen and gave me the news. I was in shock but at the ultrasound I had a feeling there was an issue as the radiologist was very quiet. The consultant explained the picture to me but everything seemed a bit muffled. The nurse was nice and explained that this is very treatable. In the consultants report he put that it is 80-90% that it is cancer.
When I left I first called my partner and told her the news then called my mother and other members of my family. The consultant had already booked my surgery before the appointment when I was told which showed me how certain they were that it had to be removed. I was due to work the next 2 days but needed time to get my head round things so I explained all what had happened to my manager and he was very good and gave me those shifts off.
I was so confused that I contacted the urology support nurses and asked to see the consultant again and that I wanted to see the ultrasound again. I went to the hospital for my pre-admission check and the consultant was very good to see me after his clinic had finished. We discussed it again in detail so I could come to terms with it all and that we were doing the right thing. I was more reassured after this meeting about the whole situation.
The more I thought about it the more it upset me but I tried to stay strong for my family. I informed my medical center the day I found out and again the day before the surgery and they were very good. The time between finding out and the surgery I told my dad and sister who I had only just got in contact with after 26 years. My dad told me his brother has had his right one removed and my 3 brothers and he had also been having trouble with their right testicle. I felt better in knowing that I was not alone and that no one that they knew of had died from it. I am the oldest brother, I stressed to my dad about how I found out and that the others should have ultrasounds also. My sister has been very supportive and is coming to visit me soon.
I also told the people who I worked most closely with so they knew what was happening. I worked the next 2 shifts that I had before the surgery and kept it to a select few as I did not want to be treated and differently prior to the surgery. I told my closest work friend that he could tell everyone else when I was off recovering as would be hard to not to after having 2 weeks or more off work.
On the day of the surgery my girlfriend took me to the hospital at 7am and I felt quite calm. I got ready and waited to see who would go down first and it was me. The staff who dealt with me were very good and I made sure there was a big black arrow on my leg pointing to the correct testicle to remove and to lighten things they also wrote RIGHT on my belly. I had the anesthetic and next thing I knew I was in recovery. Was a bit sore but the nurse was very good in giving me pain relief. After this I was back on the day care unit a at about 11am I think. I was very sleepy and dizzy. Think I got up for a wee at about 2pm then they called my girlfriend to collect me and I was home by no later than 3pm.
The surgery was on the 19th of August 2011 and it’s now the 21st. The first night was bad but I think that was probably the anesthetic. My groin is very tight in my bikini line and the cut is just below my belt line on the fat pad above the penis. My girlfriend being a nurse changed the dressing and was very pleased with the cut as it was very neat and clean. When she removed the dressing a lot of belly hairs were coming off but I could not feel a thing as the wound area was still numb. I can walk around today but can not fully extend yet as my groin is very tight and painful. The numbness is stating to wear off and the wound is starting to itch a bit. I am sleeping on the sofa at the moment to make it easier to go to toilet and just in case I get knocked in my wound or groin while we are asleep. Still not tried stairs yet or showered. Going to try stairs later today and shower tomorrow morning (Monday 22nd Aug 2011). I had to explain to my 2 year old daughter to be careful as she does like to use me as a human bouncy castle! I am now waiting for my results. I have been emotional a few times and been snappy but I am trying to stay positive.
So this is my story so far about my experience. I hope it has been informative and I will update it as time goes on.