A Young Man Faces Testicular Cancer
Why it's so serious.
In an odd way, I feel lucky. Testicular cancer is among the most treatable
ones around. But even though 95% of patients with the condition beat it and
survive at least five years, according to the American Cancer Society, that
still leaves 5% who don't. Men do die of this disease. And most of them are
young and in the prime of their lives.
If I had waited much longer, my story might have ended differently. One key
to beating this disease is detecting it early. That's why I tell everyone: If
you think something is wrong, don't wait. Go to your doctor. Another key is
following up to make sure it doesn't come back.
Since the surgery I've struggled a bit to get my life back in order.
Sometimes I feel a little bitter that I had to go through this. But mostly I
know that this experience made me realize what a gift my life is. I have a
loving wife, a wonderful family, great friends, and all kinds of opportunities.
And my wife and I just got the best gift possible. Our first child, a girl, is
due to be born this November. (Just so you know: We conceived her the
old-fashioned way.) Believe me, I'm planning to be around a long, long time to
enjoy being a dad.
Erik Strand is a mechanical engineer in Plainfield, Ill.,
where he still enjoys playing softball.