I didn’t have a week. Two days after the ultrasound, I ended up back in the emergency room, this time, I had unbearable back pain and was unable to breath.
I was admitted to Nittany Medical Center in State College, PA and over the next week, I would receive ample amounts of fluids, breathing treatments, bloodwork, a biopsy on my lungs, an MRI, and numerous CT scans. By this time, I was unable to breath on my own and was hooked up to an oxygen tank.
After receiving some results, Mount Nittany decided that they did not have enough resources for me and so I was transferred to the ICU at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.
My health had rapidly declined within a week.
After four days in the ICU and multiple pricks and prods, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 (3C) testicular choriocarcinoma.
The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my abdomen and up into about 80% my lungs. My Thanksgiving holiday turning into something more.
Now living in Baltimore, Maryland, I had to decide what to do about treatment. I knew this was life or death at this point and I didn’t have time—either stay in PA with my family, or go back home to Maryland and seek treatment at Johns Hopkins hospital.
To me this was a no-brainer, but my family thought otherwise. Ultimately, I decided to go back to Baltimore and try to set up an oncology appointment with their urology department.
However, once again, I ran out of time and ended up in the emergency room. Just a week after my diagnosis, I returned to the hospital with breathing problems and severe back pain—something that I was able to get under control while at Geisinger.
Johns Hopkins hospital admitted me the night I arrived in the emergency room. Two days later, I started chemotherapy.