Testicular Cancer Grad- Mark
Name: Mark Klein
Age at Enrollment: 39
Major: Stage 3b Testicular Cancer
What were the primary symptoms you experienced prior to diagnosis? Pain in my upper thigh/lower abdomen region.
What symptom(s) lead you to go to the doctor? The pain was so bad that I limped when I walked.
Courses completed: Chemo (Etoposide, Bleomycin, and Cisplatin). I also had an RPLND surgery (Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection).
What was your hardest moment (or moments) and how did you you get through it/them? Every day was hard. Seeing the changes in my body- physically- really bothered me. The worst was when I lost sixteen pounds in one week. I was laying face first on my floor waiting to take my last breath, and the words I told everybody about me beating “this thing” kept racing through my head.
When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, what do you do? Whenever I feel anxious or overwhelmed I try to break down the task at hand into little pieces and go from there.
What do you wish more people knew/understood about the type(s) of cancer you were diagnosed with? I wish people realized that when you have cancer, you are dealing with more than just cancer. I had pneumonia three times in four months, three blood transfusions, bed sores, had to reteach myself how to walk, and had a blood clot that lead to my heart.
Have you created any meaning out of this experience? If so, what was it/how did you do it? I go to area schools and speak to the students about my setback.
How did/do you find joy during this experience? I found joy in waking up everyday.
Since your diagnosis, what new belief, habit or behavior has most improved your quality of life? Savor every moment, even the little things in life that we take for granted on a day to day basis.
Did you learn anything about yourself or your life? If so, what was it? In the fight of my life for my life, I realized how strong I really am.
If you could write anything you wanted on a billboard in NYC’s Times Square that would reach millions of people, what would it read? The billboard would say “You have cancer, cancer doesn’t have you, stay strong and keep fighting!”