First time here??

Start here if you haven't read our story yet!

03/2020 Updates!

Remarkable notes from surgery report:
Thyroid:
Papillary carcinoma
Thyroid removal
Tumors:
Two focal points
Left lobe, inferior
1.7cm & 0.5mm
Beningn colloid nodules
Marginal areas negative for invasive carcinoma

Lymph nodes:
6 involved, 9 examined
Node 1:
Malignant carcinoma
Inferior, pretracheal
2.2cm
Node 2:
Malignant carcinoma
Left inferior, paratracheal
2.0cm
Nodes 3:
Malignant carcinoma (2/4 nodes)
Largest at 1.5cm
I'm on thyroid replacement pills for life. I'm on calcium supplements until that gets back in order.

I'm returning to work on 3/16 just in time for Spring Break to start the following week.

01/2020 Updates!

I'm not feeling very eloquent at the moment. I had a CT Scan done for followup to my testicular cancer. That checked out fine in regards to what they were looking for. There was a spot in my neck that they wanted to investigate further. Went in for an ultrasound. There was more definition of what they saw earlier on the CT Scan and some objects met minimum size requirements for biopsy. Went in for the biopsy. Got called back a couple days later informing me that surgery would be needed to remove what they found.
Turns out that I have thyroid cancer in the left portion of my thyroid gland. They say it's unrelated to the testicular cancer. The initial surgical team said that if the nearby lymph nodes look suspicious that they'd take those out too. If anything has spread to the other portions of the thyroid gland, they'd just take out the whole thing while they're in there.

If I was going to get cancer, at least these are the ones to get as they have a rather high success rate. These and melanoma.

A Journey into the Mind of a Struggling Son, Husband & Father

Since our son was born, I've been able to do some more thinking about other aspects of my health and have learned that my mental health has been taking quite a toll and I haven't been able to really work well on its status until recently.
I grew up with inattentiveness to things that didn't interest me, inability to effectively communicate with others (especially in groups) and my parents attempted to find resources and services to assist with these issues but they didn't quite hit the mark.
I was a depressed teen, like several other of my contemporaries, and had a short run with a mental health provider as provided by my father's insurance. I was prescribed two different anti-depressants to see if they'd work and while they may have, it was not a lasting effect.
I hyperfocus on things and frequently it makes it difficult to see other perspectives.
I'm not great at managing my own emotions, identifying emotions of others, nor being able to help comfort emotions of those that I have affected negatively.

So, with all that in mind, I have started up a journey of sorts to try to get that sorted out. I've got effects that can point to all kinds of things including anxiety, attention difficulty, motivation difficulty, difficulty with interpersonal skills, and a handful of other things.

Through my own insurance now I have been able to start up an individual-style mental health provider system and I've been recommended to an assessment to better identify what I'm working with.
The theme has been "I'm not looking for a fix, I'm looking for labels of what I've got so that I can investigate resources to be able to assist with those things."

Here's the kicker. My main medical/mental health insurance outsourced me to a provider that works on Saturdays (thus enabling me to attend without anxiety of missed work/pay) and they've outsourced me back to my main insurance for an assessment (which had a 6-month wait list) and they've outsourced me to another provider who has many specialities including these assessments.
In order to maximize take-home pay from my job, the medical plan we've selected has some caveats.
Where's Adam Conover when you need him? I'm sure he's got amazing material on Medical Insurance Providers and why the system needs an overhaul.

Anyway, I've spoken with the provider for the assessment and they have a two-step process.
One: Have an interview to determine whether or not the assessment is for me. (I spoke with her on the phone yesterday and she still recommends the assessment, but we'll definitely re-evaluate during the interview).
Two: Have a 3-4 hour assessment to determine what kinds of difficulties I have and which concepts they translate to and what kinds of resources are available for those concepts.
The hard part: The interview is $150 and the assessment is $1500, out-of-pocket, because of how our insurance plan works.
The harder part: Coming up with $1650 for all of it.
The intended result: Learning what I'm working with so that I can increase my quality of life and the quality of the lives around me since I'm identifying that I've been struggling with these unlabelled things for quite some time and I'm really hoping for some insight.

If you're in a position to assist, any value is appreciated. You can get your assistance to me via PayPal at miketrethewey@gmail.com , or via this link.
If you're unable to assist directly. please share this post with your friends!
Thank you.

2019 Updates!

It's been just over 8 years since I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Metastatic Testicular Cancer.

In the last two, I've still been focusing on work and still unpacking in our house, in a couple more ways than one.

On August 29, 2018, our son, John William, was born. He was definitely a shock to a lot of us since I was told that I was going to be sterile for the rest of my life. Turns out, after some testing done, my counts for the remaining equipment was better than that of a normal functioning pair. Huh.

In December 2018, I found a new opportunity driving for the local Community College instead of continuing at the school district.

07/25/2017 Updates!

It's been almost 6 years since I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Metastatic Testicular Cancer.

In the last two, I've been focusing on work and getting settled in a new house with my wife and mother-in-law. I had some blood work done during the week of 6/25. Results were unremarkable. I had a CT Scan done during the week of 7/9. Results were unremarkable. I had my renewal of my Department of Transportation Physical Exam during the week of 7/16. Results were unremarkable.

So! I'm unremarkable. This is a good thing as nothing strange stood out on any of the results. My oncologist is very happy with my progress and we'll be moving to a non-annual plan for observation testing.

I'm preparing to renew my drivers' license which is going to be a larger expense, but we'll make it work.

We'll be taking a short getaway to the Oregon coastline for a few days in August. Shortly thereafter I have a class for policy refreshing for work at the bus yard.

It looks like the pre-season meetings start on 8/28 and the first day of instruction will be 9/5. True to form, my birthday will be within the first two weeks of school. Oh boy!

8/11 Updates!

It's been 4 years to the day since I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Metastatic Testicular Cancer.

In those four years I've had 4 surgeries, many CT scans, many xrays, many blood draws, many pokes with needles for 2.5 months of chemotherapy. I've gotten married, got a second (new to me, old to Laura) cat, I'm in my third job, and we've moved to a house. My oncologist has given me a clean bill of health and would like to continue periodic checkups to monitor my current state.

I went and did my Oregon Department of Transportation physical exam to prove that I'm able-bodied enough to perform the duties of a commercial vehicle driver. I've been given the standard two years of certification instead of the one year of certification that I received last year due to not having sufficient evidence of my great condition. I've sent off the paperwork to renew my certificate that states I'm able-bodied enough to perform the duties of a school bus driver.

Preparation for the school year starts on 8/31 and school starts on 9/8. Here's to my 3rd full school year as a school bus driver and to my 32nd year of life!

7/29 Updates!

Went in for the CT scan and everything checked out fine. I have a letter from my doctor stating that my current condition has no impact on my ability to operate commercial vehicles. Tomorrow I'll set up my physical exam for my Department of Transportation qualifications and everything should be sorted by the time I return to work for the 2015-16 school year!