Today is 11 months and 8 days I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The memories are still vivid in my memory: a deep anguish consumed me as I watched my exams in the waiting room of my urologist's office. What would the doctor say? After a long wait, finally it was time for my appointment. That day, the sky was overcast and it had rained a bit. It was a gray friday. After 1 month and a half with pain in the testicle, the doctor began to suspect something more serious than the initial suspicion of a simple infection. I sat down, handed the exams to the doctor. He asked what I was feeling, and looked at my exams, calmly told me he had talked to other doctors on your team, and what I really had was a tumor in the testicle that need to be operated. As he spoke, I felt my being shattered, sinking into a dark abyss, cold and lonely. I put my hand in front of my face and cried in despair. The doctor looked at me with a look of compassion. Watched me while I cried, and then told the good news to me, "Look Leonardo nowadays heals virtually all cases of testicular cancer, and looks, this surgery will not bring any problem in your life, because the other testicle compensates for the lack of this that we have to take, and in a few months we put a prosthesis there, and will not give even to tell which side was affected. You do this surgery I forward you to an oncologist in a month and should're all finished. ". This scenario was a sweet illusion that lasted a few days of my life. Made surgery, found that beyond the primary tumor in the testicle, I was with three other abdominal tumors, 3 inches each. That changed my perspective a lot. The treatment lasted one month before, now would last three to four, with the possibility of chemo did not work. I needed to do 3 sessions of chemotherapy and redo tests to see if the abdominal tumor had been destroyed. If the tests continue accusing the presence of tumors would require another surgery, with 40% chance of being sexually impotent. When I received the diagnosis and started to go in the marathon doctors to hear opinions about my case, my life went into suspension. My routine has changed and every day was a new step in a journey that I did not want to do, but it was necessary. My freedom to come and go was torn from me, and now who dictated what I would do or not were doctors. This is extremely frustrating. Suddenly my college, my internships, my projects entered in the background. The priorities were reversed and everything that was in my power to do was wait and have patience. He had no quarrel with whom or with whom complain, after all, who I blame? And if I found a culprit, it would change anything in my situation? I had no idea what I was going through. A series of thoughts invaded my head, but what tormented me most was that the chemotherapy did not work I would have to go through a bloody surgery that could leave me impotent.
Understand one thing: when you have cancer, the chips are falling slowly. The first falls on the day of diagnosis, when receiving the news. But each event, each phase of treatment, more chips are falling. On the first surgery, another fight between denial and acceptance of the reality of cancer happens. Then when you go for chemotherapy, is yet another process of acceptance. Suddenly I found myself with a company that arrived uninvited and would be for the rest of my life this inside me. And I still wonder, is it going to happen some day when I did not remember I had cancer?
One question that was repeated several times within me throughout the course of treatment was: "Why me?". If 1 in every 270 men have this cancer,why me? Why not with the neighbor? Why not with a distant friend? Why by this time the bad thing was with me? What did I do to deserve? A voice inside me screamed, angry, and echo that cry reverberated within me, finding the purest silence. I had no answer. I thought about criminals, people who deliberately do some kind of harm to another human being, and I wondered, why not him? Why not a damn thief political Brasilia? What did I do wrong to deserve this? But nature has no morality whatsoever. It is indifferent to my values, my anger and my grief. Given the nature, I'm just another body moving, struggling to survive on this planet. Existence has no attachment to my life and I do not consider special. Some obscure point in me believed that I was "good" in terms of moral human tragedies never happen to me, only with others. Some people risked give me an answer to why I had cancer, and here are some answers, ranging from religious explanations to the biomedical reasons. 1) Because you are a very special person. 2) God gave you this disease because you know that you are strong to endure. 3) You actually "won" the disease that was to fall on someone else, but you're pretty good and decided to put that cross on your shoulders, to relieve a brother. 4) Because I've been cycling a lot throughout my life. 5) Because I was born in a city that has radiation levels above average. 6) Because I did a great evil in a past life and now I decided to pay this debt with a disease. 7) Because I kept grudges about my father. 8) By an unlucky fate. 9) Why unluckily I suffered a random genetic mutation that caused the cancer. These are just a few, but I could list a plethora of explanations about why I had cancer, and I assure you, they are good for nothing, except to distract me from my real pain. One thing just has more of an explanation when none of them are true. No explanation was able to quell the revolt against life as the diagnosis of cancer has raised me. There is no explanation, there is only acceptance because the way things are, if they were to be different, it would otherwise. After much fighting with life, my soul surrendered and accepted cancer as part of me. I realized that I had no other option but to surrender. The cancer that shattered my illusion of mind built on 21 years of life. My life as I knew it was over. My heart and my soul calmed bent before my destination that is far greater than me. I do not have total control over my life. In fact neither is my life, but life lives through me. The problem is that while I was fighting with life, thinking that I was deceived omnipotent front of it. I can make some choices that will influence my future, but there is a past infinitely greater than I who determines before him and I can only bow down and accept that I am part of the greater whole. Though it brings me suffering and misfortune from time to time, this is the sea that I have to swim.
Five days after the diagnosis, I was on the operating table. Until they get to the operating room, I passed many nurses and each wondered what I would be operated. "Cancer in the testicle," I said. Today I'm used, but during treatment, I was scared to see the expression of the people when they heard that I had cancer. Cancer is a magic word, just open your mouth to say that I see a look of terror etched on people's faces, while they try to hide this fear and pretend to you that all is well. The truth is that to others I had become "the bringer of evil." My illness bothers you. The haggard face, a bald head and scars around the body of someone who has cancer show a tough side of life, that we would not see. I learned hard lessons about life and death, and now I want to tell you some of them.