Photographer Erena Shimoda took photos of Scott and Mandy underwater.
Scott and Mandy Martinez started the pregnancy treatments last May.
Ocean Beach resident Scott Martinez has been through a miracle with his wife Mandy. Scott had testicular cancer twice and after cancer surgeries had only a 1 percent chance to father a child. Now just after four months of treatments, his wife Mandy is pregnant, and the calculated time is May 15. After all the difficulties, they are now enjoying the pregnancy.
“There are a lot of women who have difficulties with pregnancy,” Scott says of Mandy, “but she says all the time that she loves being pregnant. It has been a fun experience.”
“We try to appreciate every single day and be in the moment,” Mandy says. “This is really happening, and we don’t want to skip over any of it.”
Life wasn’t as good 14 years ago, when Scott was 23 and found out that he has Stage IV cancer. He knew that something was wrong with his body, but he didn’t want to face the facts.
He waited four months before going to the doctor, and the doctor's serious questions scared him off. After two months, he couldn’t handle the pain, so he went back.
“They knew right away what it was,” Scott says, “and the surgery was the next day. It was emergency, because I waited so long.”
Scott says that testicular cancer is curable if you catch it early. When you don’t, it can spread, and it’s no longer technically testicular cancer; it could be lymphoma or morph into any other type of cancer.
The cancer recurred in 2004, and because this time it was caught early, it only required surgery without the chemotherapy. Now, Scott goes through check-ups every year.
“Knock on wood, I’m pretty far out in a remission,” he says; “it has been 14 years. Once every year I get blood and once every five years CT scans and X-rays.”
Scott and Mandy knew all along that having a baby might not be possible for them, but their doctors and nurses were positive and supporting. They started their journey last May and found out in September that Mandy was pregnant.
“We were really fortunate,” Mandy says. “People can go years with the process, and I don’t know how it worked so well for us. We’re excited and blown away. Everything just feels like we've accomplished a hurdle.”
Scott feels that after cancer his attitude has changed. To him, the true meaning is that life is too short. With Mandy, they want to think about the good things in life.
“It’s still a balance of work and balance of responsibilities,” Scott says, “but I try to balance out fun. I think about cancer and can it return. What good is all the other stuff that you worry about if that happens?”
He notes that men just don’t make a doctor’s appointment and go to the doctor. To get men to really focus on checking themselves is important.
“Men don’t speak about getting a doctor’s appointment,” he says, “which is funny, because a lot of men are into health, diet and sports. But it’s almost like it stops when it’s time to go to a doctor.”
The couple had an underwater photograph session with photographer Erena Shimoda, who does sessions with cancer survivors. Scott and Mandy wanted to do something different “to honor our pregnancy and our baby.
“Anything that we can do to motivate or inspire other cancer survivors, or even anybody going through cancer, we are always down to do that,” Scott says.