How My Cancer Journey Started in the Shower
The following story is brought to you by Movember. Movember is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health around the world. With a singular goal to stop men dying too young, Movember supports the following causes: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003, the support of more than 5 million participants has funded over 1,200 innovative projects across more than 20 countries. Visit Movember.com to donate.
It was about a month after we had finished a pretty big Movember campaign called “Grab Some Balls.”
For every meatball sandwich sold at Meat & Bread (the restaurant I work for in Vancouver) we donated one dollar to Movember. I had been a part of a few Movember fundraisers in the past so I was already familiar with the charity, but little did I know how it would soon impact me personally.
My story starts in the shower when I noticed a small bump where there had never been a small bump before. I was pretty frightened, but shrugged it off and decided I would just give it some time.
Fast forward a few weeks and the small bump had started to grow substantially. Now I was starting to freak out. I immediately started thinking about all the worst case scenarios. If it was what I thought it could be, is it just there? Where could it spread to? How long does it take to spread to other places in my body? Every day I would wake up and it would seem to be a little bigger.
I finally went to a doctor. From there, I was directed to get an ultrasound. Next up, I would have to see a specialist who, after having a feel and a look, told me right away that we would without a doubt need to remove it. At this point, we were all pretty sure it was testicular cancer. Luckily, this type of cancer is the most treatable. I did feel lucky for receiving this info, however, every day I would still constantly wonder if it was anywhere else.
Every time I felt a pain somewhere my brain would instantly think, “Oh it’s somewhere else!” Headache? “It’s in my brain!” Backache? “It’s in my spine!” I didn’t tell many people for a long time, as I didn’t really want anyone to know for some reason. Eventually I ended up telling a few close friends and some people at work.
At this point it was now just a countdown to surgery. I had never had a serious surgery done before, so it was all very new to me. By the time surgery rolled around I was walking around with a potato size mass in my pants. It was the most uncomfortable I have ever been.
Luckily, I have some of the best friends and family in the universe. Anything I needed, they were there for me. I can’t thank them enough. The surgery went as smooth as possible, and all of the cancer was removed. It was a pretty couch ridden month after surgery, but I feel extremely lucky that they were able to get it all.
I am very thankful that I do not need any additional treatment and think about that every day. This whole process has changed my outlook on life. Your life can change in a huge way in just an instant, and it’s completely out of your control. I would say I definitely cherish my health, family and friends a lot more these days.
I still get scared when I feel pain in my body. I think about getting cancer every day. I also think about all the great doctors that do unbelievable work day in and day out to try and combat this dreadful disease.
I think of all of the people that help make patients feel comfortable during treatment and surgery, and I think of all the people that donate money to programs that help with the fight against cancer.
Hopefully me talking a little about my story can make someone else out there a little less scared about getting some help!
Read more about here: https://ca.movember.com/mens-health/testicular-cancer