The Mighty Logo

The Sheepdogs' Sam Corbett Opens Up About His Cancer Diagnosis

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

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 to donate.

I want to be specific about what it was so that anybody else who was diagnosed with testicular cancer does not feel the same kind of embarrassment that I did at the time.

When I first was diagnosed, I had just turned 35 and my wife had just gotten pregnant.

I had this diagnosis. It seemed like a real turning point, and in a lot of ways I kept thinking, worst case scenario, you know, “What if I’m not alive for the birth of my daughter?”

I kept thinking, well, that’s my first goal is to be around for that.

Now that’s happened. She’s 9 months old now, and my next goal is to be alive long enough that she remembers who I am.

I would often lie awake at night just thinking about what was going on and the ramifications of it.

My wife would roll over and say “oh, you’re still awake. You can only think about it for another 15 minutes. Then you’d have to go to sleep.”

When I first noticed that there was a lump there and that there was something wrong, I waited a week to go get it checked out.

Now a week is not a very long time. It’s probably not a big deal, but I should have just gone right away.

Maybe if I had gone in and got checked out earlier, it wouldn’t have spread into my lymph node or maybe not.

Never let something like your work life postpone getting health treatments. Looking back, that’s very clear to me now, but at the time it wasn’t.

We’ve been a band for about 15 years, so these guys are my best friends. We’re very close. We’re like a family. You know, right off the bat, as soon as I knew I had to have the surgery, we had to cancel shows, but they didn’t care.

They knew that I had to do it to get the surgery done as quickly as possible.

It makes me appreciate not only did I get to be a musician, but I get to be in a band that I really do love with guys that are my best friends and guys that I really love.

There’s sort of a perception that men have to work really hard to provide for their family.

And it made me think of doing things like putting my work life in front of getting my personal health taken care of. So that is something that I think you have to be aware of that health comes first. And not just my physical health, my mental health as well. Because if I don’t have that, I’m not going to enjoy my work. I’m not going to enjoy my family. I’m not going to join my life. It’s just very important to make sure that’s a priority.

Originally published: November 21, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home