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