When and where did you first notice signs of your cancer? Was there something out of the ordinary that prompted you to check yourself/ see your GP?
In August 2009 I felt general discomfort in my scrotum. It wasn’t specific, there was no lump, just ‘discomfort’. Went to GP as just felt something was not right.
Did you check yourself regularly or were you aware of the signs and symptoms of male cancer before you were diagnosed?
I checked myself irregularly. Assumed the only sign of testicular cancer was a visible lump.
How did you feel when you were first diagnosed? Did your feelings change during your treatment?
Devastated. Felt world had imploded. Doctor pointed out the high success rate of treatment but I didn’t want to hear this. I began to feel better when I passed the half way point.
Please give us a brief explanation of your treatment
Surgery followed by 3 cycles of BEP chemotherapy.
Was there a particularly difficult or distressing part of your treatment or your cancer journey?
2 low points:
1) Told that cancer had spread to lymph nodes
2) Caught infection after first cycle of BEP and had to spend a week in hospital on antibiotics.
What is the most important thing your family and friends did to support you?
I wouldn’t have got through it without my partner
Do you believe the experience has changed you as a person? If so, in what way?
Still raw. Still unsure how it has changed me, but sure that it has. Things I was scared of seem less scary now. I feel more in a hurry, more intense, more aware of time. It also made me reappraise my life.
What medical or emotional support would you like to be offered in the future to support you after your treatment ends?
Psychological support – opportunities to talk about worries, hopes and fears. Reassurance and honesty about what is normal and what isn’t. Any medical treatment deemed necessary.
What would be your message to other men affected by male cancer? What would be your message to their partners?
Speak to your GP – don’t die of embarrassment
But keep going, this can be treated, this can be dealt with. Don’t look at things from the lowest point and assume they will always look the same.