Movember Series 4/5

“The lump was an instant realisation that this was very serious. I knew I had to have it looked at. The next day, I put everything else aside and immediately set about calling all the doctor surgeries until I got an appointment. It was quite a numbing feeling. From the start, I treated it all like a task to be completed, step by step. Only thinking about the next part when it was appropriate. This tactic of staying in the moment is what worked throughout my treatment. I was aware from the beginning that I may need to lose my testicle, but my thoughts were that this was a case of trading a testicle for my life. I knew what my choice was. In the middle of all the appointments, there was a moment where I felt my mortality staring me right in the face. My overwhelming thoughts and fears were that I might not wake up from surgery. It was irrational, but I felt it so pure. The scans and the test and the appointments came and went. There was even an appointment to bank some sperm, just in case the testicle I lost was the more dominant one. As a gay man, I never thought that would matter, but suddenly it did and I was grateful for the opportunity. Surgery day was odd. I knew it was big, but I’d become so reassured by all the doctors and nurses and surgeons about the process. So, at 2:15 pm, I was lying down on a bed, having my monitors applied and given oxygen. Then suddenly, it was 4:30 pm and I was fist-bumping the nurse by my recovery bed. I walked up to the ward, got dressed. I ate something, called my parents and some friends on FaceTime. Then I was allowed to leave. What a bizarre day! Deep down, I know my experience so far has been smooth because of my early detection. I was reminded of that along the way via scans and tests. I want to tell my story so that other men, and indeed women, know their bodies well enough that if they discover that something has changed, they too will put everything else aside and make it a priority.”

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