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Losing One of the Boys

By , 20, Contributor Originally Published: June 8, 2007 Revised: June 6, 2013

I first learned I had testicular cancer after the doctor told me. You know, I figured he wouldn’t lie. Haha jk. I first found the “lump” while doing what us guys do [masturbating]. The first thing that came to mind was TC [testicular cancer], because oddly enough a few weeks before that I had learned about different cancers in health class. I had just turned 16 the fall before and had finally gotten my license. Actually, funny thing is I was told on April 1, which is kinda ironic.

My first reaction was fear. I think that would be anyone’s reaction. Finding out you have cancer is pretty scary. My family was obviously scared and nervous about the whole situation. To this day, my mom still is concerned when I have to go for checkups. I, on the other hand, don’t really worry about it at all. I go in there, knowing most of the nurses (nicest old ladies you’ll every met…lol), and it’s all a routine to me.

Treatment for Testicular Cancer

The first treatment I had was to get the cancer out, so I had to “lose one of the boys [a testicle]” so to speak. After that, I had some lymph nodes taken out, which is another “minor” surgery. I put the minor in quotes because the surgery before [to remove a testicle], even though it wasn’t life threatening,was still a huge mental surgery for me. Losing a testicle is hard to go through. I am still able to have kids. In most cases of testicular cancer, the ability is still there.

After all that, I had the big one…chemo. Blah, talk about a bad taste in your mouth for a couple hours a day. Not to mention being the biggest couch potato. Chemo is in its own class as to how much one thing can suck so much. It was probably the toughest thing I went through physically, and if you don’t keep your spirits up, it is mentally draining.

I first learned I had testicular cancer after the doctor told me. You know, I figured he wouldn’t lie.

Handling the Emotional Stress

There was one time—I think it was right after being told—when I held back from crying the first couple of days. I tried to smile and just couldn’t handle it. It’s a lot to go through when you’re young. It’s funny when other kids say they have had it rough. I laugh to myself thinking, “Ya, try out cancer.” lol. Since the night I broke down, I never really shed a tear over the whole situation. I just do my best to make myself and the people around me happy.

A New Perspective on Dating and Life

Soon after the whole thing was done, I started dating more. Sex is a touchy subject, no pun intended. I don’t tell people out of the blue, if at all, what I have been through. I would rather not have people feel sorry for me, so I tend to not tell unless they ask about it. But I am very comfortable about it now. If you’re worried that people will think less of you, why are you around those people? Someone who makes fun of a thing like cancer to someone who’s been through it has problems they should get checked out.

I am pretty fearless when it comes to cancer. But I still have that fear in the back of my mind that it will come back. I was once told that“laughter is the best medicine”…or something like that. And it’s true. I cope with any fear I have with laughter. Although I have a fear of it returning, I wouldn’t change what I went through. It was kinda a kick start for me, and it only made me stronger.

Nick is a 20-year-old who lives in New England.

Treatment can often cure testicular cancer. See your doctor if you find a lump, swelling or enlargement in a testicle or experience pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum (balls). Get more information about testicular health and to learn how to perform a testicular self-exam.

Photo by I Heart Guts

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