Jimmy’s story: It started with an uncomfortable nut

Author: Movember

It all started with an uncomfortable left nut.

I was working in Australia when I noticed a slight pain while I was driving. I shrugged it off, thinking that I’d sat on it or something.

I arrived back in NZ a week later, and while doing my regular self-check, I noticed a lump. I always told myself that I’d book a doctors appointment ASAP if I noticed anything, but when it came to calling the doctor, I found it quite difficult.

“It’s like your life just stops, and a million thoughts go through your head. I had no idea what this meant.”

 

Maybe it was because I knew something wasn’t right and didn’t want this to be my new reality. I suppose I just wanted to wait and see if it would go away on its own. In the end, I scheduled an appointment. That was the first time I dropped my pants. Little did I know, it would be the first of many.

The GP examined the nut and felt the lump, and given the location suggested it was likely a cyst. However, to be safe, he scheduled me in to have an ultrasound. Following the ultrasound, I got a call from my GP. He said the lump was not a cyst, and that there was a chance it could be cancer.

It’s like your life just stops, and a million thoughts go through your head. I had no idea what this meant. Has it spread? Is it a serious? Do I have years to live, or just months? I didn’t want my family to stress about me, so I only told my partner and the CEO of our company. My partner put on a very brave face for me, but I knew inside it was tearing her apart.

My GP had scheduled an appointment with a urologist who answered my questions, and I was booked in for emergency surgery less than a week later. Straight after speaking to the urologist, I drove up to Tauranga to tell my parents and brothers.

“A few weeks ago, I noticed a lump on my left testicle”. Those were the hardest words I have ever had to say to my family. “Today, they confirmed; it’s cancer.” Tears filled the eyes of everyone in the room, including my own. It’s the last thing you’d expect to hear from your 26-year-old son.

Following surgery, I made the choice to undergo chemotherapy, but before that could happen I was referred to a fertility clinic, as there was a chance it would make me infertile. Nothing can prepare you for chemo. I have mad respect for the elderly people that go through chemo, because it was terrible, even for a fit and healthy 26 year old.

Eventually, we were able to make light of my situation and I found that humour helped me deal with the stress. From talking about getting my left nut bronzed, to coming up with the craziest ideas for an implant. These days I am doing well, and have found that I am much more positive and don't let the little things bother me as much as they used to.