Testicular Cancer

Attitude to life

Immediately after the diagnosis men felt shocked by the news that they had cancer (see 'How it affects you'). Some men felt very vulnerable; they worried about financial affairs, and one recalled that it prompted him to write a will. However, as time went by, and as they got better, most of the men felt that they had gained something positive from the experience of being ill.

Several men asserted that they no longer took life for granted and that cancer had made them realise that they were lucky to be alive.

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They suggested that having cancer put 'trivial' things into perspective. They spent less time worrying about small things like phone bills, and spent more time appreciating the countryside or doing things they loved, like fishing.

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Some men re-evaluated their lives, doing things they had always wanted to do, such as travelling, or following their football club to Europe, rather than saving money for the future. One man said that illness gave him the strength to end a relationship that should have ended years ago.

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Men realised that health is more important than wealth. One said he now takes life a bit more easily, works a bit less, and takes fewer risks than he did before he was ill. Another man said that he looks after himself, and at the first sign of illness he goes to see his doctor.

Cancer had a major affect on men's lives. Illness made one man reassess his plans for a career. He worked hard, obtained better than expected grades in his exams, and is now training to be a nurse.

Some men wanted to 'give something back,' and were glad to take part in this web site for others diagnosed with cancer. Another man now spends a great deal of time working for cancer charities and hospitals, and runs a support group.

Having faced death, one man said that he had confronted his demons about dying, he now felt at peace, and no longer feared death. Another man was glad that he didn't feel a need to impress other people. As the result of his illness he felt that he could be himself, and say what he liked.

A few men, however, felt less positive about life, fearing that the cancer would reoccur (see also 'Follow-up'). One man, for example, diagnosed in 1996, knows that it is most unlikely that his cancer will come back, but he can't get it out of his mind.

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Last reviewed December 2014.

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