Interview 138

In 1996, a lump was found at top of one leg. A biopsy of the lump led to a diagnosis of testicular cancer (seminoma). Chemotherapy for three months. Had 4 days in hospital for each cycle of chemotherapy.

He had a small lump in his groin but thought it was just a fatty lump or skin growth. A few months later when seeing his GP for another reason, he mentioned the lump as it had not gone away, and was referred to see a specialist. A biopsy was taken of the lump and a few days later he was told that he had a seminoma (a type of testicular cancer). He was given an ultrasound of his testicles, blood tests and a CT scan. He found the CT scan slightly intimidating but it was painless. He was relieved that he did not need to have either of his testicles removed. He said that at the time, he did not know anything about cancer, and it was not until he began chemotherapy that his diagnosis really sunk in. He found talking to another man with seminoma in the hospital very helpful. He found it difficult to talk openly with some people about his diagnosis due to the area of his body affected. He finds that recently, testicular cancer is more widely talked about in the media than it was at the time of his diagnosis.

He had chemotherapy four days a week for three months. After his first session he felt fine, but after the second he began to feel unwell. His hair fell out and he experienced sickness and diarrhoea. He likened the feeling to having severe flu tripled.’ He also had pins and needles in his fingers, plus aching legs, and he found that the treatment also affected his hearing. He now has tinnitus, but no longer has pins and needles or aching legs. He took one year off work when having his treatment, and found that the private medical insurance he had helped him to manage this. Shortly after his chemotherapy he became anaemic and needed a blood transfusion. Recently he wanted to give blood himself, but was told that he was not suitable due to his medical history.

He was pleased with the care that he received, but found that the staff rotated on a regular basis. He liked that the cleaners on the ward were familiar faces. After his treatment he had check-ups every three months, then every six months, and now has a check-up once a year. It is now five years since he completed his treatment and is pleased not to have had any recurrences of the cancer. He says that cancer is at the back of his mind, and that now he would visit his GP immediately if he noticed any lumps or felt unwell, and urges other people to do so. He now realises that he should have seen his GP sooner, and should not have been concerned about wasting the GP’s time. He gets tired more easily than he used to, but still enjoys mountain biking and rowing. He is pleased that treatment has had no effect on his ability to have sex. He found that having cancer altered his perspective on life, and he now sees it as precious.’ He does not worry as much about things now, especially not money, and if he wants to do something he no longer puts it off.

Each chemotherapy treatment he had for testicular cancer seemed to make his hearing worse; he has…

Age at interview 41

Gender Male

Age at diagnosis 35