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Interview 24

Age at interview: 50
Age at diagnosis: 33
Brief Outline: Testicular cancer (teratoma) diagnosed in 1984; orchidectomy. Secondary tumour found; 5 cycles of chemotherapy for 5 months (each cycle 7 days of treatment with 21 days in between at home).
Background: Home Office; single, no children.

More about me...

 

Still wants to know why he got testicular cancer.

Still wants to know why he got testicular cancer.

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Do you ever think about cause now, have you looked into that at all?

I have asked, they don't really seem to know. The last one I heard it was colloquially known as the oily rag disease, that mechanics get it you know when they've got oily rags in their pocket. I've never been a mechanic so it wasn't that. I used to ride a lot as a teenager until I moved to London. I wondered whether it was a knock or you know from riding, I don't know. It wouldn't worry me now not to know what caused it because that's gone. I'd like for other people to be able to know. You always want, not necessarily somebody to blame but somebody to explain "Well why did I get it, why me as opposed to anybody else?"
 

Explains that although he was anxious about sex it was just the same as always, and he wasn't...

Explains that although he was anxious about sex it was just the same as always, and he wasn't...

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I thought so originally, I wondered was I going to function the same way er you know what was sex was going to be like in the future. The very first time I was terrified, I wondered you know have they tied up all the tubes up properly, you know am I going to have a leak or something. And it was, it was nerve-wracking it was worrying. I needn't have bothered it's not affected me physically since and that was what 17 years ago. Had no, no side effects, I'll still go swimming, whatever.

So for young men who might be watching this and thinking, Oh my God will I be able to have sex again, or something, can you just repeat that sex is just the same with one.

It's exactly the same er you will not know any difference. You'll be as nervous as hell the first time, just you know to wonder, worry. Don't worry, I don't feel any differently now to when I was 18. There's been no, no effect at all, even psychologically. I don't, I'm not aware that I still have one testicle and not 2. I sometimes get the sensation that I've got 2. You sometimes can feel them moving and I can feel the missing one move er but they say you can feel a leg that's been amputated. I never think about it now.
 
 

Says that it was great to return to work after being ill for six months.

Says that it was great to return to work after being ill for six months.

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So I was off work for the full 6 months and I knew I was getting better because I was just itching to get out and I wanted to get back to work. And it was the greatest day of life I think was going back to work, being me again, and seeing the look on people's faces. Some were shocked, some were cheering, and everybody took it a different way. But it was a good experience, I learned from it and I hope other people learn from it. The treatments have changed so much now but what I had wasn't that bad.
 
 

Suggests that it is important to find somebody with whom to share problems and that men should...

Suggests that it is important to find somebody with whom to share problems and that men should...

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Don't despair, keep, keep cheerful if you can, look on the bright side because there are more 'brighter sides' than 'down sides' and just find a buddy, just find somebody that you can talk to. Tell them "Oh I hate this smell that's coming through these pores," [due to the chemotherapy] or "Don't give me a beer in a can, pour it into a glass," [because of the taste of the metal], silly little things, but laugh about them. Tell other people how you feel, share it and if you share it, it halves what you're going through and it isn't that bad. And life afterwards, you will pick up exactly where you left off.
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