Officially in remission since 4th July 2013!
I've had a few messages in recent weeks asking if I'm going to be going to Mayhem, where I've been etc. Some of you know what's been going on, most don't, newbies here aren't going to have a clue who I am. I thought I'd just put a post up and let the world know, it might even help one more man.
I have cancer.
Sympathy is banned, no "sorry to hear that", "that's terrible" or anything else like that. It's going to be unpleasant for a while but I'm going to get better. It is going to have a positive outcome. As I've told my oncologist, failure is not an option.
I have testicular cancer (hey, if it worked for Lance) so had my left ball and a few other bits of non essential plumbing removed. As I write this post it's exactly a month since I was starting to come round after the surgery (I'll spare you the details but I'll always be giving neutered dogs a brotherly, knowing stroke). Yup, just like Hitler and Lance I only have one ball, two smashing role models.
I caught it very early and the NHS acted very quickly. It was just over a week between me going to my GP and having the surgery. We got it at stage one, about as early as you can get. I have a 60% chance that the surgery is all I need, no chemo therapy. Because of the potential long term side effects (and after discussion and agreement with my oncology team) we've decided not to have preventative chemo (could decrease lung volume and kidney function as well as other stuff which could make riding/sports awkward), if it spreads I'll take the curative chemo (a bit worse) and deal with it. As it stands today I have over a 90% chance of surviving for 5 years, after 5 years they reckon you're pretty much cured. At the moment I'm having regular CT scans and weekly blood tests to make sure it's not spread, tests have been OK so far so fingers crossed. My arms look like a member of the cast from Trainspotting. I'm going to be regularly tested for the next few years. I have my next review with my oncology team on 6th June, if that goes well I'll be at Mayhem, if not, well there's next year.
When I first found out I set myself two goals, to go to Mayhem in June to heckle and put in a lap at the Brighton Big Dog later in the summer.
Feel free to take the piss, after having my balls/ball fondled by 9 different blokes that I know of (some with beards) and the "haircut" that the hospital gave me (the NHS is not quite the same look as the Brazilian or Hollywood) I have no dignity left at all. I'm fine with it and the more people that know the better because if it means someone else checks themselves and catches it early as well, all the better. If you're going through it and need to know what's in store, need someone to talk to etc send me a PM, I'm happy to message, email, call, meet up, whatever. Believe me, it's not so bad, the worst is not being able to ride, going from 125-200 miles a week to 0 miles a week is frustrating.
Take care mateys and I'll see you in a few weeks. Oh and next time you've been for a ride and cleaned your bike etc, either check your nuts or check your man's nuts for him.
A few resources if you need them:
Orchid (chap specific cancer charity, loads of info and support)http://www.orchid-cancer.org.uk
Macmillan (my Macmillan nurse has been a great help)http://www.macmillan.org.uk
(The regular Isle of Wight riders will know that my lightning climbing ability was questioned & doctors Heathy and Wu diagnosed *** ****, turns out they were wrong, it's just that I'm a little bit Lance.)