How to Survive Testicular Cancer
A common reaction among men, on receiving the news that they have Testicular Cancer, as with any cancer, is,
‘Is it serious?’,
‘How long have I got?’,
and, perhaps the most feared with Testicular Cancer,
‘Will I still be a man?’
Natural reactions to the news that you’ve got the big ‘C’.
No, these are not the three most important things, but I shall come to those later in this article.
There is no reason to suppose, however, that you won’t survive it!! The survival rate is pretty high in most TC cases, providing that you have caught it early enough that treatment can be effective.
The immediate reaction to the news when diagnosed can be one of sheer terror, and denial, but, in my case I worked for the National Health Service (in the UK), and had seen many, many patients with far worse conditions who survived their treatments, so it was a case of accepting that I could have it, did have it, and getting on with the treatment!
TC patients can be portrayed in the media, TV, etc., as being in denial, afraid or unwilling to accept it, and generally behaving in a state of anger or panic. But this need not be, because it is far from being an unstoppable killer with all the modern treatments and drugs that are available.
I underwent a course of chemotherapy, and pretty intensive it was too! There were side effects, of course, but once you get used to the regime, you can survive it, and it doesn’t last for long. The other alternative, of not having the treatment, doesn’t bear thinking about, anyway!
In my own case I survived, and have lived a happy and active life for the past twenty years, with no loss of sexual appetite, nor the ability to satisfy my lovely wife!
In fact, I think it true to say, that I even enjoy a better sex life than I did before the big ‘C’!
How or why we get TC is not clear. There is a link between inherited susceptibility to cancer, and the likelihood of suffering from it, but this can sometimes apparently jump a generation.
My own family had a history of cancers; my grandmother died from stomach cancer, and my mother died from a brain tumour, albeit at the age of nearly 91, and long after I had been diagnosed and successfully treated and cured.
I had an abnormal testicle, which I had felt but ignored until my son happened to hit me right there where it hurt, causing it to swell. This precipitated a trip to see the doctor, a scan, and the diagnosis. I was lucky, although by ignoring the signs the cancer had spread to a secondary around one of my kidneys.
There is a lesson to be learned from my experience: do a regular self check, and don’t ignore the signs!
Three basic life style routines you should understand.
3.the power of the mind
A healthy diet is always one of the ways to avoid any kind of illness, as is regular exercise, but as I was a badminton player, bike rider and walker-to-work, and our daily family diet was well balanced, or so I thought, that is not the whole story.
So what do we men do to avoid the likely hood of getting TC?
Since there seems to be no actual evidence that one man may be more susceptible than the next, we have to take the utmost care with our daily diet and lifestyle regime, and we can do this quite simply.
As I said, I thought that my daily routines and diet was fine, and certainly the hospital dietician thought so too, but diets are only as good as the nutrition gained from them.
Let me explain. Eating fruit and veg, with a variety of meats and salads seems like a good diet, until you consider where these foods come from, how they are produced, and, more importantly, how often you eat certain foods, and how they are prepared or cooked.
My diet had consisted of all the usual things which you would expect to be healthy, and I got enough daily exercise. But I may have been wrong!
Visiting a friend in the USA some years before, my wife and I had been introduced to health supplements. Now these were not so popular in the Health Service, as it was considered that ‘normal’ food was sufficient for your average person, and our NHS seemed to be against any form of alternative medicines or treatments, and definitely against anyone who was not a qualified medical expert suggesting there could be another way!
When you consider what your eating habits are, by this I mean how, when, and what you eat, then perhaps a ‘normal’ diet is not sufficient.
You should always consult your medical doctor, but as long as we don’t overdose on them, health supplements, taken in moderation, can certainly do no harm, and in fact may well be of benefit to us. Some studies have shown that certain anti oxidants may harm our system, but the evidence from these reports has also been shown to be suspect!
I am considered young looking for my age by at least ten years, and considering the rigorous chemotherapy that I went through, I am surprised by this. But then I shouldn’t be. Why? well, for a start I regularly play a strenuous game or two of Badminton, and I eat well, and I do take regular health supplements.
I’m no genius, but it doesn’t take much brain power to work out that I must be doing something right to maintain my youthful appearance, and I’m not about to give up on anything that might be helping me!
There is another factor involved in my particular healthy regime. You may not believe this, but I believe in the art of self hypnosis.
I had been, before our UK government decided to ban it, a competition standard pistol shooter. Whilst you may not agree with fire arms of any kind being in the hands of the common man, I used specialist pistols to achieve some success in the shooting world.
What has this to do with Cancer, you might ask?
Well, along with the rigours of physical training, arm strengthening, hand/eye co ordination, etc., there is also the mind control that all athletes learn. This mind control enables them, and me, to relax, and in some way control what happens in our chosen sport. ‘Thinking’ the bullet, arrow, or whatever, into the bull, gold, or centre of the target.
This may seem fantastical. It is, however, accepted practice to teach sports men and women the techniques required to achieve this, and Sports Psychologists are a regular part of successful sports training programs.
You can often see this in practise during games such as tennis, football, or golf where the player practises, in his mind, the vital kick, serve, golf shot, etc., before actually performing the task.
Having the ability to relax and blot out everything from the mind except the process of your chosen sport, overflows into normal daily activities, and I am often accused of not listening, nor hearing things that are going on around me! (A good ‘man’ excuse, anyway!)
How can we use this skill in our fight against cancer, and to stay healthy?
Firstly, we cannot stop cancer occurring if it is going to strike, but, we can channel our thoughts and concentrate against the cancer.
Whilst undergoing treatment, and afterwards to this day, I am in a constant state of awareness and positive thinking. Thus, by ‘thinking’ to keep younger, and to be constantly thinking healthy thoughts, I am able to keep my body and mind in a state of anti-cancer and good health.
Believe this or not, it is worth a try. You will be amazed at some of the things that you can do with a few minutes a day practise, and it will soon become second nature to you that you will be doing it without thinking about it!
So there you have it. Keep fit and healthy, by whatever means is at your disposal – whether that is diet, exercise, taking health supplements, or using self hypnosis – and I think that, like me, you stand a greater chance of surviving the big ‘C’! But let’s hope that you never have to face that challenge!
Of course there are many questions which are asked about this type of cancer, and many ways in which you can affect your chances of surviving it.
How to survive Testicular Cancer (TC), (From one who has!), and the Cancer fighting healthy life style. The three most important things you should consider! Written by a survivor: Colin Hayes