What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Both diagnosed with Testicular Cancer

What age were you diagnosed?

Both at 23

What has helped you to thrive?

The reason we thrived, was due to the fact we were both going through Cancer together. With being diagnosed 21 days apart, we had a physical and mental understanding of what we were both going through. Cancer is a very lonely place, but fortunately, we both had each other to keep us going. 

Ryan's Story

I noticed something was wrong when I started getting severe back pain. This progressed into the right side of my body going numb and then passing out. After multiple hospital visits, just before starting my first year as a fully qualified year as a primary school teacher I passed out and could feel a lump in my stomach now.
They scanned me and that’s when I was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer (tumour markers of 175,000). I had a tumour in my groin of around 7x6 cm and one in my stomach was 12x9 cm and I had nodules all around my lungs. I wasn’t able to bank sperm and started chemo immediately. I had 8 months of intense chemo (BEP, POMB/ACE, GEM/TIP and a pre-stem cell chemo), then I had a stem cell transplant and finally had RPLND surgery to remove the tumours left inside me. 
When they did an ultrasound and showed me where the lump was I still wasn’t able to feel it. I was at the peak of my fitness and ticked all of the “healthy body” criteria (Don’t smoke, drink excessively, etc) and still managed to get it.

Sean's Story

Ryan was diagnosed on Sept 1st 2017, I went down on the 2nd to be with him for the next week as he started his intensive Chemo. Whilst I was down, my left testicle swelled up. I didn't mention anything due to the news we received, and I didn't want the family to worry. When I got home I was checked by two doctors, who both thought it was nothing to worry about. They believed it was an infection but sent me for a piece of mind ultrasound because my twin had just been diagnosed. Sept 21st I had the ultrasound, and was told to go to the hospital. I was told by the doctor they believed I had testicular cancer and on 26th Sept I had surgery to remove the testicle. Luckily they believed it was caught early and I didn't need any treatment. I was put under surveillance, and for the following months seemed to be going well. 1 Week after Ryan had his RPLND operation, I was hit with the news my Cancer had spread and I needed to do 3 cycles of BEP treatment. I started my 9 weeks of treatment in early August. Luckily, me and Ryan are now both in Remission.

Ryan & I both want to raise awareness, to help men know different symptoms to be aware of. We need to raise awareness so that men do check themselves but that also symptoms are not always so clear. It's just as important to go to the doctors when you know your body is not right, as well as it is to check regularly. Ryan's cancer has spread massively, and even after finding out it was testicular cancer he would struggle to feel the lump.