Hadn’t planned for that!

Every man on earth is always self-conscious of having a Doctor looking at their testicles.
However, I was one man who bravely took a step of faith to let my Doctor look at them and it turned into the best decision I made. Finding a lump is always a concern as there are always so many excuses for what it is. “It’s only a cyst, a bacterial infection, a skin tag etc”. For me however, a little more concerning: testicular cancer. A 26 year old with testicular cancer. I’m too young for this, or so I thought. Studies had shown most common cancer amongst men between the ages of 15 – 35 is testicular cancer, to which the goal posts have recently moved to 15 – 44.

I had always been proactive in checking my tackle and had never found anything for concern. However, the lump wasn’t as read in text books; it was more of a bulge located posteriorly. I only found this lump from checking in August 2015, when out of the blue, I was struck by a voice and had an overwhelming urge to have a talk with my Doctor about this lump (as if God was telling me to go call the Doctor). I instantly got up from my chair at work and booked an appointment.

Hardest part done, just needed to go to the Doctors to be told that everything will be ok, then carry on with life. Honestly, I won’t lie that it’s weird having a Doctor look at you balls but they see a lot worse. He said it was a bacterial infection, take some tablets but he’ll send me for an ultrasound to be on the safe side. Good news! However, the ultrasound wasn’t so positive with an abnormality found and 1 was referred to a specialist urologist. I had some time prior to the consultation to which I gave all my worries to God, who placed a real peace on me. When we met with the specialist, he confirmed that I had testicular cancer. Fortunately, the consultant said it was unlikely to be fatal as I had a 97% chance of being cured from the surgery alone.

This felt like an absolute blessing, not the fact I had cancer, but the statistics were in my favour. My surgery was 2 weeks after the consultation (whilst also doing the necessary deeds in-between) which was quick and since the operation, I had one mop up of chemo and I’ve had the all clear. I just have 5 years of check-ups that become less frequent as time goes on.

I know it seems like a daunting prospect of finding a lump and being told it’s cancer however, throughout this whole episode, I trusted God’s will for me and my life is so much better than before when I thought ‘life was going well’. God knew better, has greater Plans for me (and you) beyond what we can imagine.

There is plenty of advice online and some great charities supporting this cause:
myoddballs.com
Orchid-cancer.org.uk
itsinthebag.org.uk
ballboys.org.uk

Image Credit: Patrick Pilz

  • Derek McIntyre

    Dear Ben,
    Great to read you’ve gone through this with the “right” (God-centred) attitude. As you know, it makes all the difference. I had 3 rounds of chemotherapy for testicular cancer last winter. I had a clear sense of God being with me throughout. As a result, my attitude was (and remains) always positive. This is noticed by those around us. What a great opportunity to share why we can be so positive!
    May God continue to bless you Ben.
    Derek McIntyre

  • Ben Jackson

    Thanks Derek,
    Really appreciate the kind words and the you are also someone who has travelled through the same experience as me. I’ve just had a real passion to tell others “it’s ok to have a Dr look, they’d rather you be safe than sorry”.
    From this episode in my life, I have found so much more, not only in life but also in God. It really can change a man but not for the worse, that is what has to be remembered.
    Glad to hear that you are on the mend/healed. It would be great to personally meet you and if you’re at the gathering this weekend, it would be a perfect opportunity.
    Ben
    Ben