THE BLOG

Bollocks to Cancer!

14/05/2015 17:21 BST | Updated 14/05/2016 10:59 BST

I'll never forget the day I was diagnosed with cancer, it was the 7th... or was it the 8th of March? Anyway, let's not nitpick dates, it was something, at 26 years old, I had been weirdly expecting. When I was working as a TV broadcaster, I had seen a segment on a very popular daytime TV show about testicular cancer and I had pretty much ticked every box for people who should be on the look out, so finally being diagnosed, I wasn't surprised.

I had previously been to see my GP in January about a couple of pea-sized lumps on my right testicle, I cautiously dropped my trousers and let him examine me. Panic over, he was convinced they were cysts but to be on the cautious side, he would send me for an ultrasound scan anyway. The days passed, I received no information about my scan, but I wasn't too worried, they were cysts right?

As the days turned into the weeks, the lumps turned into a painful mass. I went back to see him in March, he examined me and I could sense a panic about him, he was flustered, things were much worse than they were the last time he had seen me and he wanted me to go for a scan immediately. I was devastated. I tearfully made my way to the Royal London only to be turned away because they had no room for scans that day. In a way it was a bit of a blessing. It meant the next day I was able go back with my parents for moral support.

The following day I had my ultrasound. The sonographer went and got a doctor straight away to see me. I knew then it was the worst news. She scanned my testicle and then the rest of my abdomen which was terrifying, and then sent me to see a Urologist, who examined me, by this point I'd dropped my trousers to around 90% of the staff at the hospital. He told me he suspected it was Testicular Cancer. He booked me to have it surgically removed and sent me for a CT scan, it all added up to one of the strangest Saturdays I'd ever had. I wasn't too bothered about losing a testicle, I didn't feel any less of a man, it was after all trying to kill me, so the quicker it was out the better. Within two weeks it was gone, and there had been no signs of it spreading.

It was shortly after my operation that I received some unclear letters from the hospital regarding my treatment. Like a modern day Alan Turing, I managed to decipher them but when I finally got to see my Oncologist, I had a few words with him regarding the information I'd received, it was then that I was put in touch with the wonderful Macmillan Cancer Support.

I was assigned a wonderful nurse named Wendy, who since has guided me all the way through the treatment I've received so far. Throughout my experience of my cancer, all NHS staff, every nurse, doctor, surgeon and sonographer have all been amazing but the admin has been awful, I've missed appointments because no letters have been sent or had been sent months out of date. This is where my Macmillan Nurse has been incredible, it's like having an insider who knows all the processes and contact numbers to everything you could need. I'll forever be grateful for the help I've received from Macmillan. When I've needed scans, and blood tests, Wendy has been there to tell me when and where I need them, when I've needed to see my doctor, she's booked appointments and when my body decided it hadn't had enough fun with cancer yet, she was there to help out.

In September of last year, after a couple of scans and more blood tests it was suspected that cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. I was prescribed three rounds of chemotherapy to try and sort it out. If I can tell you one thing about chemo, its that is sucks, it really really sucks. It drains all the life out of you, you lose your hair, you hate your favourite foods and the only excitement you'll get in life is a potentially gripping episode of Deal or No Deal.

As I went through chemo, and became more and more useless at dealing with appointments and hospital arrangements, my Macmillan nurse shone, she sorted out my doctors notes. It was wonderful to have a friendly face on the hospital ward who knew what you'd previously been through and who still recognised me with no hair and no beard. I'll forever be grateful for the help I've received from Macmillan, which is why supporting them and initiatives such as their upcoming LOLGig with npower headlined by Jenny Eclair, is simply a great idea.

The chemo was a success, yet the doctors were still not happy with my lymph nodes so in February of this year I had them removed in quite a big operation, which I've since been told was successful. All this leaves me wondering, if I had received the first letter for my initial scan then I probably wouldn't be in the position I'm in today, so always be sure to check yourself out. If you find anything you're not happy with, go to your GP: they've seen it all before. Yes it's slightly embarrassing, but I'd rather be embarrassed than in a worse situation.

npower and Macmillan are hosting the #LOLGig at the OXO Tower on 19th May. For more info and your chance to win tickets go to @npowerHQ on Twitter