March 2005:I knew what the doctor was going to say before he stuttered to ask "You do know what that is don't you?"....a tumour in my right testical. The next day it was confirmed by ultrasound and removed a couple of days later in a swift and largely uneventful operation in Reading.
The expected shock was undermined by the fact that I has known there was something not right for some months. I even suspected cancer, which probably made it even easier to deny the problem and only casually mentioning at the doctors when my appointment was actually for prolonged neck injury sustained snowboarding.
Tests confimed the tumour as a teratoma and also showed there was probable vascular invasion - meaning that the tumour had grown to the extent that cancerous cells has began to invade the connecting veins, thus increasing the risk that cells may have spread. Then followed over two months of anxious waiting as the oncologist tracked the AFP tumour marker through weekly blood tests.
July 2005:The good news was that it was dropping albeit slightly slower than expected - it did however drop down to normal (<10) at which point I was scheduled for two cycles of BEP chemotherapy (Bleomycin, Etoposide, Cisplatin). Each cycle was 1 week in hospital and two weeks at home (with just a weekly injection).
Sept 2005:Back to work. I was in remission with monthly scans and blood tests to check my tumour markers. Michelle organised a suprise (well it was a suprise until I saw two guys carrying a whole pig on a spit into our back garden) party on bonfire night - it was great to get everyone together and to say thanks to Michelle and everyone for their support over the past few months. We were still eating pork sandwiches three weeks later!