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My TC Story - Alan Hatton

Once in February 2021 and again in March 2021 I went to see my GP with a lump on "righty". Told both times it was "just a cyst, nothing to worry about" and being a 50 year old man was told it was highly unlikely to be anything else. Six weeks later I found myself in A&E with a severely swollen nad, was given antibiotics and told to get myself booked in for an ultrasound scan (GP was supposed to have referred me already for a scan after I requested one but never did it! arse!).

One week later I had my scan and the chap with the supermarket scanner and cold gel told me there was definitely something sinister looking - not what I wanted to hear. Same afternoon I received a phone call from a very worried GP (I think he was more worried about missing my lump twice rather than my wellbeing but hey-ho). Referred to Urology and a few days later on the 3rd June 2021 I said farewell to my old mate "Righty". Operation went fairly well but the surgeon had trouble with the removal due to previous operations (undescended testes and vasectomy) so I was black, blue, purple and swollen - think cricket ball sized scrotum and it was a little bloody and sore. Got sent home with meds and told to rest up.

Went back to the consultant twice in the next couple of weeks as scrotum was heavy and still very colourful - both times I was told it was just fluid and that it would absorb back into my body - great stuff I thought, but found out a month or so later that he was literally talking bollocks! After three weeks of waiting I got the biopsy results back and was told they'd found a stage one seminoma with vascular invasion but fortunately no spread to lymph nodes. I was offered one dose of chemotherapy to cut the odds of it coming back (the cancer - not the bollock). Chemo was rubbish, went ok but I felt like crap for a few days after with a spot of vomiting for good measure. At the end of July I went on holiday to Cornwall as a much needed getaway with my wonderfully supportive wife.

Things were going great until we had a bite to eat on the beach. Was happily eating away when I noticed a stain on my shorts. Thinking I'd spilled some food, I went to brush it off (if you're squeamish stop reading now!) It wasn't food, it was blood, my swollen, colourful ball-sack couldn't take the fluid pressure any more and "popped". Wasn't painful but was bloody messy. Went to A&E at the Royal Cornwall Hospital where fortunately their urology consultant was working and he saw me the same day. I had an overnight stop where they operated that night - they drained and cleaned my nutsack and packed it with fabric ribbons. After the op the swelling had gone and I felt so much better.

They sent me on my way with instructions to remove the packing after a day or two then to see my GP when I got home. You remember the magic trick where the magician pulls a string of flags out from up their sleeves? My wife had the job of pulling the ribbon they'd left sticking out of my scrotum and removing about 6ft of odd coloured ribbon! If that's not love I don't know what is? Glad to say after the holiday things went pretty much back to normal. I had a tough time trying to get my testosterone levels sorted but after many letters and phone calls I got put on testosterone injections and started feeling like my old self again. Still having surveillance scans and blood tests every few months but touch wood, all's going well so far.

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