As part of our Testicular cancer awareness month campaign we have asked supporters to send us their stories.
This is Jake’s
In May 2019 after bathing my 6 year old son Jake, we noticed his left testicle was bigger than his right one.
We visited our local GP the following day where they examined jake and were unable to tell us anything other then they needed to refer Jake urgently to the paediatric team at our local hospital. Worry set in immediately.
Within a week we were seen by a paediatrician at the children’s hospital where we were informed straight away jake had a tumour in his left testicle.
After being whisked away for ultrasound scans and blood tests we were told Jake would need to come in for an operation the following week where they would attempt to remove the tumour but also would need to remove the testicle itself.
The following week jake underwent his surgery where they removed a 5cm tumour from his left testicle and the testicle itself was also removed. It was now an agonising wait for them to biopsy the tumour for diagnosis.
Within a matter of days we were called back to the hospital to see a paediatric oncologist and our worst nightmare was confirmed. The tumour was cancerous and Jake was diagnosed with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma.
A 22 week course of chemotherapy was required.
The following week was one hell of a week, on the Tuesday Jake was sent for a CT scan, Wednesday a MRI scan, Thursday he was taken back to theatre to have his central lines fitted (these would be used to administer his chemotherapy) then Friday we finished the week with a PET scan!
We received a call the Monday after stating the PET scan had shown and area of concern in Jakes tummy and he was therefore sent back to theatre where they sent a camera into his tummy in 3 separate areas to check out the suspicious area.
Fortunately it turned out to be nothing and we were given the ok to go ahead with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy started a week later. Every Tuesday every week for 4 weeks jake would go to have his chemo administered he would then get a 2 week break before starting the next cycle of chemotherapy. Jake completed 6 cycles in total. They were gruelling, they made him sick, more poorly than ever and of course the loss of his beautiful hair.
He fought like a warrior though and just before Christmas December 3rd 2019 jake was given his final dose of chemotherapy.
An end of treatment MRI scan took place in January 2020 which confirmed jake was clear of cancer and was now in remission.
A year on jake is recovering brilliantly and we couldn’t be more proud of him.
It’s important to me to make other parents aware that testicular cancer isn’t just in older men. It happens in children too. So please be aware of the signs and what to look out for.
If your child is still young enough that you bath them then please check them over. If they are that bit older and now wash themselves please make they aware of what’s normal and what’s not and how to check themselves. It may be 5 minutes of embarrassment for them but it really can save lives.