Byron Lane
My Balls Are A Lifesaver Image by: Byron Lane
Byron Lane
10 November 2020

My Balls Are A Lifesaver

Byron Lane
2 minutes read time

My testicles saved my life and the life of at least one other person. I was doing an unofficial self-exam and felt a lump in 2015. The discovery was good timing (early detection is important) and bad luck (it was testicular cancer). I knew from Movember and Testicular Cancer Society and other awareness campaigns that I should reach out to my doctor right away and he made the unfortunate diagnosis. He cut out my diseased testicle and all was well after that. If the cancer would have remained undetected, it could have spread and caused many more problems. 

My testicle’s lumpy warning signal also helped at least one other person. I mentioned my experience to a friend and he told me he also had a lump on his testicle. I encouraged him to go to his doctor and sure enough, he also had testicular cancer. We experienced everything around the same time. It was nice to have a sort of teammate through the experience. I lost my right testicle and he lost his left. We joke that in some ways we’re like a testicular Voltron, whole when we’re together.

I wish I could say that was the end of my story. But this year, a routine scan showed my cancer came back in my lymph nodes. I required chemo and surgery. It was a tough road but there were many beautiful moments. There was the older lady getting chemo at the same time as me who was always knitting—and it turned out she was knitting me a cap. I posted about my experience on social media and I made friends all over the country who were going through the same things. And being honest about feeling vulnerable, scared, and even annoyed by the diagnosis, helped strengthen my relationships with my boyfriend and family.

We’re all in it together! For me, being open and honest about my experiences helped at least one other person, and maybe as we all speak openly and honestly about health issues, it’ll continue to help others.

Learn more here about testicular cancer. The best thing you can do for your testicles is give them a bit of a feel each month or so, and if something doesn’t seem right, head to the doctor.