5 men stand in front of a fundraising page showing they've raised over $20,000
Team One M'OPGImage by: OPG
5 men stand in front of a fundraising page showing they've raised over $20,000
28 March 2023

Ray’s testicular cancer story: “If one person reads my story and visits their doctor afterwards, then that’s a win”

Ray Klingler
4 minutes read time

My journey started in February 2017.

I’ve always gone for yearly physicals and never had any concerns.

I had recently just had an exam, and a week or two later I noticed I had a painful lump and returned to my doctor.

He sent me to a specialist who wasn’t convinced it was serious, but after several ultrasounds they decided to do a biopsy / removal of one of my testicles. This was about a month and a half after my initial visit.

When I woke up, they gave me some pain killers and sent me on my way.

I did a follow up with some oncologists to discuss chemo/radiation and that it wasn’t required because I was told I was in a very low percentile of my cancer ever coming back.

During the beginning of all this, my wife and I were trying to get pregnant and not having much luck and were about to start seeking other methods. I was off work for 13 weeks. I found myself having a hard time dealing with being at home alone most the day on the pain medications. I found myself drinking a lot more to kill time. I had to stop taking the medications because I found them really strong and almost habit forming. Mentally, dealing with everything that had just happened so quickly it was hard to take in.

That following June/July, we found out we were having our first child -- it was nice to have some good news.

I was doing routine CT scans and blood work for monitoring to make sure everything was all clear, and I was given a clean bill of health exactly a year after my surgery.

Fast forward five years, and just having our second daughter, I got a phone call from my oncologist telling me that they saw something of concern during my last scan and that they were going to send me to the cancer unit at Oshawa to meet with some doctors.

I remember my stomach sinking and how hard it was to phone my wife telling her what I was just told. It was hard to accept after they told me the chances were so low of it coming back. I remember thinking… “Great, here we go again.”

I met with two doctors. One dealt with chemotherapy and the other, radiation therapy.

They discussed the pros and cons of each method and told me I had a choice on which avenue I wished to pursue. It was difficult to decide on my own, I reached out for help from local resources at work and outside in my community. I chose the path of radiation therapy, signed a waiver and it was go time.

I started radiation therapy on March 1st 2022 and completed my last treatment on March 31st. I had days where I felt sick, other days I felt fine. I can’t say it was a pleasant experience, but the people I dealt with along the way were great.

I returned to work the second week of April and gained a lot of support from my co-workers, which lead me to become what I’d like to consider an advocate for men’s health and participate in Movember! It was great. I met a lot of people and connected with a lot of people on a personal level. I didn’t think it would take off as much as it did. In total I was able to raise just over $7,000.

I was given a (second) clean bill of health in July 2022!!

It's uncomfortable to talk about our health issues because it's private and men often feel the need to maintain a 'macho' attitude. Not a lot of men like talking about it because it’s a sensitive and private topic. If we can help people become more vulnerable and comfortable talking about their health and being more open, we can catch it early and save lives. Reach out and get support or give support to someone who might be going through some hardships.

Hesitating to get annual checkups or check-in with a health care professional when something doesn't seem quite right only helps to decrease your chances of catching and resolving the issue in a timely manner. Take initiative and visit your doctor. Don’t hesitate. Early detection is essential. The fear of not knowing and worrying about something is harmful to our mental health. We usually get so distracted with how busy our day to day lives are that we neglect to take care of ourselves and to make time for it. If one person reads my story and visits their doctor afterwards, then that’s a win.

Ray is part of Ontario Power Generation’s One M’OPG Movember team. In 2021, OPG combined over 5 department teams to make a united company effort. Continuing the momentum, in 2022, Over 120+ employees participated making Team One M’OPG the largest team in Canada. With CEO support, fundraising prizes, regular internal communications they raised over 60,000 for men’s health – a record-breaking campaign for OPG.