November 13th, 2019

My story starts in the shower...

Mo Bro Mike McClintock on the importance of early detection and not feeling embarrassed about going through testicular cancer.
Mental Health | Testicular Cancer | In the Barber Chair

It was about a month after we had finished a pretty big Movember campaign called Grab Some Balls.
For every meatball sandwich sold at Meat & Bread (the restaurant I work for in Vancouver) we donated one dollar to Movember. I had been a part of a few Movember fundraisers in the past so I was already familiar with the charity, but little did I know how it would soon impact me personally.
My story starts in the shower when I noticed a small bump where there had never been a small bump before. I was pretty frightened but shrugged it off and decided I would just give it some time.
Fast forward a few weeks and the small bump had started to grow substantially. Now I was starting to freak out. I immediately started thinking about all the worst case scenarios. If it was what I thought it could be, is it just there? Where could it spread to? How long does it take to spread to other places in my body? Every day I would wake up and it would seem to be a little bigger.

mike mcclintock, victory barber & Brand gastown 

I finally went to a doctor. From there I was directed to get an ultrasound. Next up I would have to see a specialist who, after having a feel and a look, told me right away that we would without a doubt need to remove it. At this point, we were all pretty sure it was testicular cancer. Luckily, this type of cancer is the most treatable. I did feel lucky for receiving this info, however, every day I would still constantly wonder if it was anywhere else.
Every time I felt a pain somewhere my brain would instantly think: “oh it’s somewhere else!” Head ache? It's in my brain! Back ache? It's in my spine! I didn’t tell many people for a long time, as I didn’t really want anyone to know for some reason. Eventually I ended up telling a few close friends and some people at work.
At this point it was now just a countdown to surgery. I had never had a serious surgery done before so it was all very new to me and by the time surgery rolled around I was walking around with a potato size mass in my pants. It was the most uncomfortable I have ever been.
Luckily, I have some of the best friends and family in the universe. Anything I needed, they were there for me. I can’t thank them enough. The surgery went as smooth as possible and all of the cancer was removed. It was a pretty couch ridden month after surgery but I feel extremely lucky that they were able to get it all.
I am very thankful that I do not need any additional treatment and think about that every day. This whole process has changed my outlook on life. Your life can change in a huge way in just an instance and it’s completely out of your control. I would say I definitely cherish my health, family, and friends a lot more these days.

“My story starts in the shower when I noticed a small bump where there had never been a small bump before.”

I still get scared when I feel pain in my body. I think about getting cancer every day. I also think about all the great doctors that do unbelievable work day in and day out to try and combat this dreadful disease.

I think of all of the people that help make patients feel comfortable during treatment and surgery and I think of all the people that donate money to programs that help with the fight against cancer.
Hopefully me talking a little about my story can make someone else out there a little less scared about getting some help!

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