Testicular Cancer: A Story of Survival

By Paul Savage

e all think it won’t happen to us. But, in February 2020 an unexpected diagnosis led me to tell a story I never thought I’d tell.

After feeling some discomfort and an abnormal mass, I quickly scheduled an appointment with my physician. The next several months were a blur. After a multitude of appointments, ultrasounds, and scans, all three doctors I met with concurred that the diagnosis was testicular cancer and I should have an orchiectomy, or removal of a testicle, immediately.


Within days I was scheduled for surgery and a scan to ensure the cancer had not spread. Days later I received the call. I stared blankly out the windows of my apartment, tears beginning to run down my cheeks, as I listened to the doctor explain that my cancer had spread to my abdomen. It slowly sank in that chemotherapy was going to be necessary.


I had finally fallen into a routine at the gym and was in the best shape of my life. I began to question if that was a result of the cancer or my persistence in the gym.


After learning one of the two types of testicular cancer I had was resistant to chemotherapy, I came to realize a major surgery called a Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection would be necessary, leaving a large scar across my chest along with a lengthy recovery. After seeing the progress I had made on my fitness journey, this was one of the most devastating things. What would people think? Could I still achieve the same physique I was aiming for?


That was one of the most frightening aspects of this journey. I had no symptoms, aside from the mass. I was in the best shape of my life. Yet, cancer was silently infiltrating and destroying my body.


Because of this, self-checks are one of the most important things any man can do. Performing monthly self-checks can ensure you know what feels normal and what should be examined further. Had I known to do self-checks, my journey could have likely ended with the orchiectomy, saving me the hardship and challenges of chemotherapy and a major surgery.


2020 was one of the most exhausting and challenging years of my life. The support I received was immense but my stamina to reply to messages was limited. In response, I created an online blog that chronicled my journey. Other patients, their girlfriends, wives, or mothers, from around the world began reaching out to me and thanking me for sharing my journey and what they could do to help their loved one.


In June 2021, those entries were published as my debut memoir, Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor, hitting Amazon’s best seller list. My hope is that this book will serve as an inspirational conviction of courage that will guide others to dig deep inside themselves to find positivity, faith, and even happiness, as they are faced with some of the biggest battles of their lives.