This week is National Cancer Survivors Week. It is meant to show us that “life after cancer can be a reality”. Cancer pulls you out of the world you know, it makes you question what’s truly important in life, and it makes you very aware of your own mortality. The young man in this story is the boyfriend of one our Joseph Nogucci team members.
When Paul heard the news that he had cancer, he couldn't believe it. Just 24, with no history of cancer in his family, he was sure the doctors had made a mistake. But this was real; he had testicular cancer. They told him he would need a simple operation to remove the tumor and everything would be in order again.
Once the doctors realized that the tumor was of the rapidly reproducing kind, they explained that he would need to go through a few rounds of chemotherapy to ensure the cancer wouldn't return. Paul was heartbroken at hearing this. Still recovering from his surgery, a large scar travelling across his lower torso, he now had to face a whole new set of challenges he hadn't initially expected to deal with. The list of side effects and ailments wasn't something he was looking forward to. He was especially worried about losing his hair, which he had always worn long and considered to be part of his personal style.
Paul has just begun his final round of chemotherapy. Over the past few months, he has experienced fatigue, loss of appetite, prickles in his fingers, sores, and finally, hair loss. He has become accustomed to the numerous trips to the hospital and is familiar with the feeling of restlessness from sitting in the same place for hours at a time.
Battling cancer is a long and trying process. It affects you not only physically, but mentally and financially as well. Even once the treatment is over and the cancer has gone, it is never something that is forgotten.
We hope that once Paul completes his final treatments, he will recover quickly and regain his lost strength. He will be a survivor, joining those fortunate enough to have made it through their own fights with cancer.