I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I had been uncomfortable for a while and a part of me knew that it was likely to be something serious. But when I got the news it was still a real shock.
After going through surgery I was told that the cancer had spread and I was going to need intensive chemotherapy treatment. They gave me some really heavy stuff and it really hit me hard. I was being ill so often and I couldn’t get out of bed for long periods of time.
It was a really hard period of my life. I was just about to go to university and this was supposed to be the prime of my life. Everyone around me was enjoying their lives and going out and having fun and I couldn’t do anything at all. I could just go to the hospital or lie in bed.
Music ended up being my way out. I would listen to some heavy music when I was going through a bad patch and it helped to keep me level. But then I found out that the chemotherapy hadn’t been as successful as they would’ve liked, meaning I was going to need a major operation. That took a long time to recover from. Then it was case of getting back on my feet. But that wasn’t so easy.
The hospital felt like the only world I knew. I had been surrounded by treatment and support for two years. Suddenly you have to just step out of this bubble and that is a very hard thing to do. The support I received from CLIC Sargent staff was always great. They were always there for you and happy to help in any way they could.
I was directed to the CLIC Sargent Music Programme. I was invited along to a workshop, where I could meet different musicians who had been through something similar to me and work on songwriting and performing. It was just a brilliant experience.
Having cancer has certainly changed me as a person. I appreciate things a lot. I say yes to things that I might not have said yes to before. Most importantly I’m loving life now. I have to thank charities like CLIC Sargent for helping me get to that point and thanks Metcalfe’s for supporting them.