Meet Andrew Bavington, 38-year-old Wood Finishing Specialist from Brierley Hill, West Midlands, UK and a testicular cancer survivor.
Two years ago, while watching the TV show Emmerdale, the story-line was about testicular cancer. It prompted him to check himself — something he had never done before. He discovered that one testicle was bigger than the other. Two days passed before he was able to see a doctor — and when he did, he was diagnosed with a testicular infection and given antibiotics. A week later, he didn’t see a change in size.
So, he sought a second opinion from his general practitioner. The doctor believed it was testicular cancer and two weeks later, it was confirmed. He set up his operation to remove the enlarged testicle. After the surgery, he found out that his cancer was classified as stage 2, because it had spread to two lymph nodes in his lower pelvis.
Andrew’s next step was three months of chemotherapy. He had Etoposide and Cisplatin Chemotherapy — which he says really knocked him about. In between treatments he went neutropenic, a condition where your white blood cells dip abnormally low and he also needed a second treatment for C. Diff, a serious bowel infection. This meant more time in the hospital — away from his family. After his third and final chemo session, his recovery took longer than expected.
The treatments took a toll both physically and mentally, but he sought out a psychologist after treatment. He says, “Having cancer has not been easy, but it’s changed my life in so many ways.” Andrew is now focusing on things that he wants to achieve in life saying, “Life is getting better and probably fuller than before. I’m looking forward to what the future brings now.”
Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your powerful story. You’ve shown us how very important it is to take charge of your own health, to get a second opinion, and to seek help after such life-changing diagnoses. Follow Andy on Twitter at @TeamSpiritz and don’t forget to self-check.