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5 February 2024
Yesterday, 4 February 2024, was #WorldCancerDay – a day marked around the world to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
Tyler was only 22 years old when he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. One day, in 2022, he noticed a lump, so he went to his local GP to get it checked. Tests were conducted and the results revealed he had Testicular Cancer.
Tyler’s first thought when he heard the diagnosis was of worry and concern. He would have to undergo surgery to remove the tumour and then a round of chemotherapy, which would take six weeks.
At the Olivia-Newton John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, Tyler first underwent surgery to remove the tumour. Following that, he began chemotherapy for six weeks. The chemotherapy left him very weak, resulting in him being unable to work for a few months.
Lauren, his partner, selflessly stepped up to support Tyler and to care for him. “You have to look after your partner, especially in their time of need,” she says.
Tyler recovered and continued his regular check-ups with the medical team at the ONJ Centre. Reflecting on his experience, he says, “The Ngarra Jarra team was really helpful. Reaching out to them was the most beneficial thing that came out of my cancer diagnosis.”
“The nurses at ONJ administering the chemotherapy were also extremely lovely. They were always positive and supportive,” he adds.
Life continued as normal for a few months. Then in a follow-up check in 2023, he found out that the cancer had returned as a teratoma, a rare tumour. One of the lymph nodes had enlarged dramatically and needed to be removed surgically. The second diagnosis was devastating but Tyler stayed strong. Lauren stood by his side, remaining positive and not letting Tyler “feel all doom and gloom.”
Tyler underwent surgery for a second time in December last year. It was an open surgery that took almost six hours and the whole cluster of lymph nodes was removed to prevent future recurrence.
Lauren recalls how important it was to have their cat, Stuart, around during this time of need, “Stuart really helped with healing Tyler during his chemo. We would come home from nearly 8-10 hour days in hospital and Stuart would greet Tyler and then cuddle him. I really feel this helped Tyler feel more 'normal' and loved.”
As Tyler recovers from the surgery, he shares a message, “Don’t be afraid to get any lumps checked. If something doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor and get checked as soon as you can. And remember, it does get better.”