England and Lions prop Alex Corbisiero has opened up about his battle with testicular cancer at the age of 31.
The prop is now emerging through the other side and luckily the cancer had not spread.
He must wait a year to discover if the chemotherapy has left him infertile, but his sperm was frozen so he can still dream of a family.
“The doctor said, ‘Very few people die from this’. That was my initial thought: ‘I don’t want to die’.”— Times Sport (@TimesSport) March 26, 2020
Alex Corbisiero (@AlexCorbs) talks to @AlexMLowe about the mental challenge of being diagnosed with testicular cancer https://t.co/jZq8Vmcw4A
“I just felt something wasn’t right,” Corbisiero, who had the 7cm-long cancerous testicle removed, revealed to The Times.
“I could tell it felt a bit bigger, a bit harder, it was starting to get a little bit sore. I started to notice bumping into it. I had been keeping an eye on it for a couple of weeks and it felt like it was growing every day. Finally when I had a break I went to get it checked.
“It was always on my radar slightly because my dad had testicular cancer when he was 28. I was still in denial. I was going to get this checked and then go to jiu jitsu. My brother was waiting in the car. Next thing I had to call him and say, ‘Hey bro, I have got testicular cancer’.
‘I was still in denial. I was meant to go to Ju Jitsu with my brother. I had to tell him I had testicular cancer.’— Chris Jones BBC (@chjones9) March 26, 2020
In a special episode of the RUW pod, England & Lions hero @AlexCorbs opens up about ‘the young man’s cancer.’ https://t.co/IotHPznBAP pic.twitter.com/gxOCgwtPBT
“The doctor said, ‘Very few people die from this’. That was my initial thought: ‘I don’t want to die’. You are in shock and very emotional. You can’t believe it all changed on that day and you are dealing with this.”
He said: “I have unbelievable respect for people who have to go through longer stints.
“I reacted to it very strongly. Within two hours I felt very ill. It was rough. Your mind, you are playing with anxiety and your thoughts.
“This was a real test. I failed at times, I let myself down at times and let it get the better of me. I was scared about it, especially at the start. You feel very vulnerable.
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“You feel insecure. Your confidence is low. I let it defeat me at times but that is the whole journey. You get caught up in it. Even when you know it is going to be OK, you are still nervous about it.
“I had a beautiful fiancee who is strong and impressive and I wanted to be strong and impressive for her. Your inner voice is saying: ‘You are out of shape, you are damaged goods, you have got one ball’.
“All this stuff is going through your head all the time that you have to battle and fight with.”
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