Man who lost testicle to cancer celebrates birth of miracle baby

In 2017, Joseph Kelley Hook, 29, was due to marry his civil servant partner Rachel, 30, before he started a new job as a local newspaper journalist.

His life seemed mapped out.

But after feeling agonising pain in his groin during a run and seeing that his right testicle had tripled in size, Joseph knew something was very wrong.

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Fortunately, Joseph’s positive attitude, great medical help and Rachel’s unerring support saw him defeat the cancer.

After the long journey, Joseph thought he wouldn’t be able to have kids.

But after receiving the all clear in January 2018, Joseph beat the odds to become a father.

In March this year, the couple’s son Jacob was born, weighing 5lbs 15oz.

‘Finding out she was pregnant was just incredible,’ said Joseph. ‘For a long time, I was worried if I would ever be able to be a dad, which makes finally being one all the more amazing.’

At first doctors thought it was an infection and prescribed him antibiotics but soon the pain returned and Joseph went to a walk-in centre.

He explained: ‘The nurse took one look at my testicle and said, “This isn’t right,” advising me to see a specialist.

‘Alarm bells started ringing then. Like most men, I’m a fan of my testicles and I didn’t want anything to be wrong with them.

‘But not for a second did I think it would be cancer.’

The following day Joseph saw a urologist who gave him a testicular ultrasound – which revealed what looked like a tumour in his right testicle.

When Joseph was told his right testicle needed to be removed, then biopsied to determine if the tumour was cancerous, he was horrified.

‘Having my testicle removed bothered me more than the fact I might have cancer,’ he said. ‘I didn’t feel ill, so I didn’t feel like I had cancer, but I knew I didn’t want to lose one of my testicles.’

A few days later, Joseph had an hour-long operation to remove his right testicle.

A week later the biopsy confirmed that Joseph had cancer and a subsequent CT scan at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital revealed it had possibly spread.

Monitored for three months, Joseph tried to get on with normal life and married Rachel, as planned.

Concerned that his fertility could be affected, he and Rachel stored some of Joseph’s sperm – a service available on the NHS – at a fertility clinic in Oxford, so they would have the best chance of having children.

‘When I found out I’d lose a testicle I thought I might not be able to have kids, but the doctors reassured me I should be fine,’ he said.

‘But chemo is known to reduce fertility, so I stored my sperm in case we ever needed it for IVF.’

Following three courses of chemo, each lasting three weeks, injected into his arm and buttocks, taken orally, and given using an IV, Joseph was finally told he was cancer-free.

And amazingly, he and Rachel were also able to conceive naturally and didn’t need IVF.

It was a massive relief for Rachel, who still found it hard to accept that her young, active husband had battled cancer.

Joseph also appreciates how lucky he was that his cancer was caught when it was and has appealed to other men to be more vigilant.

‘Before I had cancer, I’d rarely ever check my testicles – I’d only check in the shower if I saw an advert for it on television,’ he said.

‘In my case, I was lucky because the pain became so obvious. I don’t know if I’d have gone to a doctor so quickly if it hadn’t of been.

‘I’m very aware that if it had happened in a different time or place, I wouldn’t be here today let alone be a father.

‘So, what I’d say to all men is check yourself and go to the doctor. It can’t do any harm just to check, but it can do a lot of harm if you don’t.’

Sam Gledhill, Global Director for Testicular Cancer for Movember says testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in young men in the UK.

The annual awareness month hopes to get more men to test themselves.

For more information on how to check yourself and facts on testicular cancer, you can check out the Movember website.

Source: Read Full Article

Create Account



Log In Your Account