man in barber chair
Ben Channell In the Barber ChairImage by: Robin Boot Photography
man in barber chair
6 April 2022

Ben's story: I can truly say that Movember saved my life

Mo Bro
Ben Channell
4 minutes read time

"I’m now 3 years into recovery from having had testicular cancer, having had one removed 3 years ago. I have been growing a Mo since Movember started and supported every year. It was during Movember while raising money in 2018 that I felt that I should check myself as wouldn’t it be ironic if I had it and I hadn’t even checked!

I found a lump.

I can truly say that Movember saved my life, for which my family and I thank you.

Going back to 2018, I remember feeling a lump, but it wasn’t like a pea, that is what I had read ‘It would feel light a rough lump the size of a pea’ it wasn’t like that. So, I thought it can’t be cancer!? But it didn’t feel right, I could feel a slightly raised area, a bit like a smartie, I prefer smarties to peas anyway.

I thought about it daily for weeks until I booked an appointment with my GP. Well, I say my GP, he wasn’t available, but a female GP was. I took the appointment, but I was rather nervous about explaining my lump to a female, I needn’t have been, it was fine, the doctor even said that she didn’t think I had anything to worry about, but she would refer me anyway.

Weeks went by, I had started to forget about it, after all, I he’d been told that I shouldn’t worry about it. Then the appointment came through for an ultrasound. Still not overly concerned the day came for my appointment. Pants down, very cold gel applied and away we go. I could tell something wasn’t right by the body language and the clicking. My son, Alfred, had been born a couple of years before and I remembered the clicking when they took measurements at the ultrasound appointment.

" If it hadn’t of been for Movember pushing me to check myself, I would not have known until it was too late." "

It all started to become real, should I be worried? I asked the question and was told that I would probably need surgery and they would be in touch.

I don’t remember the walk back to my car. I sat there for what seemed to be a couple of minutes, an hour had passed. I need to phone Becky, my partner, but what do I say. At that point I knew I had cancer, but I couldn’t say the word. Cancer is still a very difficult word for me to say. Every thought you can imagine, every emotion, I seemed to be having them all at the same time looking at my phone. I just said that they thought I would need surgery, I didn’t want to say the word, so I didn’t.

From that moment on, I became a passenger, I just did as I was told, turned up at appointments and waited for surgery. I was amazed at how quick it all happened, on the day of the surgery, I went to the hospital in the morning and was back at home in the afternoon. After just a couple of days I was moving around, slowly.

I feel very lucky. It was far harder for the people around me. I could see it on their faces. I didn’t feel ill, I was fine. Physically I felt fine, but it hit me mentally. I was constantly reassuring people around me. Making sure they were ok. I still have dark moments of reflection, but I’m doing ok, today.

It has now been 3 years and I have my regular check-ups every 3 months; it brings back the memories and I’m always a little nervous. But I’m clear and getting on with my life, although I still struggle with the word. It has changed me, my way of thinking, I view things differently now.

If it hadn’t of been for Movember pushing me to check myself, I would not have known until it was too late."

To learn more about testicular cancer and how to check yourself, head to: