Man sitting in barber shop viewed through window
Steven GriffinImage by: Movember
Man sitting in barber shop viewed through window
17 November 2021

Why I Mo: Steven Griffin, In The Barber Chair

2 minutes read time

I was 20 years old old, a student at the National University of Ireland and a doorman in Galway. I was quite fit and healthy, playing Gaelic Football and Rugby and all-round living the usual 'I'm indestructible because I'm young' life. One Monday night in August 2011, I went to work at 9pm and when I finished, I was leaning against the doorframe with pain and sweats. I didn't really know where the pain was, and all I knew was that I had a throbbing pain in my groin. To be honest, I actually thought it may have been a hernia as there’s a family history, and did the classic Irish thing and text the mammy. She simply said 'if you won't be able to sleep, you may as well go to A&E whilst you're in town.'

Best Advice Ever! I went to A&E and pretty swiftly knew it wasn't a hernia based on what the Doctor said. He told me it could be a torsion, an infection or, and he said he had to tell me, it could be cancer. On Wednesday I was approached by the same Doctor, who asked me if I could come with him into a side room. My mam and dad had been there all day, every day, but they had just gone when the Doctor came. I went with him, and he told me, "You have cancer."

It was surreal. It was something you don't expect to happen to you. I totally zoned out after he said it. I wasn't even listening, I could just hear noise, but couldn't make out the words. I zoned back in pretty fast when he asked me not to faint! I must have gone pale! It was like a movie scene, like I was watching it from the outside. The kind of thing that happens to other people. I had surgery the next day, and they removed the testicle. I may not have felt very lucky at the time, but I was. It was isolated in one testicle and after I had it removed, I didn't need any chemo or radiotherapy. I was under Doctor’s care for the next 7yrs, in which time I had bloods taken regularly, CT scans and MRIs a few times a year.

The day I was told I didn't have to come back for anymore, and that I was no longer considered at more at risk than your average fella was simply the most amazing day for me.

I acted on instinct to get checked out when I did. Albeit, mammies instinct. But nonetheless I'm glad I did!

Make sure you know what's normal with your testicles and what to look out for: