When Byron Geldard was 18 years old he began experiencing a pain in his side. At first it was dismissed, but after a second trip to the doctor he was told he had cancer. To make matters worse his doctor was unsure what type of cancer he had.
It wasn’t until the Teenage Cancer Trust ward in the hospital told him to take a pregnancy test that he learned he had stage 4 testicular cancer.
Byron began experiencing pain in his side shortly after taking his exams at school.
Lets see how much money we can raise ! The Cock Inn at Denford http://www.justgiving.com/Byron-Geldard
At his first doctor’s appointment, which was with his general practitioner, he was told the pain was due to “muscle soreness” and it was mostly likely from working out.
He continued on with his life, but after returning home from a vacation he visited the doctor again. This time the doctor found a lump and ordered an ultrasound for him.
A second doctor’s visit revealed a lump and he was sent to have an ultrasound.
The results were not good. The scans revealed that Byron had cancer.
“They didn’t know what type of cancer I had,” Byron told The Telegraph. “I could have had four or five different types.”
After receiving the devastating news the 18-year-old was referred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at a hospital in Cambridge, UK. Teenage Cancer Trust offers specialized cancer care and support to people ages 13 to 24.
An ultrasound delivered terrible news, Byron had cancer.
Some of you may know I was diagnosed with type of testicular cancer called "Germ cell" cancer on the 13th August….
Before he could receive care through Teenage Cancer Trust he had to provide a urine sample for a pregnancy test. Doctors wanted to check his hormone levels.
Byron was told that if the test came back positive he had testicular cancer.
The hospital asked for a urine sample so they could perform a pregnancy test.
The pregnancy test came back positive, Byron had stage 4 testicular cancer and would need to start treatment right away.
“There I was with a positive pregnancy test and something growing inside of me,” he said. “I thought I was going to end up in a documentary.”
The day after his diagnosis Byron started chemotherapy.
Thanks to my friends for losing their hair … and ultimately confusing the nurses on who actually was the "cancer patient" 😉 ! #EggHeads
Although it’s not a foolproof diagnostic test, a pregnancy test can indicate if a patient has testicular cancer. Pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone which is produced during pregnancy and can be excreted by tumors caused by testicular cancer.
Byron was in shock.
“It was all very surreal to be honest,” he recalled.
Within a day he received a cancer diagnosis and orders to receive chemotherapy five days in a row.
Throughout his treatment the hospital measured his hormone levels.
This is my blood report, across the top are the dates of the three cycles of chemo I have had. This shows that the…
As Byron continued his chemotherapy he received good news, the tumors in his lungs and abdomen had shrunk and his hCG levels were going down.
By December of the same year, the 18-year-old underwent surgery to remove the tumor in his abdomen, his left testicle, and his lymphatic system located behind his stomach.
At the beginning of the following year he was told he was cancer-free.
His experience made him realize his own mortality.
Haven't popped my clogs just yet op went really well apparently and I'm as high as a kite
“Before all this happened you think your life is pretty much guaranteed until you’re about 85 but it gave me the realization of my own mortality—I sort of had an early midlife crisis,” he said.
As a result Byron became an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust and has raised several thousand pounds for the charity.
“Cancer is no longer a death sentence and I would like to spread that message,” Byron said.