I am Andy Storch, a Testicular Cancer survivor. By profession, I am a consultant, author, and cancer coach. I assist people in taking ownership of their careers. I have a book named “Own your carrier, own your life” on the personal side; I am 41 years old, married and have two kids; I went through Testicular cancer earlier in 2021, but I am good now.
The stage was 2C when I got detected; I found a lump on my left testicle and had my testicle removed, and then further scans showed that it had spread to my stomach and neck, and I had enlarged lymph nodes in my stomach.
In October 2020, I started experiencing a lot of abdominal pain in the stomach region; it started increasing and getting worse. I kept ignoring it, but after weeks, I finally went to see a doctor and there I got to know that it can be cancer-related, but he was unsure about it. A lot of pain, constipation, discomfort later had extremely painful pancreatitis.
I started researching it and then realised that the lump on my testicle went to the urologist, who said it is probably testicular cancer; you need to have this removed. Because of the enlargement node on my stomach area, they were pushing my organs and later, I had pancreatitis, which was extremely painful. I feel no one should suffer from that. But after proper hydration, i.e., after taking in more fluid in my system, I felt better. I have been into Stoicism, mindfulness, and strong self-belief. I tried not to complain or be a victim, so I was annoyed. I thought that I had a lot of things going on and couldn’t afford to waste time on this. My urologist told me that testicular cancer has a 98% survival or success rate, and it’s treatable, and it’s going to be a rough road. I knew that I was going to make it. My wife has been supportive of it, and my family kept checking on me to make sure whether I was doing things right, following the doctor’s order. We were always determined and knew that we would make it through.
What kept me positive during the journey
Things that helped me to be cheerful are number one gratitude, so every single day I would write my appreciation of the things that were wonderful in my life no matter how hard things are, we always have things we can be grateful for, your family, your friends, having a roof over your head to the table, the life you have, the weather outside one can always find things to be grateful for, and number 2 was meditation and mindfulness the two things which I did daily no matter how hard the day was. I meditated every 10 minutes because I have been meditating for several years now. I think it has helped me to ground myself in the process of just keeping going. Number 3 is talking with friends and family because when people reach out and ask how they can help you, do talk to them because the reaction for most people is that I am fine and can do all of it by myself. I don’t want to bring you into this. I can do this on my own. Don’t do this; you need to talk with other people as it helps us improve our health. I am lucky that my wife is supportive, every day my mother and nearby friends used to call and text me every day, the 4th thing is optimism which is around I believe that you are going to make it through this right there with you can be negative in down on your situation and because that has a significant impact on your host system when you believe everything so you can be optimistic You have to make plans for the future write down if things that you want to do. And the 5th thing is a reminder of the nature of impermanence: nothing that we are going through lasts forever. So, on the most challenging days when there was just not enough energy in me to get up because of the chemotherapy, I remember a phrase that a friend of mine shared with me, which is this is how it is right now and reminded me of the nature of impermanence which is this is how it is right now, and it’s going to get better. And it did, I had those days in 2021 where I left awful, but here, I am now feeling great, full of energy.
Choices during the treatment
Being a naturalist am into natural therapies. As soon as I found out that I probably had cancer, I started doing a lot of research, reading books on cancer to see if there’s any natural way to fight cancer. I changed my diet to eliminate bad things like alcohol, caffeine, and sugar items and invested my time in other alternatives. After 17 January of 2021, I was in so much pain that we finally decided to take the doctor’s recommendation and start chemotherapy in two cycles as suggested by my oncologist and did it for about three months in the cycle of 3 weeks. Along the way also did other things that did not just rely on doctors. I was into my interventions, changed my diet to plant-based, and started taking supplements like turmeric and ginger using high-dose intravenous Vitamin C. Research showed that it helps fight cancer and help cope with the effects of chemo. Other things like meditation tried to stay active. After the two cycles of Chemo in April, the scans showed that the cancer cells were mostly gone. I would get 100 thousand Vitamin C once a week, it took about 3 4 hrs sitting there with an IV in my arm, but I believe that it helped me a lot, and my oncologist supported me in that and other things. I direct users to talk with her whenever needed, and she has been very supportive. I am still doing something that will keep me fit; I am still eating a plant-based diet, drinking juices every morning, eating fresh salad, and am into a healthy diet.
Lessons during the Cancer Journey
It gave me more empathy for people going through challenging health situations. It allowed me to share my story with more people and inspire them to do the work, and shift their mindset to sway them through cancer or other significant challenges they are going through. It has motivated me to work harder to help more people going through challenging situations. It gave me more perspectives of life and gratitude to my appreciation for my family and friends. I learnt that you could not rely wholly on doctors; one needs to take a holistic view of things and take ownership of the situation. Do not be a victim and decide the best course of action for you. One should take help when offered to you and not confine oneself.
Parting Message to Cancer Survivors
To those going through cancer, look at your diet, do not blindly follow your doctor, instead have a holistic view of your situation, take another supplement that helps you fight cancer, take care of your body. You should help and inspire others to get through. Those who do not have many people to talk with do join a support group or community where you can check with things similar to yours. Be positive, believe in yourself, stay strong because you will get through this by taking the right approach.