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Meet Darren .

Darren receives treatment on board our Mobile Support Unit closer to home.

In January 2007 I got the official diagnosis of testicular cancer through the urology department at Bridgend which was a bit of a shock. By February I was having surgery to have a testicle removed. The operation was followed by one session of chemotherapy and later, three sessions of radiotherapy to make sure there weren’t any stray cancer cells.

Prior to the diagnosis I’d been working a temporary job in London and as there were no sickness benefits, I essentially landed myself a year of unemployment. Fortunately, on the advice of a friend, I’d taken out critical illness insurance and received a payment which went towards our mortgage.

The money we had was disappearing rapidly when a Tenovus Cancer Care Benefits Advisor came to see me in hospital, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The washing machine had broken the day before, and with a baby at home, it was an essential piece of kit in our house. It was one less thing to worry about.

It was a very traumatic time for my family. Treatment caused me to lose my hair, my concentration, my libido and I lost my appetite to the extent that the hospital provided food supplements.

Following the treatment I was having problems with my legs. There was swelling and pain running from my ankles to my groin, which was another concern after having testicular cancer. The right leg was affected badly and developed deep vein thrombosis at some point during treatment. This, combined with radiotherapy, left me with lymphoedema.

I was attending appointments at Velindre for a number of years before I was directed to Tenovus Cancer Care’s Mobile Support Unit. The Unit provides lymphoedema treatment within 10 minutes of my house. It means I’m able to have treatment before or after work, whereas the hour long journey to Velindre involved catching two trains.

The charity’s Mobile Support Unit Coordinator has been the only constant during my treatment. It’s great to have a familiar face because going through treatment can feel like you’re being processed in a machine. There’s always a welcoming smile and cup of tea waiting for me, and the personal touch makes the experience more bearable.

Would you like to support people like Darren?

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010