An Army of Support
In anticipation for testicular cancer awareness month, the team behind inspiring stories at
Boomcast would like to share a story that has touched hundreds of thousands of hearts.
“ When I heard the words ‘you have cancer’ roll off his tongue, I didn’t really understand what he was saying. I don’t think I really processed it. It wasn’t until I rang my mum when I realized what I was saying. ‘Mum, I have cancer’. As soon as I said it, I started crying.”
Hugo is a young, fit and healthy 24 year old Lieutenant in Australian Army. In June 2013 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had a testicle removed then opted for prosthetic, all was good. “It was actually kind of funny when the doctor asked me what sized testicle I wanted!” However things took a turn for the worst in November 2013 when a second CT scan showed cancer spread to abdomen and lymph nodes. It was too late for surgery so his only option was chemotherapy.
“I was upset, scared and angry, but with support from the Army and family and friends I was able to stay positive and that empowered my mind and body to fight.” With support coming from all ends he then endured 4 rounds (12 weeks) of intense chemotherapy. “I was fatigued and sick but no matter how badly I felt, the Army, my friends, and my family were always firm in my mind which motivated me. This motivation made me go out for a walk everyday.”
February 2014, following chemo, there was still an abnormality in Hugo’s abdomen and lymph nodes. The only option at this point was a very long and very risky operation to remove all his lymph nodes in his abdomen.
“I was far more anxious going into surgery than going into chemo, but with continued support I was able to stay strong.” This support and strength is what got Hugo through what he explains as the most painful 12 hours of his life. However post surgery he felt better and better every passing day and was able to walk more and more, as uncomfortable as each step was he knew it would help with his recovery. After being in CCU for a week, he was moved to a private room for a month.
“Subsequently, the pathology from the surgery confirmed that I was in remission with the lymph nodes containing no active cancer. There is no better feeling in the world than hearing ‘you are cancer free’ and even though I had to endure extended recovery and rehabilitation, I didn’t care I was cancer free.”
Hugo shared his story with us exactly 2 years to the day after my initial diagnosis, and it sure was a rather emotional and physical journey. “It is fair to say that my perception on life has changed a bit. I look back over the last 2 years, and as cliché as it sounds, I feel I am a better person for going through what I have. I have learnt to accept that everyone has their own problems in life, and everyone handles their emotions differently. Emotion is simply apart of life. We shouldn’t see it as a sign of weakness, rather to embrace it. Yes at times it seems as though it can tear people apart, but I like to think it can also bring people closer together. Rather than focus too much on the negatives in life, try to look at the positives. Life is special, let’s not take it for granted."
Hugo is incredibly thankful for the love he received from his friends and family. However not everyone has the same support he did. “Due to the support I constantly had, I now dedicate myself to supporting and inspiring those who feel lost and hopeless in their dark times. Boomcast is a new social network where I can inspire people. I can share stories, connect and support people who are going through dark times similar to what I went through. I often broadcast my favorite quote that I like to live by:
“Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life, they have strengthened you as you continue on with your journey.” Hugo shared his story on Boomcast. A new social network for people who want to share stories that inspire and create positive change. “The world needs more apps like Boomcast to inspire people and create positive support around the world.” says Hugo.