Survivor Spotlight: Paul Savage Jr.
In February 2020, an unexpected diagnosis led me to tell a story I never thought I’d tell, my journey with testicular cancer.
I began to feel discomfort in my scrotum and soon felt a mass that seemed abnormal. I knew something wasn’t right, but the word ‘cancer’ still never crossed my mind. After several months of multiple tests and scans, I was diagnosed with stage 2B testicular cancer and almost immediately had an orchiectomy. In just a matter of months, I had gone from rarely having been to a hospital to almost feeling like it was my second home.
Shortly after that surgery, I had a CT scan done and learned that the cancer had spread to parts of my abdomen and that chemotherapy would be necessary. I banked sperm in case I became infertile due to the treatment and prepared for three rigorous rounds of chemo. Everything moved so fast that I didn’t even have time to really think about the situation I was in. Just keep going, I told myself. Follow the steps they’ve laid out and everything will be okay.
My immediate first thought wasn’t of myself, but rather of the impact this would have on my family. So, I did my best to take it in stride, stay strong, and use humor to get through some of the tougher moments between cycles.
I was hopeful after three rounds of chemo that it would mean the end of my cancer journey. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there either. I had two types of testicular cancer and one of them was resistant to the chemo. A major surgery called an RPLND would be necessary to remove the rest of the cancer. It would be a seven-hour operation and the biggest surgery of my life, but ultimately one that would put me in remission. I will be considered cured in 2025.
First Day of Chemotherapy
Going through this journey during a worldwide pandemic posed challenges of its own. I was often only allowed one person with me or even none at all. It was difficult to go through such a life-changing event and to have to choose which parent, family member, or friend was going to go to each appointment. I also had to quarantine for two weeks before my major operation, which unfortunately gave me a lot of time to think to myself.
Free Paul from the hospital
I put those thoughts out of my head, confident in my faith and my body that had handled the chemotherapy surprisingly well. Dehydration and some mild nausea were the only side effects I had.
Despite the pandemic, my support system remained strong and immense. As the chemo sessions wore on and even a major surgery became imminent, I started an online blog called Fight Like A Savage (paying homage to my last name). I used this as a means to keep everyone updated on my thoughts, next steps, and more. It was too exhausting to respond to the barrage of messages I received while going through treatment.
Even a year after I was in remission, mothers, wives, and girlfriends continued to find my story and thank me for sharing my journey so personally. As a professional marketer, I’m used to putting most aspects of my life out there. But, I still questioned stigmas and how open I should be though. With the encouragement of my friends and supporters, I finally turned the blog posts into my debut memoir, Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor, in June 2022.
My debut memoir would go on to hit the Amazon best-seller list and provide a platform for me to continue spreading awareness about testicular cancer. It was the confidence from publishing this book that gave me the initiative to go a step further.
I remember sitting in the chair during my sessions, watching the nurses come over with these labeled bags, ask me to state my full name and date of birth, and then verify the information between them both. I had a slight fear, but mostly a fascination with chemotherapy. It was during these sessions that I dreamt up the plot for my debut fiction novel, Chemo Containment.
Brady Tremmell’s life is changed forever after learning he is diagnosed with cancer. His perseverance and light-hearted humor get him to his last day of chemo. A day of celebration. A day of triumph. A day that would make his former life unrecognizable.
Shortly after the conclusion of chemo, he begins to experience moments of anxiety that lead to the display of a unique ability - the ability to control electricity. He believes this new power is linked to the chemo given for treatment. But why?
A mysterious woman has been following him since he left the hospital and soon an unknown man is on his tail as well.
Brady must go on a perilous journey to discover the origins of his unique ability, all while avoiding those who seem keenly interested in his newfound power.
While Brady was thrilled to be in remission, no one told him about the expensive price he’d have to pay for living.
Chemo Containment will be available worldwide on November 15th, 2022. You can learn more by visiting www.ChemoContainment.com.
As someone who dreamt of being an author when I was younger, this moment has been immense for me. A multitude of emotions have come over me throughout this process. I’m a survivor. I not only survived testicular cancer, but I survived it during a worldwide pandemic. And, I’m a published author.
I could have never guessed the path my life would have taken over the last couple of years, but I also can’t be more grateful for the outcome. This entire experience has truly helped me to find hope, positivity, and happiness, even during the darkest of times.
Not only has my faith grown, but also that of my family. And, for that, I couldn’t be more thankful. I don’t believe the Lord gives anyone cancer; I believe that’s the Devil. But, I do believe the Lord can use anything for good and I feel my story is a testament to just that. My name is Paul Savage, Jr. I am a Testicular Cancer Survivor and an Amazon best-selling author. I could not be more grateful.
Kisses from my sisters
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