Bury rugby ace, 24, urges men to check themselves after shock cancer diagnosis
“It’s like a bad car crash. It’s something that happens to other people, not to you.”
That was how Chris Lord felt when he was told he had testicular cancer earlier this year, like it could not be happening to him.
The Bury St Edmunds rugby player was having a fantastic season, his best in a Bury shirt, and he is fit and healthy – he is not the typical picture of a cancer patient.
So the 24-year-old is keen to use his experience of shock and disbelief to help raise awareness of testicular cancer among young men.
He said: “It’s a daunting and scary thing, cancer, but I have it and so there’s no point being silly about it.
“I found a lump, I got myself checked and it was the worst- case scenario – and I want to make sure others do the same.
“One of the things men can be a bit funny about is stuff like this. It’s one thing to tell someone about it and another to have a stranger touch you.
“But, to save your life, why wouldn’t you? They’re professionals and they’ve seen and done it all before, it’s not a big deal to them and it shouldn’t be for us either. So if anything good can come of this, I want to help raise awareness.
“There are people going through this and much worse, it’s not really about me.”
Chris discovered the lump in November and said he felt compelled to have it checked.
“I thought the absolute worst,” he said. “But when they told me it was a tumour it was still a big shock.
“I’ve done everything right with my health but that doesn’t make you immune.”
Chris is undergoing three cycles of chemotherapy, which began on April 9, following surgery to remove the tumour – an increase from the one cycle originally planned, after a CT scan revealed a shadow on his lung.
He said his hair was now ‘thinning’ due to the chemotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and felt its loss would be hard to handle.
But he said he felt fortunate not to have suffered as many symptoms of treatment as others, with only one day of nausea.
Despite that, the head of resale at Network 2 Supplies said his immune system was ‘non-existent’ and so he had been unable to work as normal.
“Work have been incredible, they really have,” he said. “Between work and the rugby club, and my family, I have so much support around me,” said Chris.
“I’m having chemotherapy until June 4 and then I can get back to training and a Bury rugby shirt for next season.”
His dad Peter has been raising funds for Balls to Cancer, through the rugby club, with the total at ‘about £1,500’.