Don’t Give Up on Testicular Cancer

Who Says Men Won't Come Together for Testicular Cancer - #Episode 10

December 04, 2020 The Max Mallory Foundation - Joyce Lofstrom host Season 1 Episode 10
Don’t Give Up on Testicular Cancer
Who Says Men Won't Come Together for Testicular Cancer - #Episode 10
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jason Greenspan decided to set a world record for men coming together in one place to check their testicles for testicular cancer.  Hear his survival story and the event he held during his senior year in college - all to raise awareness of testicular cancer. 

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Who Says Men Won’t Come Together for Testicular Cancer -Episode #10

43:10

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

testicular cancer,  chemotherapy, young adults with cancer, cancer survivor, Jason Greenspan, Guiness Book of World Records 

 

00:12 Joyce Lofstrom

Welcome to Don't Give Up on Testicular Cancer where cancer survivors, caregivers, and others touched by cancer share their stories.

The Max Mallory Foundation presents this podcast and honor in memory of Max Mallory, who died at age 22 from testicular cancer.

I'm your host, Joyce Lofstrom, a young adult, and adult cancer survivor, and Max's mom. 

So this is Joyce, and thank you for joining me again today on Don't Give Up on Testicular Cancer. My guest tonight is Jason Greenspan. And Jason is a testicular cancer survivor. He's also done something quite unique to raise awareness that we will get to as our discussion goes on. So just want to kind of tease everyone that is listening with that update that we'll hear from Jason. 

So Jason, again, thanks for being here with me.

 

01:09 Jason Greenspan

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

 

01:11 Joyce Lofstrom

So, I always start in like to just hear about your cancer journey. What happened when? Anything you would like to share with us?

 

01:21 Jason Greenspan

Sure. So, I was diagnosed when I was 18. I was in my senior year of high school. And it was right before prom and graduation.

I was literally just on the couch, had an itch. I was watching television, and one testicle fell harder than the other. My left one felt almost as if, like, there was a rock inside of it. 

I've always been very open about my body, you know, to my mom, and I have a very close relationship with her. So I'm not afraid to you, know, share anything personal or anything.  I went upstairs, told her, and we made a doctor's appointment. 

And a couple of days later (we) went to the pediatrician. He did a testicular exam, which I didn't even know it was called that. He pretty much knew right away that it was testicular cancer, but did have me do some more follow-up tests, as well. 

And, you know, my mom and I were pretty much in shock. We, neither of us, I don't think had actually ever heard of the type of cancer. 

You know - the one thing I think that kept going through my mind is - I had a female pediatrician. So, whenever I went to the doctor, you know, I would have to, for part of the exam, you know, get naked. She would do the testicular exam, which I didn't really know about. 

I wonder if, you know, they explained it a little more, I probably would have had some more knowledge about it. But I ended up having a few more tests on and realized that it was testicular cancer. 

And I was definitely, I don't know, nervous to tell my friends, but I didn't really know how they would react. So I ended up actually holding off because, like I said, it was right before prom and graduation. 

I wanted to really enjoy that time. Kind of carefree, once I found out that it was testicular cancer, and I would need surgery to remove the testicle. It was around the time of my prom in the sense of I could have missed my prom for the surgery. And I made it a point that...that wasn't going to happen because I thought prom and graduation were way more important than the surgery, especially at the time. 

And, you know, I didn't know if, you know, I was gonna make it, you know. I didn't know anything about this cancer. And yeah, and then I ended up going to a community college near me for a couple of weeks. And after that I, you know, had done some more tests, and I guess the biopsy came back.  We found that I had Stage Two testicular cancer, which means it had gotten out of the testicle region. So then, it was in my lymph nodes, and I needed chemo at that point. 

So, I dropped out of my community college to do nine weeks of chemo. And I was lucky enough that, you know, I have an amazing mom who took off work to sit with me, bring me to chemo and doctor's appointments for literally three months. And, you know, I'm very lucky that she was able to do that. And she's very lucky, too, she was able to do that also.

05:13 Joyce Lofstrom 

Right, right.

05:14 Jason Greenspan

It was, it was a lot during that time. But I ended up, you know, finishing, and it's been eight years cancer-free ever since almost eight years.

05:26 Joyce Lofstrom

Well, that's wonderful, Jason, and I just wanted to comment on a few things that you said.

 The first thing is your mom and how lucky you are to have that close relationship with your mom and vice versa, you know, your mom with you that you could talk to her about anything. And, you know, talk to her about what you found the, you know, the lump in your testicle. So I think that's, that's great in that she was there to take you to the doctors, be there, whatever, because it's a long journey. I know. 

And I said too, you know, it's hard to know, when you are diagnosed with cancer, you really want to, "you" being anybody with it. I think you think "I have to go do this right away," and now and everything. But, of course, you know, you didn't know, but I am really glad that you were able to and made the decision to go to your prom and enjoy that experience as you finished high school. And I think the doctors would have told you otherwise, if they thought you had to do it immediately. 

So, you know, it's one of those decisions that you don't know, but I think, I think it just helps you deal with what's ahead. Sometimes, you know, to have that flexibility to be able to, to do all that. 

 

06:41 Jason Greenspan

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it was definitely scary. But it was very nice that I was able to, you know, push it off for like a week or two and just kind of get done what I wanted to get done. So that was definitely nice.

 

06:57 Joyce Lofstrom

Right. And, you know, I know from my son Max, when he had to have the first surgery he had after chemo was RPLND surgery, you know, we had to push it back a couple of weeks. For some reason, I can't even remember for sure what it was. It might have been my schedule, but it was, you know, the doctor said it was okay, so. 

So, now that you got through all that, so did you go back to community college, or what happened next?

 

07:22 Jason Greenspan

So, once I was done with chemo, I went back to the community college for just a semester. So I guess to backtrack a little, I had gotten deferred from my college, which was Shippensburg University (Ship) in Pennsylvania. You know, basically, I still went to my community college for a semester, just so I could have some credits behind me when I went to my four-year university. So, after I finished community college, I was able to go to Ship for you know, like I said, my one-year deferment.

 

07:56 Joyce Lofstrom 

I want to just ask one more question about the journey. And then we'll get on to that the event, I guess I should call it that you have. 

I know, too, from just reading about your background, some things that you have done that when your grandparent was also sick at the time that you were sick.  And just based on what you said about your mom and the close relationship, anything you want to share with us on that or how, how you helped each other or, you know, anything?

 

08:23 Jason Greenspan

Yeah, so my grandmother, so she had breast cancer when I was very little, like when I was like four or five, so I don't even remember it. Apparently, she had a wig because of the chemo, which I have no recollection of. But I've been told that by my mom.

And she had, I believe it was, I think, two months or so before I got diagnosed, she had been rediagnosed. So it metastasized to her bones and turned into you know, bone cancer in a sense at that point. So that, you know, my mom's relationship with her mom was very similar to my relationship with her.  We have a very close family.

Joyce Lofstrom
That's nice.

 

09:06 Jason Greenspan

Yeah, I definitely am. 

And, you know, so I think for my mom, it was really difficult because it's like, you know, her mom just got diagnosed. And then a couple of months later, now her son is diagnosed. So it's kind of a double whammy, as I guess I like to put it.

You know, definitely going through the experience, the one person I think that really understood what I was going through, obviously, my mom saw what I was going through, but I don't think you actually understand what someone's going through until you've gone through it. You know, my grandmother at the time was that person. 

I remember there, there was one day where she came over, or both my grandparents came over.  And she was talking to my mom in the kitchen and, you know, I was just watching TV.  I tried to sleep as much as possible because when I slept, my, I guess my stomach would stop hurting because I was sleeping. And if I was awake, basically my stomach would hurt all the time because of the chemo. 

I just kept thinking it, this one day was so bad; like it was probably the worst day out of the entire experience. And I was just like, looking outside, I'm like, the balcony is literally right there. This could like end in a second, even though realistically, that would never work because the balcony actually wasn't even high. 

But in that mindset, I mean, it's a, you know, one story, I mean, that (one) story is not going to do anything, break a leg at most. 

You know, at the time, it was just, it was a thought that I had. I had never actually had a thought of suicide or anything, except for that one moment. And it was just so bad. And I did, I really had no idea what to do. But I would have done almost anything to stop the pain.

 

11:07 Joyce Lofstrom

Wow, you touch on something to that. I think anyone with cancer, chronic illness, but especially cancer, the mental health aspect of it, you know, how it affects your psyche as well as your body and what you have to do to get through it. It's hard, you know, and it's the pain you describe has to be. I think just something people may not realize how terrible that stomach pain must have been for you. 

 

11:39 Jason Greenspan

Yeah, even when I was, like, you know, when I was little. First off, you never think you're gonna get cancer. And that's always the thing is, you hear all these other people get it, and it's like, okay, but it's never gonna be you.

Joyce Lofstrom
Correct.

Jason Greenspan
And it's never gonna happen. You know, it's like winning the lottery. All these other people do it, but you're never going to win the lottery. So it's not going to be you. 

But I remember just seeing people, and you know, hearing about different stories. And you know, my parents were saying, "You know, they're sick."

And it's like, "Well, what do you mean, they're sick, and they have a cold, like, I don't really know what that means."

That's when people say "sick", I think a cold, a flu, that that's what I think of. So I didn't understand it at all until actually going through it, of what exactly it means when you know, a compromised immune system and kind of the whole thing. You'll learn a lot going through it. 

I mean, even during chemo, you know, the way my schedule worked, it was three cycles. And the first cycle or the first week of each cycle, I went every day of the week, Monday through Friday. And then, the second two weeks, I went on Tuesdays only. 
So, those were like the really easy weeks that I looked forward to. 

But at the end of the first week, that Friday of each cycle was, I guess, my body declared it throw-up day. That was always my throw-up day. And that used to be,  is still is like one of my top fears, okay, like above spiders and everything like that...is just me throwing up is just something I just have fear over. 

So, that was really difficult to manage for me. And I, you know, would plead with them to give me enough anti-nausea medicine so that wouldn't happen. But you know, obviously, it did a few times.

 

13:35 Joyce Lofstrom 

Yeah, unfortunately, that's a side effect of the chemo for almost everybody. So, I think, you just might have mentioned it, but I was going to ask you what was the biggest challenge that you faced after you heard the diagnosis, and then, as you traveled through this journey,

 

13:50 Jason Greenspan

So, I think your perception of things changes pretty drastically. In the sense of my hair has always been something that has always been very important to me.  Even on my mom's second wedding, when she married my stepdad, you know, my hair was gelled. 

I mean, I've been gelling my hair ever since I was five. I still put product in it every day. So I mean, it's something, it's to me, it's kind of like brushing my teeth. And so that's always been really important to me. And to get that taken away here, that it could be taken away. It was a lot, but then to realize that it was happening, and it was very visual. It was scary. 

And I think, you know, to answer your question, I think initially that was my biggest fear. But I think as time progressed, and as I went through the treatment, that became kind of the least of my worries, and I realized how almost superficial was.  My health was number one to me, and I think then that would go into probably the throwing up and what was going to happen if it was going to actually end because it felt like it would never end.

 

15:17 Joyce Lofstrom 

Yeah, I understand that; I do. Most of the young men I've talked to for the podcast have said the same about, you get through so many cycles or treatments. And then all of a sudden, it's as you said, Friday was your day to throw up. But yeah, it's an unfortunate side effect.

 

15:42 Joyce Lofstrom

Let's move on into your time in college, your four-year college, and as I read it, your last semester. Tell us what you did. For your, I guess I'll call it, your senior project.

 

15:57 Jason Greenspan

Basically, it was, um, except it wasn't graded. 

I went to Shippensburg University for four-and-a-half years. And when I started, I joined very quickly the college's Against Cancer Club. They're the club on campus that plans for the Relay for Life. So I was involved with that from really day one, when I started until really the last day I attended college. 

So, I attended that for four years, then, you know, I think that taught me a lot of just leadership. And the last two years that I was there, I was able to be vice president and then president of the club, which meant a lot to me. 

And when I first found out about the club, I actually reached out to the current president at the time, who is also a cancer survivor. So that was really the first touch post-cancer of somebody who was very close in age with me, even though, you know, she was like three or four years older, but same thing. And just close to my age, and not somebody, you know, my parents age or grandparents age or whatever. So, I did that for for four years. 

My last semester, I was really afraid that, you know, I raised a lot of awareness. throughout college, I reached out to local television, news channels, and papers and everything, you know, throughout my journey.

But my last semester, I was afraid that when I left college, my awareness would kind of go with me because I didn't know anybody else at the university who had it. So, everyone who knew me knew about it, knew what I was doing, and, and was aware of the cancer. But I was afraid that after that, it would go away. So, I thought, you know, what, what's bigger than a world record and nothing?...

 

18:02 Joyce Lofstrom 

So, all right, though, you're right,

 

18:04  Jason Greenspan

I...Just kind of thinking outside the box. And so I went on Guinness's website and searched and, you know, was there a record about testicular cancer? Has anyone done this before? Maybe this is just like a really weird, bad idea, I have no idea.

And turns out, you know, there was one record, and it was for the largest simultaneous self-check for testicular cancer, which was achieved by Darren Cashman in the UK, in I believe, 2010. And he had 208 people.

I was like, alright, well, that's, you know, I'm, I, you know, I attended a pretty small college, you know, about 6,000 students. But I was like, we can beat 200. I mean, that's not that bad

So I, you know, did a bunch of research on it. And basically, my entire last semester, worked on planning this event, and I only had two classes that semester. So it made my life a little easier, at least, because I was really able to focus on what I wanted to do. 

And it's kind of funny, because one of my professors, if not both of them, they knew that in a sense, this event was my priority. Their class was not like; I was very, very upfront, like, obviously, I mean, I ended up finishing this semester with straight A's. But just that, you know, my mind was not their work. It was my work, in a sense, because they knew that was something that was like really important to me, and just something I really enjoyed doing and you know.  


19:47 Jason Greenspan

I guess kind of how the story begins, I thought of this idea, I brought it up to the head of the school, and originally they didn't, I really didn't have an answer from them. Whether it was going to whether we were going to do it or not, but I did a lot of research through that summer.

And I then found out that, you know, the school had told me that they just, they didn't think it was going to work. They thought that people would make a spectacle of the event, and not take it seriously. And I think they were also worried about the reputation of the school, and the media, and how that would affect the school.

I felt so strongly about this. So, you know, I kind of kept on doing my research and doing everything on my end, even though I was kind of going in completely blind on my own, knowing that this event, most likely will, will not happen. And when I got to the school, I was able to make an appointment with the, you know, with the head of the school who's in charge of student engagement.

I worked with one of my professors to craft an event proposal that I was able to give my school. And, you know, he jumped on board with it. He knew my story because I had had him, I think one or two times in the past in previous years. So, he had known me really well. And I was very lucky and happy that he was kind of jumping on board because I felt like I couldn't go into it alone, I needed to have a staff member backing me up at the university, like somebody who's higher than me, that can kind of say things on my behalf, or at least have a backing.

We worked on the event proposal together. And you know, before class and after class, I would talk to him for like an hour and give him my different drafts and have him look over it. And it ended up being total, ended up being about 15 pages. So I mean, I put my heart into it.

I went into, and I didn't share this with the, you know, the person I was meeting with at the university until that morning, I sent him an email with with the attachment. And when in that day, I don't even think he had read it yet.

So I went in with like this binder, and it was printed, and it was in this nice, like portfolio thing. And I gave it to them.

And I was like, Look, you know, I thought about all the things you said you thought people would make a spectacle and all these different things. I thought of all these ways of why you're going to tell me no.

I'm going to change those into ways of why you're going to say yes, in a sense, meaning how we're going to correct these things that you're afraid of.

So, you know, people making a spectacle, you know, we're gonna make this event fun, but we are going to have serious elements to it. We're going to have survivors speak, and kind of all these things that would make the event not spectacle-ish.

And, you know, really just went through all the details and also showed him all these things that I've already done. I've already booked all these, you know, people. I think that at that time, cheerleaders were on board to perform and all these different clubs on campus, were happy to help out and just all this stuff. And he ended up saying yes, at the end of the meeting, and I remember calling my mom. And I, like one of the first things I said to her was, grandma would be so proud. Because at this time she had passed away. And I just knew she was looking down. And you know, I just knew this was at, at least at the time, the most important part of my life, like to me from everything that I've been through and everything that this was like the moment. And yeah, I just felt incredible. And you know, after that, then it was like alright, well now that he said, Yeah, now I have all this planning to do because I graduate in a couple of months. So I can't do this after I graduate. So I gotta like hustle. And so I ended up doing all the planning for it. And I worked with, you know, I reached out to my former law professor, and we were going over the guidelines, I literally met with my law professor like, three times a week to go over things about, I mean, all the staff was so helpful, like I can't even express how helpful they were. It was. They may give me credit, but I certainly know it was a group effort. So many clubs, were on board, fraternity life, everybody. And it really was special. And I wanted people when they walked into that room, where the event was held to really immerse themselves in the event be part of the event. And I remember walking in, so both my mom myself step dad and my grandfather drove up the two hours to attend the event which was at night. So it was kind of a, you know, I knew they would be driving home in the dark kind of late. So it was, you know, I felt a little weird about that, because then I don't want to drive down late, but I was so grateful that they came out. And when they saw the room, and there were like Star lights, flashing places, and the room was like purple. And they were like, you did this? And I'm like, Yeah, why do you think I've been up like all night? For for four months working on this, like, yeah, it's amazing. Like, I would expect nothing less.

 

25:39

And we had two different survivor speakers, excluding myself, I obviously spoke to but one of them was Justin bark buckler, who I know you spoke with. And I don't know if he mentioned the event or anything, but we, we met on Instagram, and I had one of the foundations have posted something I was doing an awareness table. And he, I guess, comment, and was like, Oh, are you a chip? And I'm like, Yeah, like, it's a really small school. Like, how would you know that. And apparently, he had done his either undergraduate or graduate work at the same university. So that's how we connected. So I invited him. So he ended up driving like, I don't know, three, four hours to come to the the university share his story. And I wanted another local element. And turns out that the former principal of the Shippensburg area Senior High School, kid, mine, this town is like, tiny. I mean, the town is basically the university. And this former principal, this only High School, basically, in the area, immediate area, was actually a TC survivor. And I was like, What the hell are the odds?

 

27:01

I know, that's what I mean. Gosh, you've touched people already.

 

27:06

Yeah. So he was, you know, he came out I partnered with summit health, which is a they own a lot of the hospitals in the central pa region, went with somebody from my communication with the ship communications department, meeting with their communications department. So it was really kind of like an internship, also, like I was getting real world like meeting experience also in mes. And now, it was just it seriously, it was amazing. We ended up getting 236 people out. So we did break the record. And about a year or so later, once it was officialized. By Guinness, I went back to the university, and we did a certificate presentation. So I brought the beginner certificate to the school and presented it to the president of the university, and then a couple other top people and they had their photographers and everything, it was on the homepage of the website for a while. And it was just it was amazing. And the one request that I asked the school was, since I knew this would be huge, but the one request that I wanted. So our cub, our CD Union Building, basically was like the main place on campus for people to either grab food or go to the help desk, it was really like the main area on campus. And I wanted the certificate to be hung in that building, because they have a lot of any former acts that have performed at the school for homecoming or anything like that different celebrities, all the posters are in that room, and they're all autographed. So it's really kind of like a memorial to everything, you know, of importance kind of at school. And that was my one request. And a couple of months later, I got a text from one of the faculty and they texted me a picture of it, you know, hanging on the cob, and I was like, I just couldn't believe it.

 

29:13

Wow, that's, that's just an amazing event. And I think you it's an example of what one person can do when you have a mission or a goal in mind. And in as you said it was it was the fear that it would become a spectacle or something it was really went deeper than that in terms of what you wanted to accomplish. And I think you touched on many things in planning. A good one is, as you often hear, and you know corporate jobs don't come to me with problems. You know, if you have a problem come to me with the problem and the solution. Exactly just what you did. You know you had the solution to any kind of objections that The university administration might have, I just I think it's such, it's such a cool event. I mean, the whole idea of it, I think, is it's, well, it's different. I guess that's not a really good description. But I also think when you talk about your story, you kind of have come full circle, because it all started with you finding you know, the, the bumper, the whatever on your testicle, and then having the doctor do an exam, a self exam, or a testicle exam, which is what you had people do as you ended your college career and or have men do and I just think that that's really important because you went through all your cancer journey, and chemo and all of that. And then you were able to give back in a way that other people can not, not only understand what you went through, but why you need to do this. And I think it's great, Jason, I'm really impressed with what you've accomplished. So

 

31:03

yeah, well, thank you very much. And yeah, we had, you know, since summit health was one of the partners for the event, they ended up having a table at the event, because we wanted people to have, if they wanted to, if they did feel that they felt something during the exam, we wanted them to have a confidential place for them to go to schedule a doctor's appointment, if they wanted to have a physical and have a doctor actually look at them. So we wanted that to really be in place so that they kind of felt safe. And instead of just, you know, who felt something raised their hand, you know, we really wanted it to be private. And we also had all of the doors in the room closed, right? So it really, you know, minus everybody in there. And yes, there were cameras and videos and all this other stuff. But minus all that. We didn't watch as people walking down the hall to see anything.

 

31:56

Sure. No, that makes total sense.

 

31:59

Which was really cool.

 

32:08

This kind of leads me to the another question, which is why do you think men are so hesitant to talk about their health? Do a self exam, any insights you have based on your now eight years since your diagnosis and the things you've done?

 

32:26

I think the guys are too macho, or they think they are at least that I think is my, I guess easy answer. I think that a lot of guys come off, as you know, they I don't know, I guess maybe want to impress people or don't want to show their soft side, or I'm not saying it's a soft side, but just saying like the I guess they don't want to admit anything, or maybe just maybe don't honestly even really care about or don't notice their health or, or whatnot. But I think eyes are a little too macho at times. And I think if I think if people were open, as you know, like what I was with my mom, I felt something I felt something wasn't right, I was comfortable to tell her. I think sometimes guys maybe aren't that way. Or if they think something, they'll kind of just keep it to themselves. And that's kind of where I go with the macho is, it's not less macho to tell somebody about it, or to be concerned about your health, or to talk to somebody about your private area, and all guys have it. And with you know, with breast cancer, we talked about breast cancer and breast all the time. And it's it's a normal conversation to most people now. But we can't do that with testicles and balls, and you know, any other words you want to use. It's still weird to a lot of people and uncomfortable. And I think one of the reasons that I wanted to do the event, in particular, was to really de stigmatize it. And, you know, just a quick example, when I was sitting at lunch, one day or dinner, you know, I did a lot of advertisements around the campus. And basically, in all of the tables in the tub. I had table tents in every single table for the event for like a week. And like I said, when I was eating lunch, there was a table next to me, it was like, I don't know, maybe two girls and two guys or whatever. And they, I had no idea who they were, but they looked at the table tent and they were you know, like kind of chuckling a little bit and like, I think one of them joke like, Hey, are you gonna go to this? And it's like, no, why would I go to that? Like, that's weird. You know, the only thing that I kept thinking in my head was, I'm not you know, I'm not gonna say anything because it's kind of nice to be a fly on the wall too. But if you only knew who was next to you, basically the guy who made these plan this whole thing, and is the survivor. So it's just one of those weird stories that I like to tell, because I think it really just shows, you really never know who's sitting next to you. So I think I think just in general, just for people to kind of be conscious, and, you know, be aware of their surroundings to

 

35:23

know. And that's a good point as well. I don't have anything else to say on it. Because I agree with you, you just in you, you said earlier, you know, with cancer, you always think it's not going to happen to you, or it's going to happen to somebody else. And I think once it does happen to you, again, any person, you start to realize so many things about taking care of your house, and in just little steps you could do that can really help you maintain, not just good health, but I mean, understanding your health and what to do, and so forth. So I'd say it's a big step on in terms of getting that number of people together and doing what you did. So along those lines, what, over the years now, what has changed philosophically with you about how you approach life,

 

36:16

I'm a lot more, I guess, I don't know, I like to do things that I enjoy doing. You know, obviously, with COVID, that's a little different. Now, I'm very conscious about my health. So I'm in that group that I don't like to really go out and kind of go be extra cautious and things like that. But before COVID, at least, for the prior seven years, just really, you know, I I love going to events, and just try to do things I really enjoy doing. And I think you have to have humor with things. And I know definitely like Justin does, and kind of what his motto motto is, and everything is a try make a situation like you know what, when you're able to I mean, even during treatment, I would always crack a joke when I when I could and you know if outsiders heard it, you know, they would either maybe be offended, offended, or, you know, think weirdly or oddly of it. But to me, you know, it helped me get through it. I remember it was near Halloween, and my stepdad was handing out candy. But before I was like, oh, like, you know, what should I be for Halloween, although, you know, obviously wasn't dressing up or anything. And I was too old for it anyway. But I was like, Well, if I just put on a yellow t shirt and drew some squiggly lines on it, that could be Charlie Brown. And, you know, that's one of the jokes I like to share. But it was just, it was just one of those things of like, you've never, I don't know, you just kind of kind of live in the moment and and make things enjoyable, you know, not take things too seriously.

 

37:58

Yeah. And I think living in the moment is it's something I I'm better at doing now. But it's I think it's hard. It took me a long time to to really understand that in and employ it in my own life. Can you tell us a little bit about what you're doing now? You've been out of college? What three years? I think, three or four years? Yeah,

 

38:21

yeah, it's been about three. So I'm working at a national nonprofit, that and I'm an event sports specialist. So I basically, the reason I'm doing what I'm doing is honestly because of my events. That's the reason I chose the past that I did I majored in marketing. But I didn't really know what that entailed. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with that. But I wanted to work with a health care nonprofit, on event planning. And, and that's exactly what I'm doing. Now. I've been there for about two and a half years, it's my first job out of college. And, you know, I love what I do. And I it's it's great because you you really get to use you see the impact that you're making on people. And you know, the organization I work with is not cancer related. But I feel that I can relate to it a lot because it is health related. And it's just and I think it's something that even though it's not cancer itself, I feel like I can still relate to a lot of the people because I've had my own kind of health experience.

 

39:26

Right. And you also brought that experience you had in planning that event. And that's, I think any organization event planning is, as you know, very meticulous, very detailed and but it's also a lot of fun. So I think that you had all those skills to bring to that job. So not everybody could claim that so I think that's great. My last question is just what advice do you have for any young man who thinks he might have testicular cancer is going through treatment or anything you want to say too Other young men out there,

 

40:02

you know, if you think you may have found something, whether, you know, kind of like what I was doing with my itch, don't be afraid to tell somebody if you are, for some reason afraid to tell a parent, you know, or a sibling or whatnot, call your doctor, you know, just go yourself even, you know, for some reason you're afraid to, you know, tell tell, close person to you. But I think, definitely to be proactive. It's, you know, as you know, it's the most common type of cancer and males 15 to 35. And, you know, it's 99% curable if detected early. So it's really important that you do check early. And if you do find something, get checked. And, you know, to do any treatment that you have to and, you know, for anyone who is in treatment, I would say, I know, it feels like it may never end. Like you know, I can't say obviously for everybody, but you know, for 99% of the people, it will be fine pods are 100% in your favor. And if they every doctor I've spoken to has said that if you have to pick a cancer out of a hat to stickler cancer is the one you're going to want to pick if you have to have one because it's the most curable. Yeah, and you will get through it. And you know, really just keep your head up. Look, look towards the future. Don't you know, I had a fundraiser I was doing while I was in treatment, that helped my mind get off of it, my mom would buy me Legos. And I would have like adult LEGO sets that I would play with instead of watching TV just to keep my mind active. So just you know, constantly keep going and don't give up.

 

41:44

I think that's great. Especially the don't give up. I think that's good advice for all of us in life. Keep forging ahead. So Jason, thank you again for spending time with me and explaining everything and telling us about your outstanding event that you had at your university. So maybe down the road, you can come back and give us an update on on what you're doing. And we'll see what else we can talk about.

 

42:11

Definitely, yeah, I actually have a couple of things that I'm trying to fully work on. So hopefully I will have an update for it. Okay,

 

42:18

well, that's great. So thank you. Thanks so much for joining me today on don't give up on testicular cancer from the max Mallory foundation. We have a website and it's at max Mallory foundation comm where you can learn more about testicular cancer. Donate and also send your ideas for guests on the podcast. And for spelling, Mallory is ma Ll o ROI. Please join me next time for don't give up on testicular cancer.

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