Cancer survivor Francis – ‘It changed my attitude to life entirely’

When Francis Deasy was first told by the doctor that he had testicular cancer, he thought they had the wrong person.

“It was back in 2012, and I was having issues urinating. At the time I would never have been one for examining myself, but I went to the doctor to get it checked out,” says Francis (57), an aviation worker from west Cork.

“He had some concerns and wanted me to go to the Mercy Hospital in Cork. It was a Friday and I said I’d go on the Monday, and he told me ‘no you won’t, you’ll go this evening’, so that was it.

“I went to the hospital and was told to come back in again on Monday. I spent the day there, then I remember at 3.50pm I was called into the room.

“I was sitting up on the trolley swinging my legs and the doctor came in and told me I had testicular cancer, and that it had spread to the lymph nodes in the base of my stomach. I actually told him ‘no doctor, you must have the wrong person’s file’, I didn’t think it could be true.”

Francis was taken in to have surgery to remove the affected testicle (known as an orchidectomy) that Thursday. He was due to begin chemotherapy shortly after, however Francis was caring for his elderly mother at the time and it had to be delayed when she passed away.

Thankfully treatment went well for Francis, and he was determined to remain vigilant after his experience, going for regular blood tests and check-ups. His vigilance paid off when eight years later in 2020 his doctor managed to catch the early warning signs for prostate cancer, and Francis was once again able to have this successfully treated.

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It was rough, I’ll admit that, but I would stand in the middle of anywhere and say to any man to examine themselves.

Francis Deasy 2

A long-time supporter of Daffodil Day, he was delighted to be able to get back out in his community in Dunmanway this year and share his story with those he met. Francis also participated in the Irish Cancer Society’s steps challenge this year, and says keeping active has helped him with his recovery.

He feels privileged to be able to give back after receiving support through the charity.

“When I was first diagnosed with testicular cancer I was given all these leaflets, and they gave me the Irish Cancer Society Freephone 1800 200 700 Support Line number.

“They put me in touch with a Survivor Support Volunteer, a gentleman who had the orchidectomy himself and he rang me. He told me everything that it would entail as well as the chemotherapy, so I was going into it with some bit of knowledge because I was very green about it all. I was very, very thankful for it.

“My brushes with cancer have changed my whole attitude to life entirely: life is for living - yesterday’s, history tomorrow’s a mystery; it’s the here and now that matters!”

Testicular cancer information

Find further advice and information on testicular cancer at www.Cancer.ie/Testicular-Cancer, or contact our Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700 or SupportLine@IrishCancer.ie 

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Roz, a cancer nurse

For more information

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1800 200 700

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