A few days ago, following a cancer awareness campaign we commenced at Cancerdocs, amongst other messages we received a reply from a cancer patient that instantly made our heads turn and our mind focus. Tedd, a two-time testicular cancer survivor expressed his will to help as many as people possible. Any cancer patient and almost anyone supporting a cancer patient knows that dealing with cancer is extremely hard, stressful and painful. Dealing with it twice and surviving is inspiring.
Our instant reaction was to ask Tedd for permission to publish his story on our blog, in an effort to help, inspire and support any cancer patient of the Cancerdocs community. Below, the truly inspiring and honest story from Tedd.
If you have questions or thoughts, share them in the comments section below. If you want to share your story and help cancer patients and their supporting group, shoot us an email here. You are not alone in this trip:
Todd, you have been through a lot. Tell us about it
My name is Todd r. Koza and I survived testicular cancer. I really want speak to young adults about testicular cancer and how it get can affect you as young adults. I’m a two-time survivor of cancer and I’m a living proof of hope. It wasn’t easy at all. I went through a lot of blood work, CT scans and drank lots of solutions that made me and my stomach sick and literally it was like when you want to relax but your stomach says: “not today“.
I went through lots of X-rays to see if the cancer spread, thankfully it didn’t. Blood work was no fun when you trying to relax in the hospital laying down on the bed and a nurse comes in and pokes you while you are sleeping. Let me tell you that all the blood they took out of me, man it sucked, but was worth it in the long run. I was in so much pain, trying to keep food down while they pumped liquid to my ivy. It felt like I got punched in the stomach and hurt really bad.
How was your experience and how did it feel?
I was 18 years old when I had cancer and lost all my hair. I was in high school dealing with my disease, a senior going to graduate and I was in the hospital for a long time. My teachers came and saw me, my friends called. I was in the the hospital room all alone with nobody to talk to. I just laid there looking at the four walls trying to fight this disease out of my system. It felt like a Mack truck hit me with a large heavy ton of bricks. When I was in the hospital I wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed but couldn’t. It sucked when I had trouble getting out of the hospital bed and had to go to the bathroom. It wasn’t fun.
I remember my first time having surgery to take out my right testicle. Talking about the pain when you’re trying to get comfortable and trying to walk, I literally said every name in the dictionary. It hurt so bad. The second time that I had to go through it was when I was 36 years old. I could not walk more than baby steps every time. It felt like tons of needles poking you down below. It felt bad.
I went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy too (don’t forget to check our post about the essentials regarding treatments) which wasn’t bad but takes a lot out of you and takes a toll on your mind and body.
What are your hopes and dreams?
I now envy men because they can make babies and I can’t. I would love to have a girlfriend or get married one day and give her kids, make her happy and become a dad someday. However I guess it’s not in my future which sucks because I want kids. People are telling me to adopt. But it doesn’t feel the same when you look into your sons or daughters’ eyes, it’s an amazing feeling, it makes you feel so happy. I wanted to feel those feeling so bad. It hurts my heart because I won’t be able to give a woman that any more. I have been through hell and back. I don’t smile or laugh anymore because losing people you love to cancer sucks. It sucks like you never can imagine. It made me feel like […]. I was cool and I didn’t fit in with crowd if you know what I mean.
“I would love to have a girlfriend or get married one day and give her kids, make her happy and become a dad someday. However I guess it’s not in my future which sucks because I want kids”
Staying strong & winning the fight
To all my young adults, please realize what you are doing when you smoke cigarettes, it’s killing your inside and it ain’t a pretty picture when you see a lot of videos on it. I already lost my mom and my uncle to cancer and I don’t want to lose anybody else, because when you are young and you lose someone to cancer it’s the worst feeling ever. It feels like apart of you has died as well and that’s how I felt when my mom passed away. It sucked when you get close to them and the next minute there gone.
I don’t judge people for smoking. That’s not who I am. If you guys saw what I went through and your nurses tell you that there was a baby in the same hospital that was dealing with cancer you would be now feeling terrified. I was so that’s why I’m making a stand on the fight to cancer an making sure it doesn’t hurt or take anybody else away from there lives or families and dreams.
I was when I thought that I was going to die but I didn’t. I fought cancer and beat it.
I’ve been cancer free over 3 years, soon to be 4. If you want to know what I had to go threw just ask. I now wear bracelets, one says “stupid cancer”, the second “stand up 2 cancer”, the third “prostate cancer”, the fourth “live strong”, the fifth “testicular awareness foundation”. My pins say: “I have breast cancer” and “lung cancer”. I did 2 walks for cancer with 2 of my friends, Derek Daniels and James Fordan. I plan on doing more. Please ladies and gentlemen, take a moment and get your self a check. All cancers are doing to your body is eating away in your insides and it’s not right. Please help us make a stand and stop cancer in its tracks. Let’s all make a difference because I know you all want to live long lives. Please share, like and spread the word.
Any final word that you would like to share?
I’m looking for help from people, family, friends and others, I would like to try to start a foundation or help out for those who are going through what I had to go through. I would love donate to help out as much as I can, for all types of cancer survivors. Please feel free to ask me questions, no matter the type of cancer.
I have a group on here if you gentlemen or ladies want to join an tell your story, I’m always willing and available to respond. I have a team I’m putting together, it’s called “SHORTY KOZA N’ THE SURVIVORS”. It is under construction at the moment. If you have any ideas or want to help me spread the word, get out there and save our young adults and our youth, I’m all in for it. I want help from men and women. Please give me some ideas on stuff and other things. For example: “I have stupid cancer”, “live strong”, “stand up 2 cancer” and similar.
The Cancerdocs team wants to thank Todd for having the courage to share his experience and his heartwarming will to help cancer patients. Ask your questions to Todd or share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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