When Lieutenant Robert was diagnosed with Stage 3B testicular cancer, it had already spread to his lungs and his lymph nodes. The Navy pilot thought his life was over.
“I was sobbing,” Robert recalls. “I called my family and this was the most difficult thing I had dealt with in my entire life.”
Robert contacted is doctor after he discovered a hard mass on his left testicle. After an ultrasound and a visit to the urologist, he learned there were tumor markers. He immediately underwent surgery and then chemotherapy at Moffitt Cancer Center. Doctors gave him a 90 percent chance of survival.
“It was easier to keep hope alive with that number,” Robert says. “Plus I had the total support of my then- fiancé and now-wife Angela. She cared for me every day.”
Robert also credits his extended family who flew in from the west coast of the U.S. to offer support and comfort. They convinced him that he would beat cancer and stay cancer free. He is now a 6½ year cancer survivor.
“I am no longer being treated but do go in for post chemo/cancer follow ups,” Robert says. He has also returned to active duty status and passed every medical exam to regain his flight status. “I fly every opportunity I get.”
Robert says his experience proves that there is hope after a devastating diagnosis and he encourages others facing cancer to avoid the “cancer blues.”
“Never give up hope and don’t let yourself think that it will come back,” he says. “Listen to those around you and listen to anyone giving you positive energy.”