Cancer won’t beat me

SURVIVOR John Willis, 37, of Portchester has had three types of cancer in three years, and has set up a website called Kick it Into Touch. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131125-1)
SURVIVOR John Willis, 37, of Portchester has had three types of cancer in three years, and has set up a website called Kick it Into Touch. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131125-1)

Winners of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance lottery

2
Have your say

THREE-time cancer survivor John Willis has described himself as the ‘luckiest, unlucky’ person.

In just under three years the 37-year-old, of Portchester, has battled testicular, stomach and lymph gland cancers.

But miraculously, he has survived each one. His first brush with cancer came in August 2010.

John who used to run Havant Fruit and Flowers, in West Street, Havant, said: ‘I was on holiday in Spain in June, and I sat down awkwardly, which caused me a pain in my testicle.

‘It really hurt, and the pain was still there two months later.

‘I knew I needed to visit my doctor, who sent me off for a screening.

‘A week later I was told they had found a tumour in my testicle.

‘I always had a feeling there was something, so I wasn’t too surprised when I was told. I got treated straight away.’

Father of one John was diagnosed in August 2010, and had his left testicle removed within three weeks.

He went on to set up a website encouraging men to check for cancer, and blogging about his experience.

Just over a year later, John went for a routine scan at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, in October 2011.

He said: ‘I went in for a CT scan, and doctors found a tumour the size of a snooker ball in my stomach.

‘I hadn’t felt any pain, or had any idea it was there.

‘I had that removed in November 2011.’

Surgeons removed the tumour, and John went on to take part in the Great South Run last October.

But on a third trip for a check up, John was given a devastating blow.

‘In November 2012, I got a phone call from my consultant to say one of my lymph glands was bigger than it should be,’ added John.

‘I couldn’t believe it. It was the third time in two-and-a-half years.’

In January this year, John began a nine-week course of chemotherapy, which is delivered in cycles of three weeks.

He said: ‘It takes it out of me. I feel like I’m the luckiest, unlucky person.

‘I can’t seem to get to a year without doctors finding something else.

‘I can’t take it any more.’

John has been with his wife Angela, 38, for 23 years, and together they have Maisie, 14.

‘My family have been brilliant,’ added John.

‘All this has given me a different outlook on life, and made me less miserable.’

MEN SHOULD MAKE SURE THEY CHECK THEMSELVES OFTEN

JOHN wants to dedicate his life setting up a charity and support group for men dealing with cancer.

After the 37-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer in August 2010, John set up a site to blog about his story and encourage men to check themselves.

He said: ‘If I hadn’t have got over my embarrassment of dropping my trousers in front of the doctor, then I wouldn’t be here.’

John also raises funds for local charities, such as The Rowans Hospice and Harbour Cancer Support Centre, in Gosport.

Visit {http://www. kickitintotouch.org|kickitintotouch.org}.