The signs and symptoms started when Lachlan Hollis was playing water polo professional in Italy in 2013. On Dec 16th, he couldn’t ignore the constant chronic pain in his lower back and left hip ignited from bouts of physical activity. As an athlete for the New South Wales Institute of Sport, physical health was his most important asset - so taking no chances, he checked in with his GP who recommended a full body scan. After numerous investigations and hospital visits, for a strong, healthy male in his early 20s, the tragic news came as a sudden shock to him and the loved ones around him.
He had been diagnosed with an embryonic carcinoma - a rare type of germ cell tumour related to testicular cancer.
Two years later, after three and a half months of chemotherapy and numerous operations, Lachlan battled the cancer into remission and is now free of the disease. He spends his days as a full-time personal trainer where he has begun his own business at Hollistic Fitness, helping others achieve their physical best, and reach their goals via the incredible life lessons he’s learnt from that life changing journey.
As a personal friend of Tee Ink founder Pete DeGail, Lachlan’s story, and many others alike, was the inspiration behind our #cancelcancer. We spoke to Lachlan about his journey:
Tee Ink: TI
TI: What are the chances of having testicular cancer in Australia?
Locky: Testicular cancer is not very common, being diagnosed in about 700 Australian men each year; however, in men aged 18-39 years old, it is the second most common form of cancer. Mine was a very rare form with very few people being diagnosed each year.
TI: We know early detection is crucial in beating cancer. What’s your advice in terms of regularly monitoring our health?
Locky: I would recommend just a simple check up with your local GP who can assist and provide future support if needed.
TI: What were the most important things to you on the road to recovery?
Locky: The most important things during treatment to me were family, communication through the difficult times with close friends and family members, and staying positive each day, not letting cancer rule my life!
TI: How did it feel when you got the ‘all clear'?
Locky: It felt amazing! It’s like I have a new lease on life after being given the all-clear. It certainly is a life changing journey!
TI: What outcomes would you like to see from fundraising and awareness campaigns like #CancelCancer?
Locky: I hope one day we really are able to cancel cancer by raising awareness of the disease by breaking the stigma and talking about it more openly and freely. Be proactive, not reactive to your health. And get on top of it before it gets on top of you! Listen to your body. If the signs aren't right, get checked up. It may be something minor but better to be safe than sorry.
TI: Apart from the Cancer Council, are there any other important initiatives that helped you on your journey?
Locky: I found Redkite very supportive and helpful. It’s a foundation that helps adolescent deal with similar situations and helps lift the burden of cancer through their amazing services.
Lachlan Hollis (@lockyhollis)