Every October the entire world celebrates the Pink October regards to breast cancer prevention. Last year’s post about Pink October was informative and exclusively about breast cancer. This year, the proposal is to understand a bit more and support people who have type one diabetes and receive a cancer diagnosis.
So I kindly invited Antoane Fernandes to share his life experience with us. Antoane is 26 years old and he lives in São Paulo (Brazil). Since he was young he dreamed to be a great actor, voice actor and singer. But he doesn’t stop there, he also has plans to make a skydiving course. He clearly has a huge thirst for knowledge reflected in his passion to met people, to experience the world and to discover himself continually.
Antoane was 5 years old when his parents got worried about him drinking too much water, constantly urinating and losing too much weight and took him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with type one diabetes. “The most significant (change in my routine) was to avoid eating too many sweets”, he says.
About two years ago, Antoane was feeling an extremely unbearable pain in his right leg. This was the symptom that he later discovered to be a testicular cancer (germ cells), which he says he is almost healed. He explains that all the pain he was suffering was there “(…)”thanks” to the tumor that compressed the veins of the leg and caused a thrombosis”.
Below is our interview. I´m not a journalist. All the questions I did Antoane were based on my curiosity to understand this situation better and thinking about you that read my blog. Being you someone curious about the topic, someone passing (or supporting family or friend) through a similar situation.
1) How did you receive the confirmation that you had cancer and how did it change your routine?
I accepted the diagnosis quite well. I didn’t surrender myself at any moment. I’ve always been an optimistic person and very playful. Honestly, the only change in my routine was the “monotony” because I could hardly leave the house and also could not work.
2) Since I met you, you seemed a very optimistic, cheerful and happy person, making it look like cancer treatment is easy. You looked at the whole process with this positivity from the beginning?
Exactly, I did that since the beginning. I tried to always keep this way to also do not make my friends and relatives worry too much. Now I’m brand new, just can’t say I’m ready for another!
3) Do you think that the fact that you have had the diagnosis / treatment of diabetes previously helped you cope with the diagnosis / treatment of cancer?
Probably, because the diabetes treatment made me adapt to many “harder” things, in terms of health, not to mention that I got used, since the age of five, with syringes and holes in the fingers every day.
4) How did you with both treatments, cancer and diabetes?
Dealing with both treatments was easy, since no chemical prevented another and as I use insulin pump it made it smoothly and easier to control my glycemia.
5) Speaking directly with someone who now goes through cancer treatment and who also have diabetes, what you have to say to this person that would have been important for you to hear back then?
To try to remain as calm and optimistic as possible, be always close to your friends and family and always look for fun in all ways as possible, at least that way I could get away!
6) What are your plans / dreams for the future?
First, I intend to return to my old job at Livraria Cultura (famous bookstore in São Paulo) as a salesman. Then, in the near future, I plan to become a known actor and voice actor!
I am currently writing a book about everything I went – with diabetes and with cancer – but is not finished yet. I’m doing in a way that is not boring as some biographies that have cancer theme, hope to finish it soon.
8) Do you have any form of contact where people can get in touch with you?
Thank you very much for your inspiration, your time and all the luck in the world to your projects!!!
For more information about testicular cancer:
American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/detailedguide/testicular-cancer-risk-factors