It’s not often men want to sit down and talk about their feelings. But Married At First Sight star Nic is different. The 28-year-old wants his story to be heard, in hopes it will encourage other men not to turn a blind eye.
“I’m fit, I’m healthy, I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs, so why did I get cancer?” Nic asks.
It’s a question many cancer sufferers and survivors ask themselves but the reality is, no one has the answer.
Nick was just 24 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which affects about 850 Australian men each year, after experiencing stomach pains one Sunday afternoon four years ago.
“It felt like a stitch that wouldn’t go away,” Nic explains exclusively to New Idea.
“ So I went to the medical centre and they gave me some stuff for reflux but I was still sore the next day.”
It was at this point that Nic realised something wasn’t quite right.
“The pain just wouldn’t go away so I called my doctor and he referred me to get some scans.”
Blood tests, a core biopsy and a PT scan would soon follow after doctors discovered a “little lump.”
“I remember getting the call from my doctor and he told me to come in but to bring my parents with me,” Nic recalls.
“I was so blasé and thought ‘I’ll be right’ but that’s when he broke it to me. He told me I had a form of testical cancer – my parents were a mess.
“The doctor then told me the pain in my tummy had absolutely nothing to do with cancer and that someone was watching over me to get me to go for check-up.”
The next few days were a rollercoaster of emotions for Nic. But not one to feel sorry for himself, he simply got on with things.
“I just started thinking ‘what do I need to do now,’” he says.
“Well, I need to walk my dog, pay my mortgage, go to work and get chemo. That was that.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
Nic underwent chemotherapy every 21 days for almost three months.
“It was a very taxing time in my life,” Nic continues, adding it also took a financial toll on him as well.
“Thousands and thousands of dollars I had to spend on medical bills.”
Naturally, Nic admits his thoughts eventually turned to fertility and whether or not he would be able to become a father in the future.
“That’s why before I started chemo, I put sperm in the bank so I have options,” Nic reveals.
But just when Nic thought the treatment was over, doctors found a small, potentially cancerous cell still remaining and as a precaution, Nic opted to have removed.
As a result, surgeons hit a nerve during the operation, which has now affected Nic’s ability to ejaculate.
“It’s a very awkward situation but basically, when I have sex and when I orgasm, nothing comes out,” the now 28-year-old explains.
“It just goes straight into my bladder.”
Despite this, Nic insists sex still feels the same.
“Everything works,” he laughs, making light of the situation.
“It feels normal – no mess, no drama.”
Currently in remission, Nic says while the diagnosis may have changed his life, it also blessed him with a new outlook, too.
“I grew as a person during that time,” he says.
“I realised what I want in life and what I deserve and I don’t want to settle for something I don’t deserve.
“For now, I’m trying to make the most of everything and Married At First Sight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m just thankful to be here.”