Comedian Michael Shafar had been feeling sick for months. His right testicle had been growing bigger and bigger, he had back pain and was feeling "fluey."
But he kept pushing the symptoms to the side. It was 2017. He was 26. And he was enjoying a rise to notoriety in the comedy world.
If it wasn't for his girlfriend Amanda, Michael probably wouldn't have even gone to the doctor at all. Even once he was there, he avoided talking about his balls at first, focusing instead on his flu symptoms.
Watch: Shafer on stage talking about his cancer. Post continues after video.
"I almost didn't bring up the testicular issues until the last second where I was like, 'while you're here, I think my right testicle is getting big, do you mind having a look at it?'" Michael recalled on Mamamia's news podcast The Quicky.
"I had him look at it in a round-a-bout way, I think I was y'know embarrassed like most guys. You don't want to show your genitals to some guy you don't know that well. He had a look and was like yeah, I think we'll send you off for an ultrasound and a blood test."
It was a Friday, and the results came back by that afternoon. He had testicular cancer. By Monday, Michael was in surgery having his right testicle removed and by the Thursday he'd started chemotherapy.
Listen to Michael's chat with The Quicky. Post continues after podcast.
"If my girlfriend had not been that encouraging, I might not have gone to the doctor that day, and I might not be speaking to you right now," he said. "I only went to the doctor because Amanda was the one planting the idea in my head to take it seriously."
It took five rounds of surgery and six months of chemotherapy, but nine months into his cancer journey Michael was told he was cancer free. It stayed that way for two years until July 2020 when a routine scan told him something was growing in his abdomen.
Michael went in for more chemotherapy in 2020 and celebrated his last day in hospital in November. It was also his 30th birthday.