“I survived cancer three times during my 20s”
Andy Zagami, 29, has endured seven surgeries and eight rounds of chemotherapy following three cancer diagnoses. He talks to Libby Hakim about how he coped and found health and happiness
“In 2007, I celebrated my 21st birthday, started my personal training business and was diagnosed with testicular cancer, all in three months. I had no indication until I woke up after a party with what I thought was a hangover.
The next day I still felt sick and by lunchtime I was in agony. Suspecting appendicitis, my GP immediately sent me to a surgeon, who found a lump in the centre of my chest. They guessed it had been there from birth, but there were also lumps on one of my testicles, and I was told I’d need to go into surgery the next morning.
After the surgery, I woke up and saw Mum crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “You’ve got cancer.” I remember giving two thumbs up, saying “cool” and going back to sleep. In the following months I had three rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to remove lymph nodes in my stomach and a tumour wrapped around my aorta.
My doctors were surprised