A True Test of Mind Over Matter

Matter over mind 3

As we recorded the podcast I was wreathing with sharping pains throughout my groin and testicle area, for about 20 mins in total. Hopefully, you don’t hear it in my voice during Ep 100, but my goodness that was painful.

The really odd thing is that I woke up on Mar 10th with an incredibly swollen right testicle area the next day.  Difficult to know what was going on, but I tried to get in to see the specialist earlier by driving to the hospital, but the earliest is my 14:45 pm appointment. I am not fully panicked at this time, but it is odd, surreal and time for something to be done now.

Mind over matter 3

The specialist was quick and to the point.  We need to get my abnormality removed via surgery. The next 2 hours was a whirlwind, yet a present whirlwind.  A paradox of presence, out of body and gratitude. I was booked into the hospital for a CT-scan the following Thursday 12th, some blood tests to measure my markets were taken that same afternoon and I should be in for surgery to have one of my testicles removed within the next 2 weeks. It seems surreal writing that on this page, but if you could see and experience the abnormality at this time, this will be a relief.

I have received world-class care so far, world-class support and a truly humane experience at a time of deep personal need.

I remain deeply hopeful of a successful surgery and another 25 years with my wife and our extended family.

For sure I feel mortal.

For sure I am nervous.

Yet I am hopeful and grateful.  I truly feel that my mind is present and not revving up due to the matter in hand.

The mind on 11th Mar 2020

My wife in consultation with our eldest step-daughter dropped everything to come and be with me in advance of my CT-scan tomorrow.

Such a mixture of emotions.





It was a poignant, somber evening but not unhappy.  Just the first time we had seen each other since the previous Sunday.  A lot has happened since then. Yet the support, love, and care of humanity, close friends and families, friends in the wider network and even looser ties, all offering genuine, heart-felt messages of support is just so humbling.

We truly are all connected.

Later that afternoon I got a call from the urology department at the hospital that my surgery had been booked for 07:15 am on Fri 20th March, in advance of my CT-scan results coming back.

The matter on 12th Mar 2020

Having my wife Jackie with me today meant the absolute world. To have her next to me and with me these past days has transformed my relatively hopeful thinking and my experience to outright positivity and optimism.  My thinking had levelled up somehow. I feel the most hopeful to date this week, I feel energised and I feel ready for today’s CT-scan and getting this surgery completed.

There is a little niggle, honestly at this time, that I hope that whatever is going on is not spreading elsewhere in my body, but staying away from that thought process is important.  Everything that can be done is being done. The NHS is beyond amazing, the care the support and the energy of these giving humans is so under-represented.

The CT-scan – 12th Mar 2020

Having to wear PJs with no back and an over-gown and not much else was not my finest moment, but the experience was exactly as the radiologist explained. 5 mins with my hands held above my head as the CT-scan did its work.  During the process I had a dye injected into my body to help the imaging show up more clearly.

Jackie and I had a Starbucks afterward and some food as I had to fast from breakfast time and boy I was hungry 😊

The surgery – 19th Mar 2020 (the ultimate test of mind over matter)

I was grateful, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 challenges, that the hospital was able to bring my surgery forward to Thurs 19th Mar. The surgery was a radical orchidectomy.  In layman’s terms, my right testicle was due to be removed today.  Maybe it isn’t cancer, maybe it is a cyst that has gone haywire.  Whatever it is, it needs to come out and today is the day. From the moment we arrived at 12: 00 pm to the moment I was wheeled out by my wife Jackie to the car in a wheelchair at 18:30 pm the same day, I received world-class, incredible care.

  • The receptionist
  • The first nurse Arthur
  • The second nurse
  • The anaesthetist
  • The surgeon
  • The third nurse Kristen
  • The fourth nurse Amy

I really tried to capture everybody’s names with Jackie’s support, but with everything that was going on, we did not fully achieve our objective!

This was only the second time that I had experienced anaesthetic and my goodness, it was surreal. The last thing I remember the anaesthetist say was “I will be with you throughout the whole procedure.”  The next moment, literally, I was waking up and having an egg sandwich.

Fast forward 5 days to Tues 24th Mar and I am recovering well. I have had my dressing changed and the wound is healing well with, so far, no infection and no issues. I do await the call from the histologist to advise if there is any further treatment required or if the removal has cleared my issue.

Oddly, all the way throughout 19th Mar 2020, my surgery day, I felt calm, present and hopeful. My mind appears to have stayed strong and not allowed the matter in hand to trigger overthinking.

I sit here grateful for so much.

I sit here hopeful for so much.

I cannot exercise for 4 weeks and cannot drive for at least 2 weeks, but this in the scale of the world all seems very manageable.


Men – please check your testicles regularly.

Everybody – realise that your thoughts create your reality, not the matter in hand, even if it is potentially cancer.

I hope that these reflections serve you somehow.


Garry Turner
Garry Turner
Combining a powerful mix of international sales and culture expertise, Garry is facilitating individual and team transformations as an interpersonal catalyst. With over 20 years of sales and relationship building experience and qualified in organisational design and development, learning & development and as a chartered member of the CIPD, he focuses on bringing intentional human-centred working to all walks of life, and has the evidence to validate this necessary paradigm shift. Whether through connection-centred workshops, keynote talks, live events or through Thinking Partnerships, Garry is driven by his two non-negotiable core values of growth and connection.

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  1. Many doctors have told me that the mindset/attitude of the patient is 80% of the healing process. Sounds like you have that in hand, though it isn’t always easy. Get well and hold to that positive attitude. Thanks for taking us along on your healing journey.