Despite stopping my in-person therapy sessions back in June, I knew I still needed to mentally process what I had gone through. Luckily, the Movember Foundation suggested I try a program called eTC Express, an online therapy program designed specifically for testicular cancer survivors.
Within the program, there are six modules in total: Foundations, After Treatment, Changes, Being A Man, Significant Others, and Moving Forward. While some of the modules were more applicable to me, I still had access to them all.
Each module has a variety of tasks, with some reading of texts, videos, and audio files. The modules focus a lot on putting “tools in your toolbox” to deal with the new life you’re now facing. Personally, I think they should have called them “skills in a sack,” but maybe their pun game isn’t as strong. Some of these tools include mindfulness, worry postponement, challenging unhelpful thoughts, and many more.
At one point, I had to list what’s important to me. Some things I would have definitely included prior to cancer didn’t even cross my mind, which surprised me to see in writing.
Part of eTC is to evaluate your levels of distress every few modules. Mine are slightly higher than normal, with my one year of diagnosis coming up. A few days after indicating this, I got an email from Dr. Ben Smith, who is actually in a number of the videos. He reached out personally to make sure I was okay and to offer his help. Even though he’s halfway around the world in Australia, he was happy to offer his assistance.
Module Six, Moving Forward, was my personal favorite. That’s the point I was at when I was in the program – needing to move forward but not feeling sure of where to go. I’ve been grappling with this notion that cancer was a terrible thing, but also a great thing for me, in an odd way. This module specifically touched on it, which made me feel like I’m not alone in that reaction.
eTC was exactly what I needed. While I wasn’t sharing my personal feelings to a living human while awkwardly lounging on a couch, the words and the testimonials from the other survivors articulated what I was feeling. It was a solid start to really honing in on what I needed to move forward.
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