Mike Riddell is a survivor of testicular cancer and one of the inspirations for FIT FACE’s healthy grooming products. We think his story should be shared. This is the second part of our 2-part post.
Testicular Cancer – Moving On.
How about the details…the piping…what’s up there? You have a baby so things must still work…is that the norm for survivors of testicular cancer?
I do have a baby! Evangeline Rose Riddell, born June 18 (a special date to the founder of FitFace [side note from Jordan: June 18 is my birthday, so, yes, a special day]). My wife and I got married in June of last year, so yeah, you could say that the “piping still works.” I wasn’t too aware of it before my surgery, but apparently us men only have one testicle that is functioning (delivering testosterone) at any given time. This is why the doctors were so eager to get my ‘bad ball’ removed, it was to save the good ball. So I think it is the norm for doctors to recommend removal right away, before biopsy, because all the ‘bits and pieces’ work fine with just one.
What was/is the hardest part or period of having cancer?
I think the hardest part in the beginning was just the unknown: at first, I didn’t know if the mass was something they’d need to remove, then I didn’t know if the mass was cancerous, then I didn’t know if the cancer had spread, then I didn’t know if the cancer would come back. I suppose I still don’t know if the cancer will come back, but dealing with all those unknowns really built up my faith. When there is so much out of your power, there’s no point in stressing over it or worrying about it.
How are the decisions you make and your lifestyle influenced by being a cancer survivor? Have you made any changes in your life? Can you say there was something good that came out of it? If so, what?
I’m going to answer these together because I think there’s definitely good to come out of it. Since the surgery, I’ve almost made it my way of life to never take anything too seriously. While there are absolutely things to take seriously – faith, family, loved ones – there is also SO MUCH which we, as a society, tend to take so seriously. Politics, traffic, parking tickets, running late to dinner, the list goes on and on.
When you find yourself freaking out or stressing out, just TRANQUILO – take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask what your freaking/stressing about. Is it worth it?! Probably not. As I mention above, there are so many people who went through WAY tougher battles with cancer than I did, and if you’ve been able to overcome something like that, who cares if the Rams don’t convert that 3rd down!?! (Well, bad example, because I really care about the Rams). But you get the point – don’t waste your time worrying about things that you can’t control or that aren’t important. Instead, focus on the things that matter: God, your family, your spouse, your kid(s), your best friends. Treasure each moment!
Guys can sometimes shy away from talking about any issues we might have, especially if those issues have to do with our balls. But is there anything you would say to dudes about what you’ve been through that you think they should hear?
Other than my passionate locker room speech in the above answer, I think dudes already know by now to go to a doctor if they think they have issues with their balls. Fifteen years ago it may have been more taboo to get your balls inspected, but hey, you gotta do it. Even if, hypothetically speaking, the general practioner claims that “it’s nothing”, it’s still important to get it checked out.
Are you growing anything for Movember?
I’m not this year – I tried a beard for a while a few years ago, but it’s hard to rock the facial hair when I’m in court once a week.
When Jordan crashed at your place several years ago and used your shower and bathroom he saw products with harmful ingredients, which of course gave rise to the creation of Fit Face as a healthy alternative. Has your decision making changed at all since then about the products you buy for your body?
I was flattered slash embarrassed slash honored to be part of “The FitFace Story”, and I definitely remembered when you were horrified to see some of those products. I have changed a little bit (something I probably wouldn’t have thought several years ago), but as you’ll see below, it’s almost like I’ve taken all your knowledge and am trying to apply it to our daughter. I am much more conscious about what our family uses, and my wife has a lot to do with that to her credit.
Honestly now, how much of your body products do you buy vs. your wife buys for you?
I probably buy the majority of stuff I use, though sometimes I’ll use her “healthy, organic, lotions made from decades old rainbows.” I’m a simple man: give me some aftershave (FitFace), lotion (FitFace), Cleanser (FitFace), shampoo, and sunscreen (FitFace), and I’m set.
What’s your favorite Fit Face product and why?
The face lotion! I love the face lotion and a little goes an extremely long way. I use it in the mornings and night and I think I’ve had the same bottle for two months. I’m sure other name brands wouldn’t even last half as long.
You just got married…how did you and your wife meet?
I did (!) and I couldn’t’ be happier. We met on eHarmony – I was at the point in my life where I figured, ‘Why not?!’ and created a profile. A few days after making my profile, though, I went on a two week trip to Europe, so when I later found my first match (my wife), she had known about our match for a few weeks and was slightly offended I hadn’t contacted her earlier. All joking aside, I highly recommend eHarmony – through their process / emails / questions, it enabled us to get to know each other so well even before our first date. Then when we actually met, it was game over.
And you just had a baby! Does being a cancer survivor influence any way that you raise your child or the products you buy?
It’s funny, because all the things you told me when you saw what products I used all those years ago is almost exactly how I feel about products for our baby. My wife is the same way, but I’m maybe a little too cautious about putting any products on her (lotions, etc.)
It’s hard to say how me being a cancer survivor will influence how I raise our daughter – I think that everything I’ve learned from that experience 14 years has been so ingrained in who I am that I can’t really differentiate “Mike the Cancer Survivor” from just Mike. I suppose the one way it will be beneficial is for when our daughter inevitably deals with her own obstacles, and I hopefully be able to impart some wisdom from time to time to help her overcome those obstacles.