In a three-part series starting Sunday (10/19) on the 11 p.m. news, NBC10 morning anchor Terry Ruggles will talk about his battle with testicular cancer. This is a story without a clear ending.
Ruggles, who has worked for WCAU for 34 of his 62 years, told me that he discovered a lump late this summer while showering. "I knew what it is," he said. "What else can it be? It came out of nowhere." He went to the urologist, who sent him for an ultrasound. "When the tech came in with the doctor, I knew I was in trouble. 'Mr. Ruggles, you have a half an inch mass in your left testicle.'"
The testicle was removed. "I operate on one cylinder," he offered.
Doctors are now weighing chemo or radiation, he said.
Ruggles told me he finds it "disarming, in a way. I know there was this thing inside me that could be lethal."
He said he considered keeping quiet about it, as he took vacation time after the surgery. But a network program on early cancer detection made him want to speak out. "It's kind of embarrassing," Ruggles said about the type of cancer. "It's a personal thing. But wait a minute. It's just part of the body and it's a cancer. If I can tell my story and convince someone to take action, that's the right thing. ... Part of our duty as communicators is setting examples. I may be kind of embarrassed but it's important that people have to take action early."
He said Lance Armstrong's book about testicular cancer "scared the hell out of me." Armstrong waited awhile after discovering the lump, which can double in size every two weeks.