“We were in the middle of the Championship. I kind of felt a lump. I said something wasn’t right.”
Cavan footballer Oisin Kiernan joined Friday night’s Late Late Show as part of Daffodil Day and opened up about his own battle with testicular cancer.
Kiernan played a vital part in Cavan’s Ulster campaign, which saw the Breffni County seal a first provincial title since 1997.
The Cavan defender explained when he first discovered a lump – when his club were in the middle of the Championship – and how he went going about getting help.
“We were in the middle of the Championship. I kind of felt a lump,” Kiernan told Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ.
“I said something wasn’t right. I mentioned it to Dad then. Obviously he has history of it.
“It needs to be checked out, the sooner the better”@KiernanOisin talks how important it is to act immediately if you’re concerned about cancer.
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) March 26, 2021
“He said, ‘just go over to my GP’ in Coole. I went for a scan then the next day.
“I had to ring Donal Keogan (my club manager) and tell him I was diagnosed that morning.”
"The image is irrelevant, it's all about your health."
— Irish Cancer Society (@IrishCancerSoc) March 26, 2021
Kiernan didn’t realise how big a deal it was until he saw the reaction of his club teammates.
“When Donal told the players that day and I could see the shock on their faces,” he recalled.
“That’s what really got me more, because I got a bit taken back by that.
“At the time, I didn’t see it as a massive deal and I saw their reaction, so I thought maybe it’s a bit bigger than it is.”
Kiernan had to have one of his testicles removed but unfortunately his cancer spread, meaning he had to undergo chemotherapy.
Unbelievably, he continued to train with the Cavan footballers while receiving his treatment and returned to the sport on March 24 last year when he came on against champions Dublin in the National Football League.
It was just six weeks after completing chemotherapy and two weeks after getting the all-clear.
Cavan went on to win the 2020 Ulster title, with Kiernan playing a crucial role in their unlikely victory.