My name is Matt Lenze and I am a Survivor of Testicular Cancer


My name is Matt Lenze and I am a Survivor of Testicular Cancer since March 2009. Back in 2008, I was at the top of my game. I had a steady job and money was not a worry for me. I was confident that I could achieve all the things in life that I wanted; but one day I woke up with extreme lower back pain. I went to my chiropractor who said he couldn’t help me, so I tried going to work, but the pain was excruciating. I was sent home and told to bring a doctor’s excuse the next day.

My mother, who lived several hours away, told me to go to the emergency room. It was too painful to sit, stand, or walk, so I called my friend Ramon and he literally carried me to the car and took me to a local hospital. The doctor in the Emergency Room discovered that one of my testicles was hard, so he ordered an ultra sound. Cancer was discovered and the testicle was surgically removed.

I recovered from the surgery, but the back pain was still bad and no one knew why. I checked in to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, which has a LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center. They gave me very strong pain medicine and when I awoke, I was surrounded by doctors who assured me that they would find the source of the back pain. It turned out to be swollen lymph nodes along my spine. The cancer had already spread.

I began my Chemo therapy on Thanksgiving Day in 2008. It was very difficult. I had many dark days and I lost 20 lbs. of muscle right away. I leaned heavily on the prayers and support of others. Each round made me very sick and fearful. I lost more weight.

When I finished the fourth round, a PET scan indicated that I still needed surgery to remove the lymph nodes. It would be an even longer recovery. I guessed that I’d lose my job, and then my car, and apartment. I did not want more surgery but it was scheduled to be done in a few weeks. At the pre-op visit, I still did not want to have the surgery and my mom called me stubborn and bull headed. Just then I saw a very disfigured woman who had a neglected cancer. At that moment, I felt like God was telling me not to be like her.

One week before surgery a new PET scan showed that the chemo was working on the lymph nodes and I would not need the surgery. I could go back to work!

Three months later I was graduating from a Law Enforcement Training Academy and pursuing one of the dreams in my life. When my name was called, the fellow students who had supported me, cheered loudly. When I was asked about the cheers, I told the person handing me my diploma and badge that I was a cancer survivor. Suddenly, there were tears in his eyes and he said, “Matt, I am, too.”

I hope you are an “overcomer,” too. I want this story to push you through whatever obstacles you are facing in your life and give you a sense of hope.

-Matt Lenze
Harlingen 545


  1. Scott says:


    Congratulations on beating cancer and graduating from the Law Enforcement Training Academy. Way to go!!

    I am a survivor from 1999. If you’re curious about my story, you can read it here:

    Keep going forward!


  2. Mario Cabrera says:

    Your story is just like mine with the time frame, back pain, scans, and chemotherapy. I didn’t need more surgery for my lymphnodes though. I’m now 29 and in remmission.

  3. Zach Nethery says:


    Welcome to the brotherhood. The brotherhood of cancer survivors and law enforcement officers. Your story is very inspirational. I have my last round of chemo in a few weeks and then hopefully I will become a SURVIVOR of testicular cancer. Way to keep your head up and drive on. Stay safe out there.


  4. Dawn Sydenstricker says:

    I’m happy that you’re doing good. My husband found out he has TC on July 9, 2010. He had the same problems you did. He had lower back pain on the left side for 2 months, then it started to hurt really bad he had trouble doing anything especially when he was trying to sleep at night. He went to the er and they told him that he was hurting because he had a slipped disc. So he came home and tried to deal with the pain. He tried to deal with it for about 2 weeks then he started to pee blood, so he went back to the er and they ran tests alot of them. They diagnosed him with TC stage3. He’s been in the hospital a few times. They started him on chemo right away because his had spread all over. Then they found spots in his brain, so he’s doing radiation too. He’s still going through chemo and radiation. We won’t get to find out if all this is working, we have to wait until October when he goes back to Morgantown. But he’s been a fighter I hope he can continue. We are keeping the faith. I am glad that you are doing good now. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers:)

  5. Chris Overbeek says:

    That just made me cry. Just yesterday I got my ‘all-clear’ following surgery in March and 3 cycles of BEP May-July. I am also a survivor, but am still coming to grips with what that means to me…

  6. Jade Topp says:

    Matt, Congratulations on your survivorship! You are truly an inspiration! I applaud your tenacity and your ability to LIVESTRONG.
    I too am a cancer survivor two times. The first was Uterine & ovarian cancer to which I lost my ability to have any more children at only 29 years of age. I got angry but that anger soon turned into an empathy for others suffering with cancer. Three years later I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, the same cancer that had taken my Paternal Grandmother 3 months to the day before I was born. I have her first name as my middle name.
    I fought hard when it came to the Multiple Myeloma, the doctors only gave me 18months to live, I proved them wrong. Here I am 17 years later and celebrating my survivorship this month of 11 years. I chose no chemo as they only gave me a 40% chance of it helping & a 60% chance of it killing me.
    I chose my faith to get me through.
    You see, I was told I would never have anymore children shortly after I lost my daughter to SIDS, but God saw fit to give me a beautiful son that I cherish with every ounce of my being and for whom I fought to stay alive. I fought through prayer. When I went back to the doctors after going into remission spontaneously 11 years ago. They told me that they could not scientifically explain how I got through it and that it had to be a miracle “For those who believe no proof is necessary … for those who do not, none will do” ~ Author unknown but I feel credit should be given to whoever said it first.
    Back to you Matt, again I had tears in my eyes as I read your story & I thank God that you are now a survivor.
    I know that cancer can leave the body yet it never leaves our lives.
    Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story of courage with all of us.

  7. Bek says:

    My husband is also a TC survivor – 5 years this fall. He was diagnosed with stage 2C in July 2005 after his right leg swelled to nearly double the normal size. He had surgery to remove a 13 cm mass in his right pelvis, a right orchidectomy and 9 weeks of chemotherapy and is doing great. We are so grateful for his PMD for being so persistant in diagnosing his symptoms as well as his Oncologist for being such a compassionate doctor and newfound friend.
    Hang in there guys, as you all know it can be beat!

  8. Robert T says:

    Chris Overbeek and all others. First off, Matt, I’m very happy for you. I too am a TC survivor. I just celebrated my 3rd year cancer free on August 17. I’ll never forget the day the doctor told me I had cancer. I was in awe. Chris, your response struck something in me. In the beginning it was more to deal with, coming to grips with what being a survivor means to me. In the beginning it was WHY did I survive and so many others do not? Not a day goes by that I don’t remember being a survivor and what I need to do to stay a survivor.

  9. Great story Matt, my dad was a testicular cancer survivor. He was 63 when he had his surgery/radiaton and he lived till he was 82. Sadly another cancer got him. Hopefully your story will help others seek help immediately! I have heard stories of men waiting, thinking it would go away. If something isn’t right, see a doctor right away!

  10. Mack says:

    Matt! Way to go! And good to see that you are still going strong and inspiring others.

    Your LEO Classmate,


  11. jill says:

    My husband is a five year testicular cancer survivor! He also had one testicle removed and then from there we went on to Indianapolis (IUPUI) same place and group of docs that saved Lance Armstrong. 4 lymph nodes removed and many staples up his chest. Many rounds of chemo and many chocolate milkshakes he is well. It was hell to go through we had to elementary age daughters and year old twins. Thanks to family and friends we made it. Congrats to you! Jill

  12. Mattias Lindberg says:


  13. Jim De Noble says:

    Matt is the definition of a survior and a fighter. For him to overcome cancer and graduate from such a physcially and mentally challenging Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy, speaks volumes on his determination and strength. I am lucky to say that I had the pleasure of being one of his classmates at that Academy and witnessed this firsthand. Way to go Lenze, a truly inspiring story. Big Kats 9-2-8!

  14. Stacy Flynn says:

    Congrats Matt on becoming a member of the Thin Blue line. Like you I am also a TC survivor. 09/09/09 is My Livestrong Day. So far I am cancer free and living life to the fullest. Sounds like you are living by the Livestrong creed. Keep your chin up and if the lead flys keep your head down. Do it to them before they do it to you.

  15. Leta Wilburn says:

    SURVIVOR….. Accepting, challenging, fighting, accomplishing, surviving.
    Congratualations!!!!! YOU ara a SURVIVOR!!!

  16. Rich Seiling says:

    Thanks Matt for sharing your story and showing the courage with which you faced it. By the grace of Jesus, I too am a survivor or testicular cancer, just over one year strong, and trying to apply all I’ve learned to living as a survivor. You can read my story at

  17. robert rickards says:

    well done matt, i am a survivor of 16 years, i had testicular cancer in 1994, had B. E. P. chemo and an orchidectomy one thing will pull people through this terrible disease and that is the love of your family, i am a very lucky man to have the one that i have and for me the whole thing i went through we did together, best wishes rob

  18. Hi Matt
    You’re story has SO many simalarities with mine … especially the excrutiating back pain, etc. … it always ‘dampens the eyes’ to read of a brother survivor!!!
    BEST regards

  19. Rick Croney says:

    Hi Matt and all the other Survivors,

    It’s great to read about all the success stories. I underwent surgery for TC last week and had one testicle removed. Now, I’m waiting for CT scan to determine if the cancer has spread anywhere else.

    It helps to read about all the Survivors. Still working on being able to include myself on that list.

    Enjoy the brotherhood, I too am a member of the Thin Blue Line.

    Thanks, Rick

  20. Ray Johnson says:

    Hope your well and stay that way for life! I’m in the prostate brotherhood! 49th B-day last yr. get the physical as every year. Low and behold cancer. Heavy jock my whole life in running, biking, tennis and hoops!Did the surgery kept the athletics going and I’m clean! Love the Livestrong Family! Do all you can when you can and keep the fight alive! Good to hear your around!! Thanks Ray

  21. Natalie Shamie says:

    Hi all,
    i wish i knew of all these wonderful stories in Feb of 2009 when my husband (29 years old) was diagnosed with TC. he felt like he had no where to turn to/anyone to talk to. he is a firefighter and we were married for a few months when the diagnosis occured. Surgery and radiation were required and in february 2010 his tests showed the cancer was in remission! We then faced the battle of not being able to naturally have children due to the cancer/treatment. we were lucky enough to have banked sperm before the procedure. We are sucessfully pregnant with our first baby and are looking foreward to living strong and spreading the word about early TC detection!
    stay strong everyone!

  22. The Amateur says:

    Amazing story, there’s life after cancer!

  23. kevin says:

    tc survivor myself. Livestrong!! God Bless

  24. Angela says:

    My 6 year old daughter (now 7) was diagnosed with the girl version (ovarian cancer) this past March. Stage 3 Mixed Malignant Germ Cell Tumor 98% Chariocarcinoma resulting in the removal of her left ovary and fallopian tube. She was put on a study to lessen the amount of chemo she was exposed to. I was so thankful my husband and I decided to do that because by the last dose she was so sick, throwing up and neuropathy in her legs and feet. She lost all her hair 10 days after her first dose, so upsetting for a little first grader. She had to undergo a second surgery the first day of summer vacation this year because the follow up CT showed another mass. Luckily there was no malignancy in the mass and last bloodwork finally revealed normal tumor markers. We have a lot more testing and follow to go but I feel very confident that she will live strong like all you guys….

  25. Destiny says:

    Thank God for cancer survivors and for LEOs. I have both in my life, and I am so grateful for them all.

  26. Tamra says:

    My 17 year old son, Jarrod, started his Sr. of high school this week. He received his “all clear” about three weeks ago after 4 cycles of chemo for testicular cancer. He is my hero. He was sixteen when diagnosed. He has been such a trooper and inspiration.

    Thanks, Matt, for your story!

  27. Nancy says:

    My son is also a TC survivor for over 3 years now. My oldest brother had it in 1978 and did great until 1994 when he got stomach cancer. He couldn’t survive that unfortunately. Cancer sucks!!!

    I’m happy you are doing well, Matt and all the rest of you who are surviving. God bless you all.

  28. Congrats on making it through treatment, Matt. I too experienced the ups and downs of TC treatment and am extremely happy to be cancer-free now.

  29. Kia says:

    You are a blessing and true inspiration to never give up, anything is worth over coming if you believe and have faith.

  30. Angie Maldonado says:

    I am so proud of you and how you stayed strong and never gave up!
    You are a true hero!!! I believe that your strong faith in God helped you
    to become stronger and stronger everyday. All our prayers were answered!
    May God bless you always!!!
    Lots of love,

  31. Lisa says:

    my husband was diagnosed with Tc had surgery and ishaving radiation, he wants to continue excercise is this ok??

    1. Lisa- thats a conversation he will ultimately need to talk with his doctor about, but we would be glad to see what kind of advice we can offer. Have him give us a call 1-866-673-7205.

  32. Jessica Morgan says:

    You are a very special person. You are the best brother I could ever ask for. As your sister you make me very proud. I feel like a survivor as well. Everything that our family has gone through has strengthened us. You are such an inspiration. Continue to be great and blessing others with your story.
    Love you blood,

  33. Jimmy says:


    As a brother in Christ, It good to know that your story finally published on LIVESTRONG!

    Have faith.

    Your coworker,


  34. Ted Koncsol says:

    It is a priveledge to know you and call you a friend. I don’t know if I have any friends who have such a deep seated faith as you do. In our conversations while you were fighting your battle, you spoke to me of how your faith was tested, and renewed. HE does work in mysterious ways.
    It was nice to speak to you this day, and to read this post, and the testimonies of others. To all of you who have fought their battle, congratulations. To those who are fighting now, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP. Use Matt as an example. Please don’t quit. I pray for all of you, and God Bless.

  35. Jsia says:


    I know you can do a lot of things in your life! The first time I met you at FLETC, you told me that you are a cancer survivor. I saw you grew strong. I remember seeing you the first time during our P.T. session; you were weak! You became stronger as our academy goes by. Just don’t forget that God has a plan for you. Whetever that is – his will, will be done!

  36. Mesothelioma cancers are the cancers that spread in the mesothelium tissues. Mesothelium in general is the name of tissue that kinds lining of different body organs akin to heart, lungs, abdomen and reproductive organs. The liner around abdominal organs is called peritoneal membrane. Lining round lungs is named pleural membrane whereas the lining round heart is named pericardium.

  37. Jen Wortmann says:

    Thank you so much for telling your story.

    Thank you for sharing your worries about work and finances (concerns that can get overlooked) and for sharing the encouragement you found in your faith.

  38. J. SOTO says:

    Hey POPS, way to go remember that with faith you can do anything. Livestrong!!

    Your LEO classmate ICE/DRO 928,

  39. D. Brown says:

    Keep living strong brother…. May god continue to bless you with the strenght & will to push on…

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