Survivor Story: Jonathan Little

Bringing a Positive Mindset and Humor to His Cancer Journey

Life was going well for Jonathan Little. He owned several tech companies. He was in his early 40s, married with two young children and living in the countryside just outside of London.

Then one day he developed an itch and penile discharge. He found he had a lump on the head of his penis. He visited his doctor, who gave him cream to treat it. The lump continued to get bigger, more painful and itchy. He started to develop a dull ache on one side of his groin, and he could feel a lump under his skin.

His doctor referred him to a urologist, who immediately diagnosed him with penile cancer. He was referred to a surgeon, who told him he needed surgery right away. The lump in his groin was growing very big—to the size of a tennis ball. “Those three days between the surgeon consultation and the surgery were very difficult. When I went into the operating room, I didn’t know what I’d wake up with,” he said.

When Jonathan woke up from surgery, the first thing he remembers is the surgeon telling him it went well. “Then I learned that the surgery was just the beginning of the journey,” he said. Jonathan underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was difficult, especially at the beginning. He felt ill from the chemotherapy and tired, sore and irritable from the radiotherapy.

Today, Jonathan has been in remission for almost two years. He goes back for scans every two to three months, and that will continue until five years after the surgery. To help him cope with his cancer journey, Jonathan started writing a blog. It reflects both his experience with penile cancer and his sense of humor.

His advice for people going through any type of cancer treatment is to ask questions. “Doctors use terminology that people don’t really understand,” he said. “Ask for clarification. What does this mean to me? What’s going to happen? How are you going to do it? How long will it take? What are the side effects?”

"A person who has just found out they have cancer should take things one day at a time", Jonathan says. “You’ll get through it by not thinking too far ahead.” He says it’s important to have other people to go on the journey with them. “Sometimes you have to find strength in other people,” he said. “You need to buddy up.”

For more information, check out this Urology Care Podcast episode on Jon's story. His humor, positive attitude and "one step at a time" mindset are just a few things that make his story so interesting. 

Read more Survivor Stories here!  |  WINTER 2021-2022  |  UROLOGYHEALTH extra