“I was completely shocked when I found out I had breast cancer,” the 38-year-old said. “It was one of those eye-opening experiences. If this is what I have, then I’ll make sure to share my story whenever possible.”
On Feb. 14, 2016, Glencamp said his wife, Stephanie, noticed an odd lump on his left pectoral. At the time, Glencamp said he was working out more than usual and losing weight, so his doctor thought the mass was just fatty tissue or a cyst.
He later had a mammogram taken and was scheduled for a fine needle biopsy. Glencamp said he delayed the biopsy because he wanted to finish a six-week fitness bootcamp, which he had just started.
“I was so intent on becoming the biggest loser during the fitness camp,” he said. “And, I won. The main purpose of it was fitness. I lost 22 pounds and several inches.”
Two days after a pathologist conducted the biopsy, Glencamp said he got a phone call telling him he had breast cancer.
Times Talks | With those diagnosed with cancer
What: Local residents with cancer diagnoses, including Aubrey Glencamp, share their stories of how the disease changed them and their perspectives
When: 3 p.m. Oct. 19
Where: Virtual event on Zoom
Glencamp returned to his doctor who revealed that the cancer was stage 2 and HER2-positive, a more aggressive type of breast cancer.
He was scheduled to run a Spartan obstacle race two days later, and instead of canceling, Glencamp said he pushed on.
“I said, ‘I’m going to do it,’” he recounted.
Before his surgery to have a double mastectomy, Glencamp said his doctor recommended him to a fertility clinic, explaining that his cancer treatment would decrease the chances of having a baby with his wife.
Just two days until the mastectomy, Glencamp's wife found out she was pregnant with a baby girl.
“I call her my miracle,” he said referring to his daughter, Chloe. “I was overjoyed. It was one of those things that prepares you to get well as soon as possible.”
Surgeons removed three of Glencamp’s lymph nodes and performed a double mastectomy. Like women, he said a double mastectomy for men involves removing breast tissue to treat and prevent breast cancer. He then started his chemotherapy at Emory’s cancer center in the summer of 2016.
While battling his cancer, Glencamp said he noticed that most of the informational material about breast cancer was geared toward women, which made him feel like an outlier. When he would look for people to relate to on YouTube, he said that more women were sharing their experiences.
The Male Breast Cancer Association later reached out to Glencamp, and he said they welcomed him with open arms. Since teaming up with the group, Glencamp said he has been able to not only hear stories from other male breast cancer survivors but share his own.
Glencamp is in the works of starting his own blog to help other men with breast cancer who feel helpless or alone in their journey.
“It sucks,” he said “I would tell them (men with breast cancer) that it’s OK to have those bad days, but just think of the outcome. Don’t wait. If you see something and feel something, make sure to get checked out.”
Although the treatment proved a brutal journey, Glencamp said he still held his senior project manager job with InComm, a manufacturer in Atlanta, spending workdays both at home and in the office.
Because his wife was pregnant at the time, she couldn’t visit him in the infusion suite while he went through chemotherapy. However, Glencamp said one of his best friends and several family members made sure to pop by.
“I rung the bell at the facility in December (2016), signifying the end of my journey,” he said. “It was close to Christmas. My daughter was born three weeks later in January.”
So far, Glencamp said his cancer hasn’t reappeared. He now lives in Oakwood with his wife and daughter and makes an effort to stay engaged with both Relay for Life of Hall County and The Male Breast Cancer Coalition.
Glencamp is raising money for Relay for Life with the goal of $1,500. All donations will go toward funding the American Cancer Society’s research and programs.
“Come out and support Relay for Life when you can,” he said. “You never know who you’re going to impact.”