Ross Hutchins overwhelmed by support since announcing he has cancer
Ross Hutchins is aiming to get back on a tennis court as soon as possible after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Last Updated: 10/01/13 7:12am
The British Davis Cup player, who announced on Sunday via Twitter that he had been diagnosed with cancer, will undergo his first chemotherapy session at the Royal Marsden Hospital on Thursday.
"They've been absolutely brilliant," he said of the hospital. "I feel very confident that they're going to do the best for me.
"I don't find it that scary, I'm ready for the treatment. The mentality I have is the sooner I begin the chemotherapy, the sooner I can get this out of my body and get back on court.
"The wait is the tough part. I want to fight this thing."
Hutchins initially saw a kidney specialist, who gave him the all-clear, after being troubled by back pain before then being sent to a chest specialist because tests showed he had pneumonia.
He added: "She (the chest specialist) said I had enlarged lymph nodes in my chest close to my heart, which could mean my body was fighting an infection or I could have lymphoma.
"As soon as she said it I could kind of tell she felt it was more likely it was cancer.
"That was obviously a shock at the time. You automatically think it could be dangerous, that it would mean a long time out of the game. Christmas was coming up and you do think about what's going to happen.
"I had a biopsy and on December 27 I had the call that I had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Obviously that was tough, but I found it tougher to take the first time they mentioned what it might be and I realised it could be life-changing.
"I'd had time to prepare for it, so he was telling me what I already thought. It was very tough for 20 minutes but after that I settled down and realised I had to get on with it and my next question was about treatment and what happened next."
Hutchins admits he has been overwhelmed by the messages of support he has received, including one from long-time friend Andy Murray during the Scot's trophy presentation at the Brisbane International.
"We're very close," Hutchins said of his occasional doubles partner. "He's one of my best friends, if not my best friend. When he said it I knew immediately it was for me, and the message he wrote too.
"Andy's been absolutely brilliant. He was the first person I told outside my family. I told him I wanted him to know before it got out because I want him with me on this one.
"He wants to know every day how I'm feeling and what's happening, whether it's bad or good. It's great to have people who you can be completely honest with.
"It makes me feel good that he won Brisbane. It was obviously very upsetting for him to hear but I was pleased he was able to focus on the tournament. I knew he would be able to, I wouldn't have told him if I didn't think he could handle it."