Former Olympic rower Sam Loch has revealed how a spot on his shin turned out to be a melanoma just weeks after his wife Frances Abbott announced her pregnancy.
The 37-year-old, from Sydney but now lives in Portland, Oregon, underwent surgery about a week ago to have the cancer removed from his shin and four lymph nodes from his groin to ‘see if the issue had spread further’.
In a lengthy post on social media, the bodybuilder – who’s expecting his first child with the daughter of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott – said he ‘f***ed up’ because ‘it took years’ for him to ‘do something about the moles that seemed a bit iffy’.
‘Firstly, it’s definitely good news as far as all are concerned. The one on my shin was the most problematic issue, but not the only one. I have another date with a scalpel this week, but it is much better than it could have been,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘Here’s the important part – it didn’t need to be this way. I f***ed up and now I have a partly f***ed up tattoo to remind me.
‘My sun smartness in recent years has improved greatly, but overall it’s been rarely diligent, generally lax and often with complete disregard for the risks I knew well.’
Former Olympic rower Sam Loch (pictured in hospital a week ago before undergoing surgery to remove the cancer on his leg) has revealed how a spot on his shin turned out to be a melanoma just weeks after his wife Frances Abbott announced her pregnancy
The 37-year-old, from Sydney but now lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Frances Abbott, underwent surgery about a week ago to have the cancer removed from his shin and four lymph nodes from his groin to ‘see if the issue had spread further’
Loch underwent surgery about a week ago to have the cancer removed from his shin and four lymph nodes from his groin to ‘see if the issue had spread further’. While he hasn’t pinpointed exactly where the mole is, he explained the melanoma was removed from his shin
Loch said it wasn’t until years after his ‘great mate’ battled cancer and his wife getting pregnant he finally decided to go get his skin checked.
For most of his life, the athlete – who’s a two time bronze medal winner and a world record holder for rowing machine – said he put sport first before his health.
‘I refused to think more than four years into the future and often much less than that. Performance was so important to me that health was only relevant insofar as it fed performance and long-term health was basically irrelevant,’ Loch explained.
‘Not all and perhaps not most, but many elite athletes think this way. However, it should only be on very limited occasions that you put your health at the expensive of performance – Olympics, World Cups, World Records – that sort of thing.
‘Ideally it never happens, but certainly not as a default position. Athletes can develop somewhat of a paranoia around doctors because they are the people that, if you tell them what’s wrong with you, can stop you doing the singular pursuit you have in life.
‘But what are your options here really? You’ve only got one life and it extends beyond your years of peak athleticism. So, take care of yourself and especially if it’s because you’re lazy and/or scared (men, mostly).’
Frances Loch announced earlier this month she’s expecting a baby with her husband Sam Loch. She shared a candid picture of herself cradling her burgeoning bump
The pair were legally married at a registry in February 2018 (pictured showing off their wedding bands after getting married on Valentine’s Day)
His revelation comes just weeks after Frances announced on Instagram she’s expecting a baby with her husband.
The 29-year-old fitness instructor shared a picture of herself cradling her burgeoning bump, with the caption: ‘Big little baby Loch. Joining the party Summer ’21.’
The exciting baby news comes after the couple moved from Sydney to the US to start a new life together.
The pair tied the knot in a surprise wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day 2018 just three months after she met the bodybuilder in November 2017 – and got engaged two weeks later.
‘Two weeks was all it took to know that forever with you was a mighty fine idea,’ she wrote in an Instagram post at the time of their shock engagement.
Frances said the proposal happened in the kitchen when Sam popped the question as she was putting peas in the freezer.
During the proposal, Sam had a bottle of champagne in his hands and cleverly convinced her to ask him why.
When she obliged, he replied that he brought it to drink after he asked her to marry him.
That was two weeks after they first met, and the couple waited another two weeks before telling the world about their whirlwind romance.
The couple moved from Sydney to the US to start a new life together after getting married
Frances met Sam, an ex-Olympic rower, in November 2017 – and got engaged two weeks later
Frances said Sam asked her to marry him as she was putting peas into the freezer
Former PM Tony Abbott also congratulated the couple at the time, tweeting: ‘Really thrilled at the news of Francie and Sam’s engagement. We are very proud of her and the Abbotts are looking forward to welcoming Sam into the family.’
Despite concerns the couple were moving too fast, Frances previously revealed her family, including her dad, were very supportive of their engagement.
‘I think meeting Tones [Tony] can be quite intimidating for anyone, but that’s what I love about Sam,’ Frances said.
‘He’s so grounded, and so settled in his own skin, it felt totally natural. There was no change in voice, no sitting upright. Dad liked him.’
As for her mother Margie, she was just as surprised as everyone when her middle daughter told her of Sam’s proposal.
‘Mum was like, ‘Frances, you are quite impulsive’,’ Frances recalled.
The pair were legally married at a registry in February 2018 – but waited to celebrate with their nearest and dearest at Sydney’s exclusive Palm Beach in April.
‘The celebratory component isn’t for a couple of months, but we made it official in the eyes of the law,’ Sam wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the pair showing off their wedding bands.
‘We’re the motherf***ing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers of love.’