Geoff Horsfield has spoken of his determination to make a full recovery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The 34-year-old revealed last week that he had received the news and would be retiring from football to focus on his battle.
Horsfield had been hoping to earn a contract at League One side Walsall after being released by Sheffield United over the summer.
He knows the challenge ahead of him is far greater than any he has ever previously faced but is approaching the fight with a positive attitude.
"I am going to face whatever battles are ahead," Horsfield told the official website of the Professional Footballers' Association.
"The fact I have had to retire doesn't bother me one iota as all I was concerned about when I heard the news was my missus and kids.
"I was lucky enough to live the dream for 10 years and play alongside people like Christophe Dugarry and under Kevin Keegan, so I have been lucky.
"I am not going to get embarrassed about the fact I have testicular cancer and I have no doubt that I will get some dressing room stick about it from people who are telling me 'I never had any b******.' I will just laugh it off as I am determined to beat this and carry on with my life."
Horsfield, who has had spells at Fulham, Birmingham, Wigan and West Brom, admits he was left in shock when he first heard the news.
He said: "On the back of the toilet doors in the changing rooms, there is always a poster saying 'check your balls', which is an awareness campaign for testicular cancer.
"I was lying in the bath about three weeks ago and felt something different in my testicles and spoke to Tina about it straight away. She said it might have been a cyst but to go and get it checked out by a doctor.
"I told the doctor beforehand that he had to be honest with me after checking me over as I just wanted to know.
"He told me he had never seen a cyst inside growing out so it was likely to be cancerous. It was a surreal moment and Tina started crying and that was when reality really hit me."