Still a Man!
There are moments that happen that are markers in the timeline of your life; a wedding, a birth, etc. I haven’t had too many of these in my 30 years. Being single with no children, the most I’ve got is a graduation here, a loss of virginity there, possibly the discovery of Fresca. But now I’ve finally got something of significance to add to the timeline: cancer.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 – Get diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Last Wednesday my doctor discovered a cancerous mass on my left testicle, resulting in my having surgery two days later to remove the testicle.
I asked if I could keep it. I couldn’t. Life is hard.
So now I may or may not still have cancer. Normally you have a surgery and that fixes your problem. You go home, recover, then go back for a follow up. Not the case with testicular cancer. You become lighter downstairs, then you wait a few days to find out if you’re going to be lighter upstairs (aka bald).
At first you don’t notice the anxiety of the uncertainty, mainly because you’re in pain from the surgery. Apparently, as I was wheeled into the operation room, I quoted “The Golden Girls.” Let this go to show you who really is the number 1 fan! You’re lying there for a day just hoping not to cough, laugh, fart, push anything really, just you, on your back, no movement (sounds hotter than it is).
By the second day you start to think about it…
“Maybe I’ll need further treatment. Maybe I won’t.”
“I feel fine! Well, I still can’t pull up my own pants, but I could be creative and find a way.”
“So what if I can’t poop, it’s the medication, there’s no way I still have cancer!”
“Okay, so I might still have some cancer, nothing a little chemo can’t help!”
Then you’re shocked that you’re even thinking these thoughts. How could in a week’s time you go from being totally fine to having cancer? You’re thinking about people hugging you after you’ve lost your hair. Will you shave your head before you go bald? Do you lose all of your hair (like, down there)? Should I freeze some sperm? AND can I do it at home to avoid the costs?
Now you can move and your head is clear to think all the really terrifying thoughts…
“Well, even if the doctor says he got it all, I’m going to demand chemo just to be 100% sure it’s gone.”
“Should I get a second opinion? Will he be offended? I mean, we’re already so close!”
“How can I turn this into a successful one man show?”
So I wait. Just wait. Wait for a doctor to tell me something that will change people’s perceptions of me in the short term, but will alter my own perception of the fragility of my own life in the long term.
I removed my bandages and saw the scar for the first time. It’s at the very top of my groin, about an inch and a half slit. Sure, it will heal. My hair will grow back. A year from now this will be past me. But Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 will be the day that I realized that I probably should take a picture of my junk, because shit is about to change! Change for the better. I am changing.
Not to be confused with transitioning. Still a man! Thank you very much.