Before I left town on my last vacation my urologist had me drop by his office one night for a "minor procedure." It was to biopsy my prostate.
My PSA readings (a blood test) had been varying for years but recently, in the last year, they had been consistently hovering above the number generally recognized to be worrisome by the medical profession.
He took his samples (you don't even want to know about how he gets them, suffice it to say you have zero dignity during the procedure) and I went, gaily, off to the beach.
Well, last Thursday I had my follow-up with him. His face a mask of concern, he told me that it was cancer. 60% of the samples were infused with cancer cells over 90% of their surfaces.
I have no idea how others handle this, but I do know how one person I know handled it -- my ex had prostate cancer and had his prostate removed in 1991. They filleted him like a fish to do it. Afterwards he had to inject his penis with a syringe full of something in order to get a half-assed erection. He did not take it well. Sex was a lot... everything to him. I might as well have been a hole in the mattress, for all the (BITTER, PARTY OF ONE)... but I digress.
Not that I'm exactly worried about that. I haven't had sex with another human being in ... a decade? Two? Well, it's been a long time, and nobody is beating my door down and, to be honest, I have been deliberately NOT looking lustfully at anyone since 1984 or so.
So I'm not really worried about that.
No... it's the pain I fear. I remember how much pain the ex was in. It was bad.
My RN friends assure me that the pain is much more manageable and bearable than the gastric bypass was last year.
That's good news, I suppose.
But what about AFTER the removal? What then? Will I have to have chemo? Radiation? Will I be incontinent for the the rest of my life? Or even a month?
There's a new machine, Da Vinci by name, which is a surgeon-controlled robotic octopus which, according to the hype, does all of it's work through one teeny hole in your gut and which does NOT damage, the way old-fashioned surgery does, the delicate nerve bundle which surrounds the prostate and which contributes to a male's intense joy at the moment of ecstacy.
Shit. Look, I'm scared. It's cancer and I'm scared. I wasn't scared at quadruple-bypass surgery or bilateral endarterectomies or even gastric bypass -- but this time I'm scared.
I need help. Gods, yours and anyone else's who is willing.
Oh, and yes, I plan to not drink over it.