Hypervascular, multilobular,.......blah, blah, blah....snore.....TUMOR!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yup, I got a tumor. I've sat on this for a couple of weeks now deciding how best to organize this information in a nice little post for your reading enjoyment. Truth is we're not sure just how bad it is and in order to tell this story completely I'm going to have to give you a bit of history, or Brentstory as we like to call it around these parts. But just to get it out of the way I am in the process of finding out where I sit on the helpful scale I've developed and pasted below. Observe:
|The Bit's 'O' Honey Cancer Scale (Not associated with the Cancer Riddled Candy of The Same Name (TM).|
|Awww. So sad. Sniff sniff.|
This is what is know as a cliffhanger in the biz. More on this AFTER THE JUMP!!!
About 6 years ago those of you who know me well will have noticed I was spiraling out of control. Most of you assumed that this was a result of bi-polar with a healthy sprinkling of "other" problems. And, in truth, you were right. But what you didn't know is the impetus for that fall was a medical issue. I had developed a huge lump just below my belt line. At the same time my right nut seemed strangely hard and....just....different. The doctor basically told me I had lymphoma or AIDS. I had the lymph node removed and a few weeks of panicked waiting later we found out eventually that it wasn't cancerous. The doctor was pretty peeved that I had the audacity to bother him about such a meaningless inquiry like whether or not I was dying. By this time I was off the fucking rails. I went back to the doctor and asked "so, anyway...about my balls..." and the doctor was like "Oh yeah that's normal. Everyone's are different." Fair enough. Except.... no, I played baseball and hockey my WHOLE LIFE. As a result I handled my nuts a lot. I mean hours of gentle cradling, adjusting, scratching. Something was different. Whatever.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I don't sleep well. Never have. I wear a sleep mask, I run two fans for white noise. The slightest change in my environment takes me immediately from deep REM sleep to "Oh fuck is that a tiger?" awake in seconds. On a good night I sleep for about 2 hours, wake for 35 minutes, sleep for 2 hours, wake and pee, have a small snack, think about how drywall is manufactured and whether or not earthworms feel it when you turn them into two worms, sleep for two hours, get up and go to work.
On the night in question I snapped awake and in my head popped the thought "You've got testicular cancer dude." Then I thought, "Nah, that doctor checked you." Still to be sure I typed my symptoms into google and the first ten entries were about guys with testicular cancer being misdiagnosed and told that they just had lumpy balls.
It really never occurred to me after that moment that I did NOT have cancer. I just knew. Still I went to my doctor here and he felt me all up while I watched his face. He stopped, dropped his hands tiredly between his knees, looked at me and said "Man, I don't know if that's a tumor or not. It feels like a walnut." Comforting. Next was the ultrasound. I asked the woman doing it one favor. I said, "Listen, I've been through his before. I know you can't give me a diagnosis. All I ask is that if there is NO problem you tell me that and don't make me wait."
She smiled and said "Deal. Plus if there is something I'm going to have to go and get the radiologist anyway." We chatted casually for the twenty minutes it took to image 100 cross sections of my scrotum and then she put the machine down and said, "Well. I have to go get the radiologist. Sorry".
"Sorry? Did you put a tumor in my balls?" I asked. She laughed. People like me. The final report said I had a hyper vascular, multi lobular (more latin) tumor in the right testicle. What are you gonna do right? It is what it is.
At this point I think I should point something out. I have not at any moment felt panicked, sad, nothing. Quite frankly I'm happy to report that I reacted in the way I had always hoped I would react to shitty news like this. I took it and went about my business. Nobody ever accomplished anything by panicking, bitching, moaning or feeling sorry for themselves.
And it's important to keep in mind that if you're going to have cancer I highly recommend ball cancer. It's almost totally curable. Even if it has spread and I fall on the left of my graph I still have an %80 percent chance of living. That being said it ain't all Bit's O Honey (Bit O' Honeys?). I'm going to have to have a difficult to pronounce procedure that boils down to nut removal. I'll have to have radiation or chemo. On Thursday I'm seeing the urologist and from what I've learned I'll be having the little guy out within the week. At which point the next phase of treatment will begin.
I can't stress enough how awesome everyone has been. Kelly has reacted exactly as I thought she would. With strength humor and compassion. The only other people I've told have been my * bff Larry, my parents and my tattoo artist friend Hammer from Inflicting Beauty who has been an awesome help. A man with experience is a man after my own heart.
So anyway, I'll have quite a few more posts on this topic coming up. I've got a post on Social Security, two movie reviews, a post about gender roles as it relates to parenting and some other things on the way.
I'll have a special post about Neuticles!. Fake balls for that authentic feeling.
In closing I thought I'd forgo an FAQ for a more helpful list of pros and cons. I ask that you not send me any Lance Armstrong links or any alternative treatment ideas. I've stopped reading anything about this issue. I have it, I'll deal with it I don't need to wallow in it and most importantly I'm honestly happier and more fulfilled than I have ever been. If ever I was prepared for a setback it's now. On to the list:
Thanks for reading. I'm fine. Everything is funny when realize we're all going to die anyway. With love. Vote for Brent.
* That isn't Larry. But that guys name is in fact Larry Greenwell.