First let me say, this turns out okay.
I shouldn’t have posted my biopsilogical odyssey before I posted a result. It wasn’t my intention to leave people hanging, though you have to admit, a good suspense story…
When I called for the results – and I admit, I put it off – the office manager told me I needed to come in…they found “a little bit of cancer.”
I’m the best guy I know to come onto a grisly auto accident or deal with a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence or have to put an animal down, because I have a delayed reaction to trauma. I separate almost instantly so I can see what can be done, then fold later. But I do fold.
There was about a twenty-four hour period between the time I got the information over the phone and the time I sat down with the doctor. I had played around with the possibilities for almost a week following my biopsy, but for that last twenty four hours I had to sit with the WORD.
I went to the pool and worked out, feeling maybe as strong as I had in a long time, but carrying the irony that this might be stronger than I would feel, like, ever again. I did what we all do, I think: promised to use my time better, be more embracing of people who irritate me, remember we’re all in this together and slap the Christian Right harder for being so insensitive as to keep wounded kids from reading their truths in our works because they don’t like the word “fuck”, even though that’s not a biblically barred word.
My urologist, whom I earlier characterized unfairly in my quest for comedy (he didn’t REALLY say I wasn’t a Stotan; it was just too good a line to pass up) showed me two areas of my prostate that contained a small number of cells. He affirmed some things of which I was already aware: that almost any man who lives long enough will encounter this situation, that about fifty percent need no treatment, and that we often over-treat it because of irrational fear of that WORD. That said, I’m not off the hook. I’ll be on an “active surveillance” program that gets me into the doc every three months for a blood draw, and will get me another biopsy within the next year to be sure we’ve got an eye on those malevolent little buggers, and can get a leg up on them should they try anything funny.
Truth is, I’ve been giving people bad news long enough that I know how to take some, and because of my life as a close observer of human mal- and mis-treatment, feel incredibly fortunate not to have received more of that bad news than I administered.
Some good things - even more than a renewed appreciation of my existence - have come of this. Your responses on Facebook have told me, 1) either the doc messed up with my anesthetics or my body is extraordinarily resistant to whatever they used, and when I sign up for that second biopsy I’ll make mention of that, and 2) I have a delightful connection with a vastly diverse collection of generous people. For that I thank you.
In the name of full disclosure I need to say one more thing. Though I appreciate the number of people praying for me because that is how you show your love and regard – and I DO appreciate it - I don’t receive those prayers because if I believed in, and loved, a God who would hear those prayers and save me, I’d have to hate a God who would turn his back on those who prayed for my sister, who died miserably nearly two years ago of pancreatic cancer, and for my old high school quarterback who died almost exactly a year later of the same. I would argue that each was a far more graceful and deserving human than I. Instead, I am enormously grateful to a universe that embraces us enough to let randomness rule. It makes life exciting and terrifying and unpredictable, and sets a course on which each of us has influence over whether we soar or crash. It is a universe that embraces the ghastly along with the glorious.
Nothing exists without its opposite.
Again, I apologize for writing that original piece as a cliff-hanger.
Too late to make a long story short, but bottom line, there’s a pretty good chance that my prostate won’t leave me prostrate.