I tried to look on the bright side all week. Most folks with an enlarged testicle do not have cancer. After his fondling session, my Doctor had said it was almost certainly a result of a dibetes induced condition. And anyhow the five year survival rate for testicular cancer is now 90%. And my advanced age puts me at low risk anyway. None the less, Friday's appointment at the Bristol Royal Infirmary was something I dreaded. My father and my wife shared that dread and so on Friday the Mrs and Joshua came along too for moral support.
As we sat in the waiting room, Joshua lighten the mood of all those in for various scans by smiling and giggling happily. Thomas Winnifrith was called. He had to be recalled. I am Tom to everyone bar the NHS so sometimes fail to respond to its missives. I stood up and followed a pretty young nurse down the corridor and was ushered into a room and told to wait.
On instruction I was wearing loose clothing which for some reason had made me think I was to be scanned without having to undress. So when a pretty young woman walked into the room and asked if I minded her attending to me I said fine". At which point she told me to lie back on the examining table and take my trousers and pants down to me knees. Whatever...
My father is, at this point, suggesting that this article is veering into territory that a Gentlemen certainly does not discuss but being no Gent I continue...
The lady covered my nether regions with a sheet of paper and told me to hold my penis back and then put some really rather cold gel on my right ( normal size) gonad.I winced. "Does it hurt". No! Said I loudly, terrified they would now be chopping both gonads off, it was just cold.
Her scanning machine rolled across the gonad and she occasionally manually intervened and after a very short time she pronounced that it was fine, problem free. I may have known that already but it was a relief anyway. Onto the left gonad, tyhe swollen one. Her fondling and rubbing with the machine seemed to take ages making me more convinced there was a problem. There is.
But the problem is merely a small build up of fluid caused by that diabetes induced condition which, thanks to antibiotics is in full retreat. It will disappear naturally. There is no cancer. Phew. She handed me a tissue and turned her back as I cleaned up and pulled my trousers up. Relief all round. My father was very happy - on this occasion talking openly about a matter which a gentlemen should not discuss at all. The Mrs was happy. Joshua giggled and smiled but he always does anyway. And i felt a massive weight off my shoulders.
Of course the whole experience focuses the mind. My step mother died of cancer just over a year ago. My father is holding his own but fights the same fight. None of us are going to live forever. And so much of what we do on a daily basis is utterly pointless and far from enjoyable.
I really do enjoy writing but, as I have discussed before, in my last years at the old place I was subject to extreme censorship. Twice in the past week external partners have caved into demands from folks who have issues to hide to impose blanket restrictions on what I can or cannot say. If i am to carry on writing that is not going to be sustainable, I do not know - given my type 2 diabetes and years of smoking and drinking too much if I have 5 years left, one or 30. But in what time remains, I'd rather do something else than write or podcast under any form of censorship.