“It’s the most sex I’ve had this year”. Apparently, making mildly comedic smalltalk isn’t the done thing when a stranger has your testicle clamped in a vice-like grip. It seemed to make him nervous. By ‘him’ I mean my cancer surgeon. Yup. I got cancer, yo. Strange to use the word really. Not only because as a 32 year old, non-smoking, teetotal Decathlete, it’s not the done thing, but because having met 4 ultrasound administrators, 3 surgeons and a lovely pair of urologists, not a single person has actually managed to say it out loud. You’d think they night have had some practice. Cancer. The big C. Whatevs.

A few weeks ago I found a lump. I say a lump, it was more the fact my left bollock had caught medusa’s eye and was now forever frozen solid, like Jack Charlton‘s scalp. I’d been having problems with a sportsman’s hernia, that had come about whilst at training camp in South Africa. One of the less delicate parts of this diagnosis is a clinical examination whereby I
undergo the “invagination of the scrotum/palpation of inguinal ring”. This basically means having someone turn your ‘plum purse’ inside out with their little finger before plunging it deep up into your lower stomach. My defence mechanism was to hum the theme tune to Thundercats. I like to think I am a medical first.

Hum my tune, HUM MY TUNE!

So having had this examination, I was at home in the shower and decided I might give the lads a quick once over. It had been a while and i thought they might be a little put out if, after all the attention they’d received from a stranger that day, I didn’t offer some affection myself. I knew things weren’t right immediately. The consistency was different. In fact it was rock hard. I’d love to say I didn’t panic but in all honesty I think I knew then that this was bad and had to hold onto wall not to pass out. I managed to put it to the back of my mind and promised to follow this up with my Sports Dr when I returned for the hernia surgery decision.

The rest of this process has been pretty quick. I went back to my GP, was referred to ultrasound and finally had some panicked faces try their damnedest to sound calm whilst taking my mobile number to arrange an emergency appointment at the A&E urology department that day. My mobile number! I felt so important. I tell you one thing, you’re never so aware of just how many brilliant female doctors and specialists there are as when you need to get your tackle out every single day and you’re wearing the worst pants you own.

The last two days have been a whirlwind of ultrasound, CT scans, blood tests and consultations. I am now due for surgery tomorrow. I’m also incredibly lucky that they are combining the two issues and I’m having both procedures (cancer and hernia) dealt with together. I was met by a look of terrified bewilderment when I joked that it would be like two WWE wrestlers tag-teaming an unconscious man.

This has actually been an unusual aspect of my discussions with the surgeons. It seems my joviality is not a common trait amongst those who’ve just found out they’ve got a life-threatening illness. I can’t be sure why I have felt the way I have. The only time I’ve been really scared was the time I found it. Since then, its been on my mind of course, but bizarrely the moment I found out I’d got cancer (or “confirmation of the most sinister diagnosis” as it was broken to me), I was actually quite elated. Perhaps I was glad to know what I was dealing with. Perhaps I’m more than a little odd but its certainly been the case for the past few days and it still is right now as I type this. When I mentioned I might write this blog, a friend suggested waiting a week in case my mood changed. It hasn’t. In fact, I’ve been on a complete high ever since. (He missed the point of course, in that if things did – and do- get worse, then that should also be chronicled). Regarding my mood though, there’s a suggestion that I’m more relieved that I won’t miss my whole athletics season through two separate surgeries, but i guess we’ll know more when I come out of hospital on Friday and I know whether I’ll require chemotherapy but that’s for another blog.

Nothing like seeing 'Property of Doctor's Laboratory' to really get me going.

One of the more amusing, although faintly worrying, aspects I’ve had to consider is that of ‘sperm-storage’. Apparently, there shouldn’t be an issue but if there were I’ve been advised that this is a good idea and so I’ll need to get onto this today.

A female friend though was so distraught at the idea that I might be left having to ‘harvest my seed’ to a wrinkled old back issue of Mayfair that she offered to ‘help’ the process. The look of utter delight on my face showed that I hadn’t noticed that she was in absolutely no way being serious.

"Please don't let me need this, please don't let me need this..."

So here we are. I’m one day away from owning a fake nut, or a’testicular prosthesis’ as it’s known to those who didn’t see the glorious opportunity to call it a ‘Clegg‘. I go in tomorrow, surgery is at 5, I should be high on morphine til the evening and back out by Friday lunch. The point of writing something so wincingly self-interested is not, for once, for attention, (or at least not the personal type), but in order to try and de-stigmatise the condition and hopefully help raise some level of awareness that might encourage just one person to become more vigilant. That would be good. I once tweeted the following during one of those spasmodic episodes of tongue-chewing, brain-gurning status stupidity on Twitter’s poor relation: “Nothing helps cure Cancer like reposting a Facebook status”. This hasn’t changed at all. Idiots.

I think everything will be fine but if it isn’t, my heart-shaped slippers were a present, those magazines are being stored for a friend and my Internet history is a cretinous liar.

Cancer. Lol. Brb!

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