Saturday, July 5, 2008

Yellow Jersey Century July 6th 2008

The past 4 years I’ve done this ride that has become a fund raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. For me it’s all about celebrating survivorship, and here’s why;
1990 I was home for the day from work for some reason, I think the job I was working on got rained out or it could have been just as easily me slacking off for the day but the fact is, laying on the couch and watching TV that day saved, if not my life at the very least a lot of suffering. I was tuned in on a local health news story about Testicular Cancer and what men between the ages of 15 and 35 needed to know. Things like early detection and treatment, and how to do a self examination. Much like a woman examines herself looking for a lump in the breast men need to do the same with their testicles. Great news! I’m thinking, hey I already ‘examine’ the boys like all the time in the shower anyway now I’ve got an excuse if I get busted doing it. “Honey…why are you taking so long in the shower, what are you doing in there?” “Leave me alone woman, I’m performing a medical procedure .” A few weeks go by then one morning as I’m all soapy I’m thinking I need to check things out, give everybody a good going over, do a head count make sure everybody’s still there. As I’m checking in on the crew I notice there seems to be something extra on engine number 1, just a little nub of a lump, nothing really but defiantly something which later I learn is a medical term…something.
I figure I’d give it some time, see if it’s just a hunk of lint or a piece of sand. But after about a month of “examinations” it starts to mess with my mind so I make an appointment with the doctor. A couple of weeks later I’m standing in front of the guy with my pants to my ankles and explaining, “ it’s right there doc,” but he can’t feel it so I have to take his finger and place it on the lump. Once I do that he says, “oh yeah, it’s something alright.” But he wants to get an opinion of one of his partners that apparently is an expert in the diagnosis of “something.” So he tells me to wait right there, like I’m going to follow him down the hall with my pants down walking like I’m on the chain gang doing road work with ankle irons. Well Doc # 2 comes in and introduces himself and we shake hands, if you never had a formal introduction to someone with your pants down then let me tell you, avoid it at all costs, especially if they have one of those real aggressive handshakes cause he’s all happy to meet you and shaking your hand but that not all that’s shaking…it's messed up I tell you. So now I have to go through the whole explanation with this guy and the finger placement thing and he say’s, “defiantly something.” Then these two Einsteins have a little conference right in front of me like I’m not even there and I have to say, “um, fellas, are we done here, cause I’d like to pull up if you know what I mean?”

On to the Urologist.
These guys don’t know what to do other than to refer me to an Urologist and that’s cool, I understand a specialist is needed for such a delicate area of medicine. Now I’m off to the next doctor and somehow I get in between appointment at the hospital down the road. I meet doc # 3 and do the same song and dance with this guy what with the finger placement and all and he says…”it’s something.” Alright, I’ve just had 3 dudes handle my junk all within a 2 hour period and the answer has been the same. I swear these guys all went to the same med school and were in the same fraternity cause the line from each of them was the identical. Fortunately though, doc # 3 had a bit more to offer in the way of scheduling an Ultrasound down stairs from his office right then. Not in the history of medicine has it happened where a patient was able to see 4 medical professionals in such a short period of time. Look it up on Wikapedia if you don’t believe me.

It’s down to Ultrasound.
I show up like 2 minutes later and an orderly is waiting…what is this place, the Ritz Carlton? He escorts me to a changing room where I remove my pants, once again, and put on the dreaded gown. Then he helps me on the gurney and wheels me into the “ultra booth” where he then places the boys 1, 2 and ‘richard, up on a towel for easy access then turns on the TV for the 4 of us to watch as we all wait the arrival of the “technician.”
A few minutes later the orderly stops by to tell me that she will be right there. Wait a minute…did he just say she? Fuuuuck….god I hope she’s like a million years old.
Nope! In walks the porn star in a nurse outfit of my dreams only this is a nightmare. This is pay back isn’t it, all those self exams in the shower, right? So now I have to muster up all my powers of concentration by thinking of dead puppies, cold pools and biting off little bits of my tongue all in an attempt to appear as though this is no big deal and I refuse to even let the thought of an erection enter my mind…until the KY jelly enters the picture. I’m screwed, I know it, as soon as that ultrasound wand full of that lube makes contact these towels will not be enough to hold back what will be a trebuchet of an erection. I can only hope no one loses an eye.
Well it seems little miss porn star nurse, ultrasound tech has a trick up her sleaze um sleeve…ice cold KY…there is a merciful god, once the wand hit it’s mark the boys went into retreat and the day was saved and nobody got hurt.

Now what?
Well a couple days later surgery, then the biopsy and then 12 weeks, twice a week of radiation therapy and I’m cured.

Moral of the story.
Early detection is key to surviving the Big C so whip it out and perform your own “medical procedure,” it might just save your life.

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