I Thought I Had the Stone

Zine from the CancerGram 2 of 18, covering events that occurred in late 2014 and most of 2015.

Because one of my first symptoms was difficultly fully eliminating, I thought I had the stone. It would have explained the bladder infections. By drinking water and watching my sugar intake, I seemed to be able to avoid the infections. The down side was that I was losing elimination power. I would dribble. My bladder would feel empty to me, but urine would still be leaking out. It would drip on me down my front and onto the floor. I finally realized how so much urine ends up on the floor of public urinals. The endless procession of dribblers like me.

The blood in my semen was concerning. The urologist thought it might be due to the catheter or the camera procedure. He told me not to worry about it too much, that it should go away.

I was initially diagnosed with a misshapen prostate. From what he could see inside, my prostate was imperfectly symmetrical. He considered it a kind of aging-related prostate swelling and put me on a popular medication.

The medication didn’t seem to help. Within the first two months, not only was my urination still problematic, but I had begun to lose sex function. I kept masturbating, in part to check on the blood levels, in part just to keep things working. I told the doc of my issues on a follow up and he was surprised. The medication should help sex function, not hinder it.

Was this a sign of what was to come? That I was misdiagnosed? He changed my meds and we scheduled another follow up. For the next two months, my condition worsened.

The second medication made me even more leaky. Anal leakage is especially unpleasant. It means always having a few drips of shit coming out of your asshole. The itching made it intolerable. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t drive. I started carrying baby wipes with me so that I could give my anus a proper scrubbing at any time.

This was all very upsetting. It was absurd. I was falling apart very quickly. I told my mother about being put on medication that I might have to take for the rest of my life. She said, “Welcome to the second half of life, dear.”