Then They Found This

Zine from the CancerGram 6 of 18, covering tests in May and June of 2016.

The tests at that point still largely assumed that my problem was a swollen prostate and ED. That’s the profile for a guy with my issues in his early 40’s. When they put the scope down my urethra this time, they found something surprising.

The urologist in AZ didn’t know what it was. He would describe it as “weird.” He said, “I’ve seen plenty of cancers and they don’t look like this. It’s just weird.” Once they found it, they ran a lot of tests. It seemed to explain a lot to me. That there was something in my urethra made sense — no wonder I couldn’t pee.

The doctors decided on a biopsy. They needed to go in and get a sample of this weird thing. It was further determined that I should have both a transurethral and a transrectal biopsy at the same time. That meant putting me under. It would allow them to test different parts of my prostate.

By that time my brother was driving truck for a living and out of town for long stretches. I went to all the doctor’s appointments by myself. For the biopsy I had to ask a friend to give me a ride home. I remember it feeling awkward to explain that I was having a biopsy and telling her it wasn’t a big deal. The reality of it was incongruent with the idea that I was just getting my reproductive health sorted out right quick before I moved to Memphis for my new job.