That Awkward Moment When I Found Out I Could Lose a Testicle

“Alright, well, this is not good. Not sure if this is a hernia. Or if the veins to your testicle are tangled” said the nurse. “If it is the latter, you could possibly lose your left testicle if this is not taken care of immediately. Hopefully the doctor can tell for sure.”

Well, that didn't sound too fun.

The first thought that popped into my head after hearing this was a montage of Lance Armstrong and myself as we did various things: running through a field of flowers while holding hands, and listening to Sheryl Crow on a rainy day with the shades pulled down, were the highlights worth mentioning. If worst came to worst, he would be my one nut mentor.

Two guys, two nuts, and the shared love of beautiful women. I snapped back to reality once I remembered I was gay.

“Yeah, I would prefer if I kept both of my nuts.  I mean, my testicles. They are important to me,” I said to the nice nurse.

A few hours earlier, I was tossing and turning in bed on a Saturday night with extreme pain in my lower groin. For the past few weeks, I've had terrible pain in that same general area, and as it kept reoccurring more often, I assumed it was more than cramps. As I tried to rub the pain away, my hand grazed my ball sack.

“One. Two. Three. Pretty sure that’s not right,” I thought to myself out loud. “This is for sure not right.”

After speaking with the nurse, I got ready for the doctor to come in the room. I was instructed to put on a light blue dress with no underwear. I was going to object and state that I wasn't a sorority sister on a warm August day, but decided against it.

“I’m glad you decided to come in today,” said the doctor after 15 minutes of examination and questions. “I’m referring you to an urologist. This needs to be checked out as soon as possible.”

“I’m glad I came in today, too. The two and a half hours in the waiting room with outdated magazines left less time for reading and more time for me to worry about the huge lump in my ball sack.”

The doctor was very helpful, wrote me a prescription for the pain, and gave me a few referrals for doctors in New York City. Like the nurse, he had a few observations at what the lump could be, but said that only the urologist could tell for sure. My appointment is set for next week.

On the down side, whatever it is, it will most likely require surgery. However, one perk is that I have wanted to lose some weight for the summer season, and if one of my testicles is removed, it will help me drop at least half a pound. Life is too short to see the glass as half empty.

Or, more fittingly, the sack as half empty.

After my appointment, I called one of my best friends in California and filled her in on my little dilemma. I made her promise that if it did have to be removed, we would cremate it and toss the ashes off the Santa Monica Pier, one of my favorite Southern California landmarks.

“Yeah, for sure. I’m not sure how much ash it will produce, but I’m down for that.” Her response just reassured me as to why she is one of my best friends.

Over the past few days, I have wondered if my response was healthy. Sure, most people like a dose of humor when dealing with sad or complicated news, but what the fuck am I going to do? Sit in my bedroom and mope around because of a medical issue?

Above all, I consider myself a writer. A writer that has insight and deep reflections on my personal life and society in general, but also a writer that still does keep some personal information to himself. I’m private when it comes to my relationships and how many details I decide to include on my website or in magazine articles. I debated whether or not to make this medical issue a topic, and ultimately, I decided to discuss it because quite honestly, medical issues are sadly what are going to connect those of us in Generation Y on a larger scale.

Do you know that 50% of millennials are going to die of cancer? That rate is even higher for our younger brothers and sisters. It’s scary to think about the world that our children are going to face. For men of our generation, the risk of testicular cancer is 4%.

Is it cancer? A hernia? Tangled veins? I’m not sure, but I should know soon. I suppose, more importantly, that this experience reinforces my belief that there are many things in life that we as humans don’t have control over; however that is not what makes a life worth living. Life, in my opinion, is measured by the actions you take when you do have control.