Blog 12 – Testicular Cancer
Last night I couldn’t sleep, so I spent some time on the websites. I have actually made some friends on the message boards. One is this guy who thought he had testicular cancer – the doctor said he had it. He went through some tests before they found that it was a cyst, and it was possibly pre-cancerous, but he could have it removed and be just fine. His wife is now expecting their first child.
I have also been talking with a woman who had breast cancer. Sure, it’s not the same as testicular cancer, but it’s still cancer. She keeps stressing that early intervention is the best way to make sure that you survive something like that. I know she’s right, and to be honest? Disappointing her is the ONLY reason I haven’t chickened out of keeping that doctor’s appointment.
But it’s still two weeks away. That’s a long time to keep worrying.
Anyway, the point of saying all that is the friendships. How cool is it that I can go onto a board filled with strangers and after a few days, some of them aren’t strangers anymore? Talking with them in a chat room can sometimes feel like sitting down at a table with a few buds and sharing a few beers. Except I have the protection of a computer screen, so I’m still anonymous, lonely.
Speaking of that, I wonder what my buddies would think about all of this. I wonder if they have ever had worries like this. I would ask them, but I’m afraid of what they might say. And besides, word gets around, you know? People talk, even if they mean well.
I was looking at some statistics today. The National Cancer Institute says that this year, there are an estimated 8,590 new cases of testicular cancer. Out of those cases, 360 will die. Fuck!
But any attorney can tell you that statistics can be spun in various ways all day long, and in the end you really have nothing more than numbers that mean only what you want them to mean. So…do I want to see the 360 that are going to die, or do I want to focus on the 8,230 that are going to live?
That means only four percent are going to die. But it means 96 percent of those who are diagnosed with testicular cancer will survive.
Those are really good odds. But then again, I thought my father had good odds, you know? And look what happened to him.