2nd June 2020, Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey
Is it the beginning of the end? Or the end of the beginning?
My chemo is complete, and I have 5 radiotherapy sessions left in the “adjuvant therapy” phase. I’ve had enough of the 160 mile round trips every day, and I’m glad they’re almost over.
After months of this mad cancer journey, it feels like I’m reaching the end of the battle royale. I have had 5 major operations, the first to remove a 2 inch tumour from the head of my very weary penis. Later that evening, a “radical circumcision” (thanks prof), and a 3 and a half inch tumour removed from my groin.
Three operations took care of inguinal lymph node clearances both sides of my groin, and one side of my pelvis.
The day before I was due to have surgery, I contracted sepsis, and was hospitalised for three days. I can honestly say that I have never felt so close to death as when I was at St Georges.
During my Chemotherapy treatment, I received Cisplatin amongst a cocktail of wonderful drugs, and met some incredible people. Then, I had six weeks of radiation treatment in the middle of a global pandemic to kill off any lingering cells…
*Nobody ever let me ring a bell though.
I’m a changed man
What’s new? Well, I’m a man of colour now. Or, at least – I have a black cock. I should say, dark maroon – not full Senegalese.
That’s quite a side effect of the radiotherapy mind. “You may get a bit of permanent skin discolouration” A bit? I’ll need to start ticking the “rather not say” box on official documents.
Talking of side effects, the swellings (edema/oedema) are the bane of my life. I’ve had a swollen ankle and puffy patches in my thighs. One day, my balls could be as big as an outstretched hand, the next all thick and leathery. Much to my surprise, some mornings I would be greeted with a cock like a coke can.
It’s the hope that kills you. Everything could be going great, then my penis would completely disappear, buried in a mass of leathery scrotum.
Lymphatic science is not a particularly well understood area. But, I feel like I have learned all kinds of things, which I need to share. Living with the swelling and inflammation has been the toughest thing for me, and I think other people could really use some help.
As I start to get the sensation back in my legs and my nerve endings start to repair themselves, my balls have started to sweat again.
Isn’t that remarkable? 7 months without sweaty bollocks, then the familiar, warm, mushroomy fragrance of masculinity returned. The fun zone is healing, and that can only be a good thing.
On Tuesday, it will all be over! Then, I’m back to the professor in three months after a CT scan.