Lesions to Be Cheerful, Part 3

jon stewart

A man for all lesions.

So here’s the good news about the bad news: I went for a sonogram yesterday morning and what do you know – there’s a lesion on my prostate! And I don’t know why, but I have such an urge to ask, “Doctor, what’s this lesion doing on my prostate?” (Answer: “Not the backstroke.”)

When you compare lesion to tumor, lesion isn’t such a bad word (it lends itself to many more hilarious puns), but no matter what you call it, that shit needs to be biopsied (because benign and malignant also work with both words) and that’s what happened yesterday. When I woke up from the anesthesia, my doctor was hovering and calmly explained that there’s a 90% chance that the foreign lesion (quick time out to imagine Jon Stewart saying that) is just a remnant from a previous inflammation and very common for men of my lower-middle age, and the rest of my prostate looked all bright and shiny, and this was coming from someone who had seen a bunch of old, not so shiny prostates that morning, so he couldn’t have been any more reassuring. I nodded along in a post-anesthetic haze, not believing a goddamned word he said.

If you recall, I’ve been down this road to nowhere before (see what I did there?). When I awoke from an operation 20 odd years ago, my then-good doctor also reassured me that it didn’t look like cancer, and then what do you know – hello weeks and weeks of intensive radiation treatment! And normally I’d be very happy scoring 90% on any test, except for when it comes to the one to see if I’m going to still be able to get it up; that test I need to ace 100%.

The biggest pain in the ass (and really, what’s funnier than prostate humor?) is that it doesn’t look like I’ll get the biopsy results until after Thanksgiving. So here I go again with the fucking waiting. Knowing this, my friends have all wished me well and have suggested that I focus on the glass filled to 90% because they understand that I’m already grinding the other 10% of the shards into my eyeballs. And of course they’re right.

So I’ll just pretend that I don’t have cancer until I get the phone call saying that I don’t have cancer, but really that’s what I’ll pretend to tell my friends because really I can’t pretend. I suck at pretend.

That’s actually a lie. I’m really pretty good at pretend. You’ve read plenty of my pretend. It’s just that I suck at pretend when I’m scared to death.

Pretend I didn’t say that.

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