There are titles to blog posts that are funny. Some which are cryptic and entice the reader to click the link and find out what exactly is it about number five that they simply won’t believe.
Then there are the ones which are blunt, to the point and outline the content. This helps SEO apparently, though in some cases it also cuts to the chase and leaves potential readers in no doubt as to what the post is about. This is one of those posts.
I found a lump.
As I write this, that was five days ago; five weirdly calm, terrifying, blank days where everything has gone through my head that you would expect to go through my head. Before I go any further, I need to say that I’ve had it checked out already; there are some things I’ll take risks with, and other things which just aren’t worth it, and this falls firmly in the latter camp. A quick trip to the doctors, some latex gloves and a quick conversation that neither of us really wanted to have.
Thankfully it looks like it’s probably nothing, merely a cyst, though I’m being sent for ultrasound scans to confirm this. It’s not hugely uncommon, and is far more common than the testicular cancer that I first feared. I’ve no idea what the treatment will be, but it’ll be less than the chemotherapy and potential surgery that would’ve otherwise followed if the news had been worse.
I’ve not really been able to concentrate on work at all, even though I trust the doctor and have no reason to think that they might’ve been wrong after all. I’ve told almost no-one about it; my boss as I needed some time to go to the doctors and also to simply process things, a single friend who I was due to go out for food with and the woman that I’ve sort of been seeing but am having real doubts about the relationship.
I’ve never really been ill before. I’ve had colds and viruses and the like, but never anything properly serious. I struggled with mental health issues when I was in my early to mid-twenties, but that’s not something which hospitalised me or threatened my physical health. The worst moment was when I had my only ever night in hospital after a heart scare; again, I told almost no-one other than my then-wife.
She supported me through that. My dad had recently at the time had a quadruple heart bypass at the age of 42, so I was more than a little scared myself. She kept me calm and sane and helped me realise that I would go through it all and trust the doctors.
It’s this which has really hit me these past few days. I’m alone. I haven’t got someone there for me who will do that for me now, nor would I have someone to walk with me had it been worse. I’ve got great friends and family, of course, but not having a partner means I feel at a disadvantage. I feel less strong, even though I know I’m probably stronger than ever. I’m stronger because I have to be, but it all feels so fake.
I miss having someone who would have been truly concerned when I found it. Someone who might have dropped whatever they were doing and given me a hug to tell me everything will be alright. Who would’ve come to the doctors with me, or at least checked up on me after it was done. Someone who would’ve taken the piss out of me if it had been worse, just to diffuse the tension.
I’ve not felt so alone before.
As it is, I know I’ll get through, however bad it is, because I really have no choice. I’m not going to tell my kids because they don’t need to know at all, not unless it does end up being something which will really affect me (which I’m sure it won’t). I’m keeping up my normal facade and putting it out of my mind. I’m not telling my ex because she has no right nor need to know. I’m not telling most of my friends because there’s simply no point making a mountain out of a molehill. And I’m not really going to discuss it more with the woman I’m seeing as I’ve got more important things to talk about with her, such as whether or no we’ve actually got any sort of future together after all.
Being a dad of four, holding down a fairly busy fulltime job, being a school governor, trying to see friends (who always tell me I need to see them more), trying to see family (who tell me even more that I need to make time to see them more), trying to date and trying to find a little time just for myself means I’m constantly playing catchup. I’m not any busier than anyone else, but it takes a lot of mental strain just to juggle commitments. I’ve not got time nor capacity for this, so need to put it out of my mind and move on.
But that’s not stopping me feeling more alone than ever. More in need of a partner, someone who has my back and makes damn sure I know it. Someone who knows when to give me a hug and when to start making jokes about how I probably lost my balls years ago anyway so this is just my body catching up with that fact.
It’ll be fine. I know that. Would be nice to skip the shitty loneliness until I get the all-clear, though.