Gay Men And Prostate Cancer
How a Gay Man Survived Prostate Cancer

High P.S.A. blood test results ended with several visits to a competent urologist.    I had no idea what a urologist did?   Now I know way too much!!  The doctor and I recognized each other after years of being a shop keep and he a customer.   I remember upon entering the parking lot an understated white four door compact car with a vanity license plate that read something like   “WET 2 DRY”.   I  was more impressed that the obvious physicians car was not your usual imported  SUV copy wheels seen so often in the midtown area.   Repetitive pretense has always bored me.   Sure enough , it was in fact his wheels and he explained the incontinent service that a urologist so often deals with.  That made sense but I had yet to piss on my self without the proper invited company and appropriate rubber sheets and poppers !!    Just what am I doing here??   The usual drop your drawers while he felt around my genitals for any abnormalities, none detected.  While he explored, the conversation was light , and respectful, with him asking about business and my retort was,  “JESUS, Doc,  not now  you have my cock in your hand!!”   There is this unspoken respect for penis among men,  straight or gay, whether it be your penis or someone else’s.   Have you ever noticed how personal another man takes and injurious story about the male genitalia?   Or even the remote possibility of not being able to perform because of such injury to one’s cock?   And another question came to mind.  Just what underlying emotional agenda leads a male doctor to this field of medicine?   A light  smile and on to more test with a month wait and biopsy and ultra sound scheduled.  After having gone through ass cancer  [squamous cell carcinoma]  this summer with my long time companion Bruce,  and by the way being cured after chemo and radiation,  neither of us could imagine a double whammy!!  All would be well.   A few pills, some exercise and the fright would be over…  so we thought.

The day of biopsy  with  Bruce in tow we arrived and elevated upstairs to the examination room.  Several  side glances later I left Bruce in the upper waiting room and was led away.    Stripped from the waist down, on my back, feet in stirrups covered by one of those flimsy gowns, that never cover enough.  I just know I remembered every Joan Rivers gynecology joke at that moment.    It astounds me that conversation could ever be clever at this point.  Being a gay man of age and experience for most everything except  anal penetration, the process began.  I’m just not  gay back there!  Oh sure a little light sensual play  but that  biopsy wand could have held up a clippers ship sail.  My thoughts immediately went to all the so called hetero men that had to endure the same, and found some mental relaxation, that being
gay did not make it any easier.

The good doctor assured me it would all be over soon, and to expect eight stings similar to being snapped like a rubber band.    Now mind you,  these stings are four inches up my ass.   The first couple of stings were bearable,  but that anticipation was causing duress stress that the doc noticed and proceeded to  respond to my vanity plate question.  He ask  what my vanity plate would read, if in fact I were to have one.  I said   “Oh Doc, my vanity plate would read …..I’m most uncomfortable and I have lost count!!”

Results of biopsy and ultra sound would take a week or so and Christmas plans had changed resulting from  my eighty year old mother-in-laws broken hip back in Indiana.  Without further thought,  Bruce and I readied for  Eve with my family in Muskogee, and on to Indiana Christmas day to check on things there.    A most pleasant trip, just the two of us.   There was little thought to the test.    We both smoke with great regret and with all that our generation dumped on us,  why do we suffer from such a nasty addiction?     Seems those back in Indiana  equate  smoking cigarettes to crack or cocaine.   We were always looking for an exit to puff.  I doubt my Indiana In-laws  ever had a hang over, ever cussed, and screwed only for procreation.  I’m sure we appeared to them as  two gay crack whores slipping out in the snow to get high!!   Almost the same as crack whores, but not quite. The trip was most pleasant and seemed to bond  our almost twenty year commitment.   I never remember not enjoying our company alone together.  On the way home the most beautiful  stormy sunset greeted us in mid Missouri of which I took many pictures.  I was reminded of an early AIDS movie with Glenn Close titled “In The Gloaming” about that time of evening and life’s passages.  I think now it could have been a sign?

After a long days drive,  we arrive home to “Cat Ranch”, and in the back door with the usual  cat greetings.  There is  Nova Gina, Mona Lott, and  Leviticus {Levi for short} all that fur, so glad to see us.   And there on the
phone, blinking were three messages from the good doctor?   The final message was to his private cell phone.   Not a good sign!!    I stood in the back side entry returning the call as Bruce looked on in spousal concern just with in earshot.     That doctor was so concerned and my knees began to shake as he clearly without hesitation revealed my cancer infected prostate.  So what do we do now?  Well, we go in for a treatment option appointment.   Hence the journey  began.

The week before the appointment was one of back glances.  Both Bruce and I revealed our joint and individual concerns.  We relived the summer of chemo, and radiation he had just gone through.  We blamed the world for saving us from the big gay plague only to drop a common old mans disease on us both in the same year.    We cried a little and held on to every magic moment of our time together.  One never knows?  This is just too weird.   A pill just won’t cure this one.   And once again, we faced the difficult task of informing our peer group.    Now that was a hard one.  Just how many times did  Aesop’s fabled boy  cry wolf before the  WOLF actually ate him?

There were moments when you just wanted to cry out  “I HAVE CANCER”   And other times when you just wanted to ignore the situation which was what we did for the most part.   There were many intimate moments in the company of others that  Bruce and I were the only ones in on the joke.    Until we had true progression answers, it seemed  useless to spread the word.  That week before the cure options appointment was truly gay hell.

We arrived at the midtown office  to be told of our treatment options on appointment day.   This was the first visit  that Bruce went into the examination room with me.  We were presented with the treatment options and the doctors opinion that surgery would be the best avenue for my treatment.  Knees trembling, we left in disbelief .   The drive was almost surreal as we realized the true seriousness of our predicament .  The summer from hell was not over yet.   We were sent home with all the necessary books and pamphlets for a week of self education so that the right decision could be made.