Friday, October 17, 2014

cancer scare #147

It is 8:30 in the morning and I am eating from a large container of french onion dip. With a spoon. I finished the chips a half hour ago. The latest virus has dug its claws into my system and a raggedy cough rips through my chest. My body has betrayed me and I will not feed it good things.

I drive to the urologist's office and seat myself in a room full of older gentlemen looking really worried. In this particular corner of the world female anatomy is superior. I silently applaud my short little urethra. We are all here to have tubes with lights and cameras inserted into our bladders. I am not kidding.

Some guy with a microscope said I have red blood cells in my pee and now I must go through the required medical scrutiny.  I walk back to the exam room. On the walls are detailed posters of the male prostate and reproductive systems, pink tubes and ruby red bulging sacks exploding everywhere, things no respectable woman should be forced to view. I am happy I do not own a prostate. Like breasts and uteruses, they exist in middle age only to harbor disease.  As we grow older we need to shed our sexual machinery, it only works against us.

The doctor's name is Horchak and wasn't Horchak one of the goons on Welcome Back, Kotter? He is deeply tanned, too tanned for a man who works in rooms without windows. His shirt is bright orange and open at the neck and a large gold cross lays on his dark chest hairs. His black thinning hair is slicked back and with his beady blue eyes he reminds me of Alex Baldwin, not one of my favorite human beings. His gold framed glasses are sitting crookedly on his nose.

"Do you smoke?"
"Did you ever smoke?"
"When did you quit?"
"One pack a day?"
"Two."  I never do anything half way.
His eyes lock with mine. "Smoking produces toxins that travel in the urine to the bladder. The bladder walls are bathed, BATHED with these poisons and that's how the cancers start!" Those blue liquidy eyes are blazing with some inner not quite defined emotion. I want to apologize for some reason. I started smoking as a freshman in college, 1970.  My throat would be raw on Monday morning from all the pot I inhaled over the weekend. My roommate, an art major from a small town where her mother taught that same subject at the local high school advised me to start smoking cigarettes, a way to "condition" my throat. Thanks, Moria. We think her mother meant Mariah, you know they call the wind Mariah.  I started with menthol Marlboros, green and white boxes and it tasted like smoking toothpaste, but it had to be done. I was on a mission. I needed to be high.

 I decide not to tell Horchak about the long term love affair I had with marijuana after my divorce. I am already in enough trouble. Cannabis was my opiate of choice and before you start we all know people who chose a lot worse.

That's all I know for now. This was an informational meeting only and they will take that "peek" inside my bladder next time. It's hard to schedule an appointment when I keep leaving town.

And I think about getting one of those prostate pink tube posters. I could mount the thing in my living room. As one brother has commented, "you seem to like weird things hanging on your walls."


Arizaphale said...

I am so with you on the shedding of sexual organs I mean, what are these bazookas for? My last bra fitting was a double D cup and I am 5 foot 2. I have no babies to feed and no desire to attract any more unwanted male attention. If I could donate them to someone I would.
PS: Microscopic blood in your urine is common and most likely related to a UTI. Cranberry juice. Just sayin.

dawn marie giegerich said...