All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.
Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.
Any procedures listed or documented within this story are provided for informational purposes only. If you find yourself in a similar situation, please consult the advice of a professional.
This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.
A/N: I'd like to say a big thank you to TalonRider, my excellent editor and beta reader, who worked wonders on this Anthology and really made it shine brilliantly. Thank you!
I'd also like to say a big thank you to my amazing adviser, Dargon, who generously provided me with much of the technical information I used in this story. I really couldn't have done it without you! Thank you!
Late 2009, A few days after Christmas…
“Can you see me now?” I called out, waving my hands in front of the webcam.
My grandparents waved back from the screen, “Yes, we can see you Lewis. My, haven’t you grown?” remarked my Nan, Margaret.
I smiled, “Yeah, perhaps a little bit.” In truth, I’d seen them only a few months before. I doubt I’d grown any since then. But at that present moment in time, I stood at 5’8”, my hair was kinda long, but I always gelled it, spiking some of it up. My eyes were a light green. I would have preferred blue, but hey, they weren’t that bad. Despite coming from an English family, I had quite a nice tan to my skin, thanks in part to holidays in Spain and the US.
“How are you guys?” I asked, “Have a nice Christmas?”
John, my granddad, nodded, “We’re fine, and we had a lovely Christmas didn’t we Mar?” He said, looking at her as she nodded.
“Yes.” Replied my Nan, “We went over to Susan’s house, it was quite nice.” She added. Susan was my auntie, who lived near to my grandparents, along with her family. “Did you have a nice Christmas?”
I smiled, “Yeah, I did thanks. Thank you for the shirts.”
“Oh, you’re very welcome.” Said Granddad, “How’s everyone else?”
“They’re ok.” I said, “I’ll take the computer downstairs so you can say ‘hi’.” I replied as I started to unplug the cables.
My Nan nodded, “So where is that boyfriend of yours?” She asked with a grin.
I smiled and looked back at the screen, “Dad’s picking him up from the airport.” I glanced at the clock, “He should be here soon.”
“That’s right, I remember your mum saying something about him visiting Ghana.”
I nodded, “He spent the Christmas holidays back in Ghana, to see his dad, and the family that live down there.” I paused, “He’s coming back today, with his uncle, while his mum and two brothers will come back next week.”
“He’s spending the time with you?” She asked, her voice softening some.
“Yeah, he wanted to spend some of the holiday with me as we go back to school in a week.” I replied with a grin.
“Still, a week well worth it, right?” Called out Granddad.
I nodded, before I heard a knock at my door, “Come in.” I called out, expecting it to be my sister or Mum.
“Oh, there he is.” Remarked my Nan, “The other handsome boy.”
I turned around to see my beautiful boyfriend standing at the door.
“Hi Lewis.” He called out.
I stood up and rushed over to him, “Kanyaiti!” I exclaimed, before I pulled him into a hug.
I pulled back and looked at him. Kanyaiti (pronounced kane-tee), or Kane, as we call him, was a few months older than me, he’d just had his sixteenth birthday before Christmas. He stood at a nice 5’9” and was of average build. Both of Kanyaiti’s parents were Ghanaian, which gave him his curly, black hair, (that was currently cut short), and that gorgeous ebony complexion. He was super hot, and really cute too. While I was a little more outspoken, Kane was a little more laid back, not a pushover, but a little quieter. I’d known Kane for many years, but it wasn’t until the beginning of that year before we started dating.
“How are you?” I asked, “I thought Dad was gonna call when you guys were almost here?”
He smiled, “I’m fine, and I told him not to call. I wanted to surprise you.”
I reached forward and hugged him again, “And you did.”
“Ahem.” Came my Nan’s voice through the computer.
“Oops, sorry guys.”
“So how’s my other grandson doing?” Asked my Nan, looking at Kane.
He smiled at her, “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?”
“We’re both fine.” She said, “Lewis? Why don’t you take the computer downstairs and we’ll talk to your sister, so you can help Kane unpack.”
I turned back to the screen and nodded, “Alright, I’ll take you guys downstairs.” I said, picking up my laptop.
“See you Kane!” They called out.
“Bye.” He replied.
I covered up the camera and the microphone, “I’ll be back in a minute, babes.”
He nodded and flashed me a grin, “You better.”
I winked at him before I ran the computer downstairs, “Hey Tara.” I called out, looking at my older sister.
She looked up at me from the TV, glancing at the laptop in my hands. Tara was a few years older than me at the age of twenty. Looks wise she was somewhat similar to me in that we had the same eye and hair colour, and perhaps some other similarities. Tara was also in her second year of university, which meant that we didn’t get to see her as often as we’d like, but she’d still show up during the holidays or on some weekends. She was great fun to be around and an even better bigger sister. Besides Kane, Tara was the second person I told about me being gay, and of course, being her usual self, (and having a friend who was gay), she didn’t care one bit. She said that as long as I was happy, she would be happy. I loved her for that.
“Is that Nan and Granddad on there?” She asked, knowing that I was trying to contact them.
I nodded, “Yep, they’re all here for you.” I said, handing it over, as she greeted them.
“Who’s on there?” Asked my Mum, as she walked in, with Dad in tow. I smiled at them.
“Your parents.” I replied.
She smiled, “Are they?” She asked, as she walked over, sitting next to Tara.
I nodded and turned to my Dad, “Thanks Dad, for collecting Kane from the airport and stuff.”
He shook his head, “Not a problem.” He grinned, “He couldn’t wait to see you, he wouldn’t let me ring ahead.”
I nodded, “I know.” I placed the charger on the table near to Tara, in case she needed it, before I turned to Dad, “Anyway, I better go see him.” I replied.
He sat down on the other side of my sister, “You do that.” He said, with a knowing smile.
I blushed lightly, and went to the door, but not before I glanced at my family sitting there together, talking to my grandparents. Nobody could have ever asked for such a loving and accepting family. And sure, while it took them a short time to get used to the idea of me being gay, none of them really cared anymore. I was still the Lewis Mitchell that they knew, their son, grandson, and brother. That’s all they needed to know, and that’s all they cared about. They were great.
I stepped out of the lounge and ran up my stairs, into my room. I sneaked inside, seeing Kane laying back on my bed, looking so cute. I closed the door behind me, and locked it before I climbed onto the bed, straddling his waist and staring down at him, into his brown eyes. I held the stare for a second before I lowered my lips onto his. I moaned softly on contact with the spongy softness. Two weeks without those lips gave me a serious deficiency! I needed to be refuelled! I parted my mouth and extended my tongue, seconds before I was dancing in his mouth. After a few minutes of lip lock, I pulled back, grinning at him.
“Miss me?” He asked.
I kissed him lightly again, “Mmm, yeah.” I paused, “I couldn’t have lasted another week without you.”
He giggled, “Were things that bad?”
I nodded, “Oh, it was terrible.” I joked, “I feel much better now.”
He stroked my back, “Have a nice Christmas?” He asked.
“Yes, it was lovely. How was yours?”
“It was good, nice to see family and stuff.” He looked up at me, “I have something for you.”
I grinned, “Me too.” I said, before I sat up, walking over to my desk, retrieving a small box from the drawer.
Kane wandered over to his bag before he too retrieved a small wrapped box. He walked back over to the bed and handed it to me, as I handed mine to him.
“I hope you like it.” I said, watching as he inspected the small item.
He smiled, “I will.” He glanced at the one in my hand, “I hope you like yours.”
I grinned at him, looking into his beautiful eyes, before I looked down and began to unwrap the gift. I marvelled at how he wrapped his presents so perfectly, with every edge folded neatly over. Mine, on the other hand, while not that bad, weren’t as neat as his. No, I often had to wrestle with mine, or better still, I’d give the job to Dad.
I pulled the last sheet from the item and looked at the small box that lay there. I reached out with my other hand, trying to find the seam, before I flipped it open, revealing a beautiful bracelet. I took it into my hand and examined the jewel. It was a mix between silver and gold, like the links were gold, but there were silver parts too. It was lovely.
“This is beautiful, babes.” I smiled, looking at him.
He turned to me, “You’re welcome.” He said, before he flipped up the lid of his own box, revealing the ring that was in there. “Oh, wow.” He remarked, looking at it closely.
I’d bought him a gold ring, with a small emerald sat at the top. Kane liked to call me, ‘emerald eyes’, so I figured he’s like that colour. “You like it?” I asked.
“I love it.” He said, as he pulled it out, looking at it closely.
I held the bracelet in my hand, “Could you put it on for me?” I asked.
He placed the ring on the bed, before he took the bracelet from my hand and gently secured it on my wrist. It looked really good. “Thank you.” I replied, as I looked at it.
Kane held the ring for a second, before he offered me his left hand, “Put it on for me.”
I smiled at him and took the ring, before I moved it towards his middle finger. I paused and tapped on his ring finger, “I’m saving this one.” I said softly, looking into his eyes.
He beamed at me and bit his bottom lip cutely.
I placed the ring over his middle finger and pushed it down. A perfect fit. Thankfully, Kane and I had been fooling around down town a month or so before, and had tried on one of those ring measurement things. I instantly remembered his size, in case I would need it. “Merry Christmas, Kane.” I said, before I squeezed his hand lovingly.
“Merry Christmas, Lewis.” He replied, admiring the ring on his finger.
I shifted on the bed, moving closer to him before I lifted my hand to his face, “I love you.” I whispered. My mouth inches from his.
“I love you too.”
another little tongue-wrestle, Kane and I rested for an hour or so.
Not that I was tired, but Kane had just gotten back from a long
flight, so I snuggled in next to him on my bed and got a few hours
nap. My parents didn’t disturb us during this time, not because
they didn’t want to walk in on something ‘intimate’,
but because they trusted us. If we were going to do anything, it’d
be later, while everyone was asleep.
My parents did come for us eventually, once dinner was ready, and I have to say, dinner was fantastic. Even though Christmas had passed a few days before, being at home, with Mum, Dad, my sister from University, and my boyfriend; meant the world to me. It was just the closeness, the sense of family and love. It was all magical.
After dinner, we all sat around the TV, but we weren’t really watching anything. We were just talking about stuff. Whether it was Kane talking about Ghana, or Tara talking about university, it was great. If there was one thing that I loved about my family, it was the way that they treated Kane. They treated him like he was a member of our family. They hadn’t always been like that, sure things were messy when they first found out about Kane and me, but a year is a long time. I’m just pleased that they found it in themselves to accept us. Not only as best friends, but as boyfriends.
Sure enough, shortly after the clock struck ten, Kane was beginning to look tired again. He tried to be all cute and tell me that he was fine, but I was having none of it, so after a quick goodnight to my parents and sister, and a trip to the bathroom, we were off to bed.
I locked the door behind me before I walked over to the centre of the room, looking at Kane.
He eyed the spare bed cautiously, causing me to giggle. He turned to me, “What?”
“The look on your face.” I said, before I reached out my hand, tugging him over to my bed, but he resisted me.
He shook his head, “I don’t want to get you into trouble.”
I smiled, and nodded my head over to the door, “The door’s locked, besides.” I leaned closer, “It’s been too long.” I whispered.
He looked at me for a second, his dark brown eyes radiating sexiness, “Ok.” He said quietly, “But you better be quiet.” He added with a small smile.
“Who? Me?” I replied, grinning at him.
He nodded, “You.”
I walked over to the light switch, “I’ll try.” I replied with a wink, before I flicked off the light.
I laid my
head against the pillow, my chest rising and falling rapidly as I
tried to catch my breath. I stared up at the darkened ceiling as Kane
crawled back up the bed, laying next to me and kissing the side of my
“I love you, Lewis.”
“I love you too, babes.” I said softly, as my breathing came under control. I turned and faced him, the moonlight through my blinds lighting up his figure. He reached out and cupped my face, kissing me gently. I could taste myself on his tongue, as I’m sure he could taste himself on mine. We kissed for a while longer, before we lay back, relaxing in the orgasmic afterglow.
After a few minutes, he reached down and fondled my softening cock, before he reached lower, rolling my balls in his fingers. I tensed suddenly as he rubbed them.
“Sorry.” He whispered, before he touched me lighter. I felt his breath on my neck as he kissed my shoulder. He touched something down there again, causing me to jerk.
“Ow!” I said, slightly louder.
He pulled back, removing his hand, “Are you ok?” He asked.
“Yeah, it felt weird.”
He tentatively reached down again and gently massaged the sack.
“There.” I said, as he came into contact with one of my balls. I wouldn’t say that it was pain, more of an ache, a dull ache.
He traced the area with his thumb, before he sat up
“You noticed that before?” He asked.
I shook my head, “Noticed what?” I asked, as I reached down. I slowly rubbed up against my left testicle. One side was fine, but on the other side was quite a sizeable bulge. About the size of a pea. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before. But that didn’t matter, now that my stomach was doing back flips.
Kane noticed and looked at me, “Hey, it’ll be ok. Alright?”
I glanced at him, “What if it’s serious?” I asked. My mind was instantly conjuring up the worst possible images.
He shook his head and stroked my chest, “We’ll make an appointment to see the Doctor tomorrow, ok?”
I nodded slowly, but it didn’t ease the feeling I had in my stomach.
“Come here.” He whispered, opening his arms.
I turned around, facing away from him so he could hold me close from behind.
He craned his neck and kissed me softly, “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
feel my left knee juddering slightly. I placed my hand on it, but it
wouldn’t stop. I didn’t get nervous. Well I did, but not
over a trip to the Doctor! I kept willing myself to calm down, but it
seemed that every time I came close to controlling my juddering knee,
it would start up again, jerking more than the last time.
I glanced around the waiting room, no one else seemed to notice my ‘nervousness’, hell, even Kane sitting next to me didn’t seem to notice. I was about to stand up and walk about before someone walked into the room.
“Mr Mitchell.” Called out my Doctor, as he glanced around the room, before he noticed me.
Kane squeezed my hand, “It’ll be ok.”
I nodded at him, squeezing back, before I stood up and headed over towards the Doctor. I followed him out of the waiting room and into his small office, closing the door behind me.
“Please, take a seat Lewis.” He said, as he walked around his desk, sitting down. “What can I do for you today?” He asked, once I was seated.
I glanced up at the middle aged man, focusing on his eyes. I knew what was wrong, but how should I say it? I couldn’t say balls to him, but didn’t testicle sound too…technical? I thought for a few seconds. “I’ve found a lump…” I said, “On my left testicle.”
He nodded, “I see.” He said, “Ok, well if you jump up onto the bed and pull your trousers down, I’ll take a look.” He said, as he reached over and grabbed some rubber gloves out of a box.
I remained in the chair for a second. This was the part I had been dreading. I knew he’d have to have a look, maybe even touch me. I tried to put that out of my mind and focus on the fact that he was a Doctor. Even so, it was still a troubling thought to have him down there. What if I got hard? Whenever Kane touched me down there I got hard, so surely it would happen with him, right? I swallowed and attempted to calm myself down.
I slowly managed to get my legs to spring to action as I stood up from the chair and walked over to the bed. I climbed up onto the tissue covered surface and lay down, making myself comfortable. I hesitated for a second before I quickly slipped my trousers down, not wanting to drag on the procedure. But immediately chastised myself. The last thing I wanted was to seem eager!
The Doctor wandered back over. I stared intently at the white ceiling, counting the small white squares, trying to take my mind off what was happening. Nothing happened for a few seconds before I felt the Doctor gently touch my balls. He touched round one side, and then he touched against that lump. I tensed slightly.
“Sorry about that.” He said, before he went and done the same thing again!
I felt him examine the other one gently. As I focused on the patterns on the ceiling, I couldn’t help but realise how odd it felt to have someone else, other than Kane, to touch me down there. It wasn’t like I expected, I mean, it didn’t feel erotic at all. I didn’t get turned on, and I didn’t get hard. It was…well it was just odd.
He removed his hand and stood back, “You can pull your trousers up and sit back down now.” He said, as he pulled the gloves off inside out, threw them in a bin, and walked over to the sink.
I swung my legs off the small bed and stood up, before I quickly pulled my trousers up. I walked over to the chair and sat down again, as the Doctor finished drying his hands on a paper towel.
He sat down and typed a few things into his computer before he looked at me, “Do you have any other aches and pains in your lower back or abdomen?”
“No, only in my groin.” I replied.
“Have you found yourself becoming tired throughout the day?” He asked.
I shook my head, “I’m not sure. Maybe a little bit, but I’ve been staying up a bit later in the holidays so I dunno if it’s that.”
He nodded, making note of it into his computer, and then turned to look at me, “As you know there is quite a large lump on your left testicle. Sometimes it can be caused a type of infection, or it could be something that needs more attention.” He said, “But to properly determine what it is, and what’s causing it, I’m going to refer you to the hospital for an ultrasound and a blood test.”
I looked at him in disbelief, “Blood test?” I asked. This can’t be a good sign, I mean, surely some antibiotics or something would have done the trick if it was something less…serious. But a blood test AND an ultrasound…That didn’t make me feel too good.
He nodded, “The results can be used to tell us what is going on. They will give us a better idea of what we’re dealing with.”
I glanced down at the table, my mind swimming with various possibilities, each of them bad.
“Now you will receive a letter soon with the times for your appointment, which should be within the next few days.” He said, as he scribbled something down onto a form.
“Days?” I asked, not expecting the appointment to be so soon.
He looked at me, “The quicker we deal with these things, the sooner we can start to treat them.”
“Do you have any questions?”
I shook my head.
He offered me a small smile, “I know it’s hard, but try not to worry about things, ok?”
I nodded again.
“Ok then, if there’s anything else, or if you have any worries, come see me. Ok?”
I swallowed and nodded, “Thank you.” I said meekly, before I stood up. I walked over to the door and stepped out, closing it behind me. Kane was waiting near to the reception. He immediately noticed me as I walked towards him. His eyes were searching mine, trying to find out anything.
“Are you ok?” He asked softly, as we walked to the main door.
“Yeah.” I replied. We stepped outside the Doctors surgery and began to walk home.
“What did he say, Lewis?” Asked Kane, once we’d walked a few steps.
I looked at him, “He wants me to go to the hospital for an ultrasound and a blood test.”
Kane thought for a moment before he looked at me closely, “Did he say anything else?”
I shook my head, “He said it could be an infection or something more serious.”
He reached out and squeezed my shoulder, “I’m so sorry Lewis.”
“It’s ok.” I replied, pausing. “I think I need to tell my parents.”
later I found myself standing in my lounge, where three sets of eyes
were focused on me, four including Kane’s. I initially felt
calm about telling them, but finding myself standing before them
reminded me of another big event in my life; my coming out. It was
virtually the same, but this time it was different. This time I was
just as confused as they were.
I looked at them, “I found a lump…down there.” I said, lowering my eyes to my groin. “I’ve been to the Doctor and he’s sending me up the hospital for an ultrasound and a blood test.”
My parents stared at me for a second, “What? Why didn’t you tell us before?” Asked Mum.
“I only found it few days ago, I didn’t want to worry you in case it wasn’t anything serious.”
Dad shook his head, “Everything about you is serious to us, Lewis. No matter what it is.”
I nodded and stood there for a moment, before my mum shifted on the sofa, making a space for me. I walked over and sat between her and Tara.
“Are you ok?” Asked Tara.
“Yeah, it’s just a little unexpected.”
Dad looked at me, “Does anything else hurt you?”
I shook my head, “Only my groin.”
Mum nodded, “Did he say how long you’ll have to wait for the appointment at the hospital?”
“A few days.” I replied, “We’ll get a letter tomorrow or the day after.”
Mum shared a look with Dad.
“They want you to have an ultrasound?” Asked Tara.
I nodded, “Yeah, but I don’t really know what one is.” I said, “I mean I know what it is, but what does it do, does it hurt?” I asked, looking at my Mum.
Mum shook her head, “I’ve had one, two actually.” She said, looking at my sister and me, “It’s the thing they roll over your belly when you’re pregnant. It doesn’t hurt, but the liquid they use to glide the thing about can be quite cold at first. That’s attached to the screen.” She paused, “It should be the same for you though…” She said, trailing off, looking at my Dad.
“Yes, it should be the same thing.” He said, “And you mentioned a blood test?”
I nodded, “He said it can tell us what’s happening or something.” I replied, unable to remember his exact words.
Tara nodded, “It’s probably just a precaution, to check they don’t miss anything.”
“Yeah.” I replied, studying my hands, “Just a precaution.”
eventually decided that only Kane and my mum would go with me up to
the hospital. While both my dad and Tara were able to come, I didn’t
want to have everyone up there. It made me feel calmer with just the
three of us.
Once we entered within the hospital, we had to follow the signs for the Radiology department. We’d been to the hospital a few times, but we’d only ever been in the Accident & Emergency section, so the rest of the place was very unknown to me. But after a five to ten-minute walk, we found ourselves in the department, next to a desk as I ‘checked’ myself in. I handed the lady behind the desk my sheet that I received in the letter, and she typed it into the computers. After a few questions to check who I was, she told us to take a seat. There weren’t that many people there. A middle-aged couple and an elderly couple. I looked at them as we sat down, wondering if either of them were there for the same thing I was.
We sat there for a few minutes before my knee began to twitch again. I reached down to place my hand on it, but Kane reached out and grabbed my hand, before moving them between us, so people couldn’t see. My knee stopped twitching as much after that. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t have to. He wanted me to know that he was there. And as crazy as it might sound, it was just what I needed. It had an instant calming effect on my nerves and mind.
“Mr Mitchell?” Called out a nurse, as she approached us.
I looked up and nodded, “Yes.”
She gave me a smile, “If you would just follow me, we’re ready for you now.”
“We’ll be just here.” Said my mum, before Kane squeezed my hand.
“Ok.” I replied, as I stood up.
I followed the nurse across the waiting room and through some double doors, before we headed towards a room to our left. I suddenly began feeling quite nervous, not about the ultrasound itself, but by having a woman do it. Perhaps it was just me being me, but I preferred to have a male Doctor. Therefore I was quite relieved to see that there was a man sitting next to the machine, the technician, seemingly he would be the one to ‘scan’ me. He gave me a smile.
“Mr Mitchell?” He clarified.
I nodded, “Yes.” I said, as I watched the nurse close the door, with herself still in the small, dark room. I looked at her closely as she worked on something facing in the opposite direction. She did know what I was there for, right?
“It’s ok.” Said the technician, sensing my confusion, “It’s standard hospital procedure to have an extra person in the room when a minor’s involved.” He continued.
I looked at him and nodded, “Ok.”
“Please come over here and lay down.” He said, gesturing to the small bed. I climbed on and lay there, as he pulled on a glove and grabbed a towel and some tissues. “Can you pull your trousers down, please. About halfway down your thighs.”
I nodded and reached down, pulling down my trousers and underwear in one swoop, exposing my groin. It still felt odd, but it wasn’t as bad as the first time. I guess being in the hospital put a different tone on the situation. The technician placed the towel just above my scrotum, covering the rest of my penis. He then reached over and grabbed a bottle.
“This might be a little cold and it might tickle you a little bit.” He said, before he placed a generous amount of this jelly-like liquid over my sack. He was right, it was quite cold, but it wasn’t tickling me. He didn’t rub it in, but rather left it there. He then reached over and took hold of this piece of equipment. It looked a bit like an electric shaver, but where the blades would normally be was a flat, smooth, surface, and on the other end was a cord that was attached to a screen. The technician spoke, “I’m going to glide this over your skin, is that ok?”
“Yes.” I replied, watching intently.
He manoeuvred the shaver-like item down to my groin and lightly placed it on my sack. He moved it around a bit, spreading some of the liquid, before he pressed a button on an odd-looking keyboard. I watched as the screen lit up. I couldn’t see much at this angle, something that became impossible once the technician moved the screen towards him. He started to glide the machine over my testicles, looking at the screen intently. But with nothing else for me to look at, I laid my head back and stared at the ceiling.
It was different to the ceiling in the Doctors surgery; this one was newer. It was laid out in that office-look, you know the ones with the squares and those fancy tube lights that have that mirror finish to them. They were all complete too, with none of the corners missing. I counted them. Six and a half across and six down.
I felt him gently move the shaver-esc machine to one side, over the lump. I tensed slightly as he held it there. He tapped on the keyboard, moving the machine slightly, before he pulled it off me.
“Ok, you’re all done.” He said, “You can clean yourself up now.”
I nodded and sat up, using the tissues to remove the gel type liquid. Fortunately I wasn’t that hairy down there, so it didn’t really have that much to get stuck to, but it was still a pain to get off. If I had the time I’d have just cleaned up the best I could and jumped into the shower when back at home. But I still had to take a blood test.
Once I got myself as clean as possible, I pulled up my trousers but remained on the bed until the technician came back from the basin, drying his hands.
“Is it ok?” I asked, looking at him.
He sat down and turned to me, “I can’t say. I’ve taken some images that we’ll send up to a Urologist. They’ll call you in with the results.”
“What about the blood test?” I asked, before realising he had no idea, “I mean I’m going for a blood test today, will he get those too?”
“Yes, he should get those too. It should only be a few days before they call you in.”
I nodded again and stood up, “Thank you.”
He smiled at me before I turned and left the room.
about an hour later when the phlebotomist slowly inserted the needle
into my arm. I didn’t have that much of a problem with needles,
sure I didn’t like them, but they really didn’t bother me
that much. However, I’d never had any blood taken before, so
the experience was quite different. And it hurt a bit more too. I
glanced down at the vial and tube, before I quickly looked away. It
was quite an alarming sight, seeing my blood leaving my body like
“You alright there, mate?” Asked Kane.
I turned and smiled at him, somewhat meekly, “Yeah.”
He offered me a smile, which basically said that he wanted to come over and hold me, taking away any pain and fear. But we both knew that having him any closer might draw some unnecessary attention. Besides, it was just a blood test. It’d all be over soon. And a few seconds later I felt the needle being removed from my arm.
“There you go.” Said the phlebotomist as she held a piece of cotton wool against my arm, “Just hold that for me while I get the bandage.”
I reached up and held it against my arm as she placed the vial on the side, before getting a bandage. She hovered it over my hand.
“Ok, you can pull that off.” She said, so I moved my hand as she applied the small bandage, and secured it to my arm with some special tape. It didn’t hurt too much, but it did ache a little. She sat back and smiled, “You’re all done.”
I nodded at her, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” She replied.
I stood up and headed over to where Mum and Kane were.
“Are you ok, sweetie?” Asked Mum.
I nodded, “I’m ok.”
She pulled me into a hug, “It’s ok, we’ll get you home now.”
I felt comforted by that. Not just the hug, but the thought of being home. I was starting to hate that place.
To say the
suspense was killing me would be an understated cliché. Jokes
aside, something could have very well been killing me during that
wait. But I had to wait a few days to find out if things were really
that bad, or if it was something that could be easily treatable.
I wasn’t worrying all the time, but I’d have moments where I’d feel really nervous, especially at night, before I went to sleep. My parents were very kind and let Kane stay with me. Just having him hold me close as I drifted off made me feel so much better.
But finally, a few days later, I found myself sitting inside the Urologist’s office. Doctor Stevens was the middle-aged man behind his desk. He was the one with the results. He was the one who’d tell me what was wrong. Kane and my family were also with me. Kane held one of my hands while my mum held the other. Dad and Tara were behind me.
Doctor Stevens sat there in his chair, his hands crossed on the table in front of him.
I looked into his eyes, seeing if I could read anything into what he knew. But they offered nothing. After a few moments he opened his mouth and spoke.
“I’m very sorry to tell you this, but it is a malignant tumour.” He paused, “You have testicular cancer.”
I instantly felt both Kane and my Mum grip my hands tighter, but I can’t remember much of what happened immediately after that. My vision blurred slightly and my hearing became distorted for a few seconds.
I wanted to believe that it wasn’t true, but the moment he said it I knew, I just knew that there was no mistake. I had cancer. I, Lewis Mitchell, at age fifteen and seven months, had testicular cancer.
“It’s going to be ok, Lewis.” Said Kane, looking at me closely. I managed to focus on his face, on his words, but my mind was still out of it. It was as though I was only half there- if that makes sense.
My mum looked at me, I could tell she was putting on a brave face, “We’re all here for you, Lewis, every step of the way.”
Tara stepped forwards and hugged me from behind, placing her head on my shoulder, “It’s going to be ok.”
I could feel Dad’s strong grip on my other shoulder, trying to comfort me.
After a few minutes there was a knock at the door, before Doctor Stevens appeared. Evidently he had left to give us some privacy. He looked at us for a moment, as he stepped inside, closing the door behind him. He walked over to his desk and sat down.
My dad looked at him, “Are you sure?” He asked, “I mean, are you sure it’s cancer?”
“I’ve gone over the results from both the ultrasound and the blood test with one of our Oncologists. We are quite certain that we’re dealing with testicular cancer here. The blood test showed high levels of AFP, certain markers in Lewis’ blood, which indicate that there are a high amount of cancer cells.”
“So what happens now?” Asked Tara, her voice softer than usual.
“The first thing we need to do is check to see whether the cancer has spread.”
“How will you do this?” Asked Dad.
He clasped his hands in front of him, “We generally look into the lymph nodes and some of the organs. To do this we will have to take a CT scan.” He turned to me, “It doesn’t hurt and it’s quite similar to an x-ray.”
“What will happen?” I asked, “About the cancer I have.”
He turned to me, “While we don’t know the full extent yet, in cases such as these, we perform a procedure called an Orchiectomy*. Basically it’s where we remove the affected testicle.”
I clamped my eyes shut and shook my head slightly. I wasn’t ready for this, I wasn’t ready for any of it.
Stevens looked at me, “I know it sounds quite daunting at the moment, but it’s the best course of action.” He paused, “If you’re worried about what it would mean for you, then I can tell you not to worry. The male body is perfectly capable of functioning normally with only one testicle.”
Kane squeezed my hand, reassuring me that he was still there.
“Can’t you just remove the…tumour?” Asked Mum.
He shook his head, “There are many risks involved with performing that procedure. It is simply easier and safer, for Lewis, that we remove the testicle.”
“Will I…” I swallowed, “My hair…Will I lose my hair?”
“We can’t say just yet. This is another reason why we need to get the CT scan done as soon as possible.” He replied.
“When?” Asked my mum, her voice sounding weaker than usual.
Doctor Stevens looked at him, “We have Lewis down for one tomorrow at three o’clock.” He replied before turning to me, “We also have you booked for the operation this Friday.”
I looked at the calendar on his desk, it was Tuesday. I had less than a week.
“Won’t you need the results from the scan before you can book the operation?” Asked Dad.
“In most cases, an Orchiectomy is the first action we’d take to treat the cancer.” He paused, “But we’ll have the CT results back before Friday, so we’ll consult them to make sure it’s the best way to treat Lewis.” He looked at me, “You’ll have another consultation before the operation, and they’ll go over the CT results with you there.”
I nodded and glanced away.
“Do you have any more questions?” He asked, looking at us.
Everyone seemed to remain silent, “No.” Replied my Dad, “I think we all need some time to deal with this.”
He nodded and offered him a small smile, “I understand.” He replied, looking at me, “If you have any questions before the operation, be sure to ask them when you come in for your consultation. They’ll be able to answer any that you have.”
I nodded again, my mind elsewhere. I felt so tired, so drained. As if the revelation of having this disease ‘sucked’ away the life from me. I wanted to go home.
After a few more minutes of idle conversation between us and the Doctor, my wish was granted and we left the hospital. Heading for home.
I had cancer.
I could feel it. I could actually feel it.
What began as a small mass, then turned something that threatened my life. No, it was taking my life. And I could feel it. Like something was swallowing me up from the inside, starting with my groin. It was only a matter of time before it spread throughout me, into my veins, my blood. Taking over my cells. Killing me. Why?
I was a nice person. I worked hard at school, I was kind to my family. So what was I doing wrong? Where did I mess up? Or was it because of something else, was it because of who I loved? Was it because of who lay there next to me? A boy? Kane?
I stared up at the dark ceiling of my room, “Am I being punished?” I asked into the inky darkness.
A car drove past outside, its headlights creating streaks across the ceiling through the blinds.
“Am I so bad, so evil that you need to do this to me?”
Kane’s gentle breathing lapped against my neck as he slept peacefully.
“You gave me Kane, but now you want to take that away, why?” I frowned, “I don’t understand.”
The time on my clock changed, 3:56 AM.
“Is it because I don’t believe in you? Is that why you’re punishing me?” I frowned, “I thought you’re supposed to love everyone, all of your children.”
“He does.” Replied Kane softly.
I shook suddenly upon realising he was awake.
Kane shifted, “Is that what you think, that he’s punishing you?”
I looked back up, “I don’t know.”
“He’s not, Lewis.” He said, squeezing my hand, “He loves you, I love you.”
“Then what about this?” I asked, “Why is this happening to me?”
He frowned, “I don’t know why, Lewis.” He whispered, “But no one’s punishing you. You’re a good person.”
“You’re a wonderful person.” He said, before he leaned closer, “I pray for you every day, even when you are healthy. And when I do, I thank him, for sending you.”
“You pray for me?” I asked.
He nodded, “Not in the strictest sense, but I close my eyes, bow my head.” He paused, “I know you’re not religious, but I like to think that there’s a higher power, someone who can help in times of need.”
“What if it’s that higher power doing this?”
He squeezed my hand again, “Then I would not worship that God.”
I thought for a moment before Kane leaned across and kissed my temple.
“I know you’re scared right now, but I will be right here with you. At every step.”
“I mean it, Lewis. Don’t you worry about a thing, I’ll take care of you.” He whispered, kissing me softly again, “I promise.”
later I found myself walking through two large double doors. Once
again I was in the Radiology department, but instead of an
ultrasound, I was there for a CT scan. As I entered the room, I
immediately noticed the large, donut shaped machine in the centre.
There was a small bed type thing that was near to the hole in the
middle of the machine. I guessed that it was where I’d lay as
the machine done its thing. On the other side of the room was a
window where another person seemed to be at work, presumably that was
where they controlled the machine.
The Doctor who led me in there smiled at me, “If you hop up onto the bed then we can get started.” She said.
I nodded and climbed onto the surface.
“Ok, I just need to give you this injection into your arm.”
I looked at the tube of coloured liquid, “What is it?” I asked.
“It contains a special liquid that enhances the image from the scanner. It doesn’t hurt, but you may get a metallic taste in your mouth for a few seconds, or feel a little warm.” She said.
I nodded and watched as she picked up the syringe and held it in her fingers.
“Just hold your arm out for me.”
I extended my arm, pulling up the short sleeve of the hospital gown slightly.
She moved the needle closer and gave me the injection, causing me to wince slightly at the intrusion. After a few seconds she pulled it out, “There you go.”
I nodded and glanced down at it.
She placed the syringe on a tray, before she turned to me, “We’ll give that a while to go through.” She said, before she gave me a basic rundown on what will happen. “And if you hear the words ‘hold your breath’ through the speakers, breathe in steadily and then hold for around twenty seconds.” She said.
I nodded, “Ok.”
“Do you have any questions?” She asked.
“Erm…” I began.
She smiled at me, “Yes.”
“It’s safe, right?” I asked. Part of me thought it sounded stupid, I mean, of course it had to be safe, otherwise why would they give me one? But on the other hand, the size of the machine and the white, sterile nature of the room scared the crap out of me.
She smiled again, “Yes, it’s quite safe.” She paused, “It gets a bit loud, but you won’t feel a thing, I promise.”
I stared at her for a second before I nodded.
“Ok, now I’m just going to be through the window in there monitoring the results.”
I nodded again.
“Just remember to stay really still, otherwise we’d have to redo some parts again. Is that ok?”
“Yes.” I replied quietly.
“Good.” She replied, “Now just lay down and make yourself comfortable.”
I lay my head back against the pillow and exhaled.
“Is that alright?”
“Ok.” She said, before she pressed some buttons on the machine, causing the me to move into the machine. I kept moving all the way through until my head was just out the other side, with my groin in the centre of the hole.
I listened as her footsteps became quieter, before she opened the door and stepped out. Leaving me alone in the room. I lay there for a second. I kept my eyes open, looking at the ceiling above. I felt my stomach rumble, reminding me that I needed to feed it. Because of where they were taking the images on my body, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything solid for the entire morning. It wasn’t that hard to do, save for the slight discomfort in my stomach.
I heard the machine begin to make a ‘whirling’ noise, kind of like a washing machine. It wasn’t too loud, but it wasn’t that pleasant either. I closed my eyes and tried to focus my mind on something else. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to stop worrying about the scan so much. Instead I focused my mind on Kane, or more specifically what it must have been like in Ghana.
I’d never been myself, but Kane travelled there at least once every year, he always had done since I’d known him. I remembered him telling me how hot it was during the summer months, that living over here, in England, had made him used to a cooler climate. Similarly, if his dad came over here in the winter months, I bet he’d be in for a surprise too.
“Hold your breath.” Came a voice through the speakers.
I opened my eyes, realising that the machine was now above me, evidently it had moved, or better still the bed I was laying on was moving, placing my abdomen under the main part. I inhaled deeply and held my breath.
I held it for around twenty-seconds when the voice came through, “You can breathe again now.” I exhaled deeply, taking a few strong breaths to normalise my breathing.
This happened a few more times, before the machine finally stopped making any noise, and the bed started to slide out.
“It’s finished, Lewis.” Came a voice through the speaker, seconds before the door opened and in stepped the Doctor. She walked over to me, “You can sit up now, just do it slowly.”
I nodded and sat up on the small bed.
“That didn’t hurt, did it?” She asked, with a small smile.
I managed a smile myself, “No.”
“Good. I’ll take you back to the changing rooms so you can get dressed and then we’ll go back out the front. Ok?”
I nodded and followed her over to the changing rooms. Once I finished getting dressed back in my own clothes, I followed the Doctor back out to where Kane and Mum were. They immediately stood up once they noticed me.
Mum looked at me, “How did it go?” She asked.
The Doctor nodded, “We got some good images. Lewis did a good job.” She said.
“Can we take him out now?”
She glanced at the clock, “It’s been forty-seven minutes since he had the injection. He should be ok to leave now.” She turned to me, “And as long as you feel ok, Lewis. Then there’s no reason you can’t go home.”
I nodded, “I feel ok. A little sore from laying there.”
She smiled, “It’s not the most comfortable place to be, but at least it’s done now.”
I nodded again.
“I hope everything else goes well for you while you’re here.”
“Thanks.” I replied.
She smiled at me one more time, “I’ll see you later, bye.”
“Bye.” I replied, as she wandered off back towards the way we came.
“You ready to go home?” Asked Kane.
I nodded, “Yeah. And I could really do with something to eat.”
We had one
more meeting at the hospital before my op. I initially thought that
it’d be with Doctor Stevens, but it turned out to be with an
Oncologist, a Doctor who works with cancer. His name was Doctor
Vasilyev. Despite his clearly Russian name, you couldn’t tell
that if you heard his voice. While I assumed he’d have an
accent, he had none at all. He seemed like any other English
“Please, take a seat.” He said, as we took our seats in his room. Like the last consultation, my family, along with Kane were present.
I offered him a smile, and watched as he sat down.
He glanced briefly at the file in front of him, before looking up at me. “I’ve looked over the CT scans with the radiology department.” He began, before he smiled, “And I’m pleased to tell you that there does not appear to be any signs showing that the cancer has spread from your testicle.”
I felt something rush through me at that. It was the best bit of news I’d had in nearly two weeks. I smiled at that, turning to Kane and grinning at him. He returned it by squeezing my hand. I felt Mum, Dad and Tara grip my shoulders, or my arm, pleased to hear the news. After a few minutes I looked up at Doctor Vasilyev.
“What does that mean exactly?” I asked. I knew it was good news, but clearly I still had cancer. So I wanted to know how this would affect me, or better still how it would affect my treatment.
“As the cancer is localised within your testicle, it means that we’re dealing with a Stage I cancer, in other words, it’s in its early stages.” He replied
“What does this mean for treating Lewis?” Inquired Tara.
Doctor Vasilyev nodded, “Stage I testicular cancer puts us in a good position to treat Lewis.” He said, “It also has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers.”
Mum and Kane squeezed my hands again at that.
Dad looked at him, “So after the operation, on Friday, it should be all gone?”
“We will have to perform some more blood tests after the operation to make sure, but for the most part, the cancer would be removed from your body.” He replied, looking at me.
That pleased me, but it also made me feel slightly uneasy. The only thing that stood between me and the cancer was the testicle. And while it had to go, it was a part of who I was, what I was. Male.
Mum looked at him, “We were told he would be fine with one testicle, but could you explain that a bit?” She asked.
I looked at the Doctor, awaiting the answer. The day before we arrived at the hospital, we made note of the questions that we’d like answered. There weren’t that many, but some were quite serious.
“Yes. Lewis’ body will easily be able to perform all tasks with only one testicle.” He looked at me, “This includes all sexual tasks. Everything that you can do with two testicles you can do just as well with one.” He said, pausing, “The remaining testicle will enlarge slightly in order to produce more sperm and more testosterone. So that will be nothing to worry about.”
Dad looked at him, “What about a prosthetic testicle?”
“That is an option open to Lewis in this case. If you’d like to have a prosthetic one fitted, we generally do it several weeks after the operation. ” He replied.
We asked a few more questions, notably what the operation would ensue and what the recovery period would be like.
“In two days time, you’ll come into the hospital and head for Ward 7a, our Paediatric Surgery ward, as you’re under eighteen. Once there, the nurses will be able to get you ready, help you get changed, and will show you around the ward.” He paused, “When it’s time for your operation, one of the nurses will take you up to the Operating Room. Once there, one of the nurses will take over and take you into the theatre when they’re ready.” He looked at me, “Is that ok, so far?”
“The operation itself is quite simple, a small incision is made above your pubic bone, and we remove the testicle.”
I looked at him, alarmed, “What?”
He nodded, “Were you assuming that we’d make an incision in the scrotum?”
“Erm, yeah.” I said. Surely that was the easiest way.
He shook his head, “That is the common belief, but very few Orchiectomies are performed like that.” He paused, “It doesn’t pose any more risks to you, and it is in an easier place to care for after the operation.”
“After the operation, you’ll be kept under close supervision in a recovery room. When your vitals are ok, and the Doctors are satisfied that you’ll be ok, you’ll be sent back down to the Paediatric Surgery ward.” He paused, “You may or may not be awake at this point. But when you do wake up, it’s normal to feel a little disorientated for a moment, perhaps a little dizzy too, but that’ll pass. After a while, a nurse or Doctor will come along and inspect your wound, and ask you how you feel.”
He explained a more things to me and also said that I was to stay in hospital over night so they could see how I was doing. That part didn’t bother me that much, my stomach was still doing back flips over the idea of losing my testicle.
After about another ten-minutes, where we asked a few more questions, we began to leave, but as the others got up, I sat there and turned to them.
“Erm, could I stay…” I said trailing off, “I have something I’d like to..check.”
Dad nodded at me, “That’s fine. We’ll just be outside.”
Kane looked at me and I just smiled at him slightly. I didn’t want him to feel like I was keeping things from him, but it would be embarrassing enough to ask the question, let alone with him there too.
I waited until they left the room before I looked at the Doctor.
He looked at me, waiting for me to speak.
“I just want to check…” I paused, “I mean, if I’ve been with someone…sexually, they can’t catch this, right?” I asked.
He shook his head, “No. Cancer is not infectious.” He looked at me, “Your partner can’t ‘catch’ cancer from you.”
“In any way?” I asked, wanting to be clear.
“No. Not in any way.”
I nodded, relaxing some at that. At least Kane wasn’t in any risk. “Erm, you also said that I’d be fine with one testicle doing…sexual…stuff…” I said trailing off.
He nodded, listening to me.
“Well, did you mean everything, like everything I can do now?” I asked.
He smiled at me and nodded, “Yes. There will be very little change there.” He began, “Firstly, you will still have a sexual appetite, so your feeling towards people won’t change. Secondly, you will still be able to get and maintain an erection, and thirdly, you will still be able to ejaculate and orgasm.” He paused, “You may find that you don’t make as much sperm as you used to, but there will still be more than enough if you’d like to father a child.”
I nodded at that. I felt a lot happier knowing that I could still ‘perform’ for Kane.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” He asked warmly.
I offered him a small smile and shook my head, “No, thanks. I think you answered everything.”
He nodded and picked up a small folder, “Here are some sheets and booklets with all the necessary information about both the operation and your stay at the hospital.” He said, patting it, “It also contains the instructions on how to prepare for the operation. Just remember to follow those carefully and everything should go fine.”
I took them from him and stood up, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He replied, standing up and walking me to the door, “I hope everything goes well.”
thirty hours passed by in what seemed more like thirty minutes. I
looked at the clock and checked the time, 8:26. My operation
was due for 11:30. I had a little over three hours before I was in
the theatre. Three hours before I lost part of me.
I sat back in my chair and glanced out of the car window, watching as the hospital came into view. I could feel my leg start doing its thing again, but Kane reached over and placed his hand on it. I turned and looked at him. He gave me a small reassuring smile, but I could tell that he was deeply concerned for me, as though he could sense my deepest fears. I looked into his eyes, the same dark brown eyes that I fell in love with, and in those I found some strength. I saw Kane. I had to be brave, for him, for us.
I reached across and interlaced my fingers with his, before I leaned over and rested my head against his shoulder.
“I love you, Lewis.” He said softly.
“I love you too, Kane.”
About seven minutes later, I found myself entering the hospital, along with Kane and my family. After a short look on a map, we managed to find where the ward was. It took us a little under five minutes to walk there. I couldn’t believe how large the place was from the inside. There were corridors here, elevators there, Doctors and Nurses everywhere. I also assumed that there wouldn’t be that many people there at that time in the morning, but as it turned out, there were quite a few.
When we entered the ward, I took a moment to glance around. It was quite a large place, with various rooms all lined with about six or eight beds each. I looked ahead and noticed a desk, so we headed over to it. The young woman behind there smiled at us.
“Can I help you?”
“This is my son, Lewis Mitchell, he’s having an operation here today.” Said Dad.
She nodded and typed it into the computer, “Yep, that’s fine. If you just give me a moment, I’ll go and get someone.” She said, before she headed off.
I took the chance to look about again. On the whole, it all looked pretty modern, with beach-coloured wood on the tables, flat screen monitors. It helped put me at ease. I looked into the other direction, to where some beds were and could see that the curtains had been pulled around most of those. Seeing as this was the Paediatric ward, there would only be children up here. And being almost sixteen, I must have been at the upper end of that boundary.
“Hello.” Came a voice behind me.
I turned around and watched as a young man approached me.
“I am Nurse Richards.” He said, smiling warmly, “I’ll help you get settled in and get you to your unit.” He added. He appeared to be in his mid twenties and was quite attractive. “Would you like me to call you Lewis, or Mr Mitchell?” He asked, as he took hold of a file from the desk.
“Lewis is fine.” I replied.
He smiled at me, “It’s nice to meet you, Lewis.” He said, before he looked at the others, “You must be the Mitchells.” He said, “All of them it seems.” He joked.
I grinned at that, along with my family, “Yes, we’re all here.” Said Dad. He glanced at Kane, but knew that I wouldn’t want him to draw attention to that, “And a friend too.” He added.
Nurse Richards smiled, “Well, Mitchell family and friend, I’ll begin by showing you all around the ward, so you know where everything is.” He said before he glanced at them again, “As there’s four of you, you’re in luck that the hospital allows four people to be around the bed at any one time. So you can all stay with Lewis.” He said, “I’ll talk more about that later.”
I nodded. At least I didn’t have to worry about not seeing everyone at once.
Nurse Richards spent the next ten-minutes or so walking us around the ward, before he led me over to the bathrooms where I could get changed. Both my family and myself read thoroughly through the sheets and documents that were given to us at the consultation. There were a few things on there that I wasn’t particularly keen on, such as shaving away my pubic hair, and to take some laxatives the day before. I also wasn’t allowed to eat any solid food for breakfast, so I’d be fasting until around dinner time.
But the part in the documents that wasn’t too bad was the fact that during my time in the ward, I was allowed to wear some pyjamas brought from home. Unfortunately I hadn’t had a pair of pyjamas for about six years, but Dad and Tara ventured out to get some.
After I finished getting dressed, I put on my slippers and walked back outside, where my parents were talking to Nurse Richards. It felt a bit odd to be wearing pyjamas again, even more so when the other guys were wearing clothes, but it didn’t bother me too much. Nurse Richards turned to me.
“You all set?”
I nodded, “Yep.”
“Good, let me show you to your unit and bed.” He said, as he led us through the ward. After a quick walk, we stepped into one room where there were about six beds inside, “This is for the older kids, like yourself. Everyone in here are thirteen and over.” He said, lowering his voice slightly, “Some of them might still be resting, so please be as quiet as you can.”
We all nodded and headed over to a bed, one close to the door. I glanced around, three of the other beds were seemingly occupied with other kids as the curtains were drawn around them.
“There we go.” Said Nurse Richards as we stopped next to one of the beds, “If you want to step around, I’ll pull the curtain.” He said, causing the other guys to shift forwards, as he pulled the curtain around us. “That’s better.” He said, before he turned to me, “You can get onto the bed now, Lewis.”
I nodded and slipped off my slippers before I climbed on, slid my legs under the sheets, and pulled them up to my waist. Nurse Richards waited until my head was back, before he pressed a button, causing me to move into a sitting up position.
“How’s that, comfortable?” He asked.
He smiled, “Good.” He glanced around the unit, “I’ll quickly show you where everything is, and then I need to check your vitals.”
I nodded and watched him as he showed us where everything was. Like the small bedside table, a small locker where I could store any personal items, and the fancy tv/phone/computer device that was attached onto the wall, but was on a kind of ‘rig’ that let it slide around in front of me as I sit on the bed. He also showed me how I could call for someone if I needed help.
“Ok, Lewis. Now I’m just going to take your vitals and check a few things before the Doctor arrives, ok?”
“Ok then.” He said, before he put me through a quick check up, listening to my heart and chest, taking my blood pressure, all the usual stuff. He finished taking the measurements and turned to me, picking up one of the files he was carrying, “I just need to ask you a few questions now.”
I nodded again.
“Can you tell me why you’re here today?”
I looked at him, expecting it to be a joke. He’s asking me why I’m here. Is he kidding me!?!
He smiled, “Relax, we know why you’re here, I just want you to tell me why you’re here.”
I still didn’t see what he was getting at, but I figured I’ll answer, “I’m here to have…erm…I’m having an operation to…” I stammered, unable to find the right words, “…remove a…testicle.” I said, my voice barely a whisper.
He nodded and looked at me closely, “It’s going to be ok, Lewis. Just one step at a time.”
“Ok, can you tell me when you last ate a solid meal?”
“Yesterday, for dinner. I had a sandwich.”
He nodded as I spoke, writing it down on a clipboard.
“That’s fine. Are you experiencing any pain in your groin now?” He asked.
He nodded and took it down, “Ok that’s it.” He said, as he put down the board, “The Doctor should be along in a little while and he’ll want to talk to you and to see your testicle.”
I nodded, “Ok.”
He smiled at me, “I’ll just be doing my rounds, but if you need anything, just call one of us over. Ok?”
I nodded again, “Yeah. Thanks.”
He grinned back before he stepped over to the curtain, pulled it back a bit, and stepped through, leaving us alone.
Only minutes seemed to pass before the Doctor appeared, while it was about a half-hour in reality. As Nurse Richards said, he asked me questions about myself, my general heath, before he wanted to see my groin.
“Ok, I just need to check your testicle now, if that’s ok.” He said.
I glanced over at my family as they sat there, but Dad understood, “We’ll just be out here.” He said, before they upped and headed out of the curtain surrounding us.
Again I wanted Kane to stay, but I didn’t know if it’d be worth the risk. The Doctor would inherently know what was going on between us then, and I didn’t want him to treat me, treat us differently because of it. So I let him go.
As for the ‘checking my testicle’ part, it didn’t bother me so much. He touched it very lightly, feeling the lump, before he removed his hand. He asked me if I had any pain anywhere else, but I told him I didn’t. He seemed satisfied with that, before he left and went about the rest of his rounds.
After the Doctor left us, we were pretty much left to our own devices for the rest of the morning. We didn’t do much, just talking about different things. But as I looked at the others, it was clear that they all looked so tired, like they’d gotten very little sleep. I didn’t get that much myself. Every time I’d go to drift off, another thought would enter my mind. And despite my strongest attempts to think of something else, my mind would always return to one thing; the cancerous tumour in my groin. Or worse still, the impending operation.
I hadn’t thought that much about it again since I’d entered the hospital, but it was a little over an hour later, when Nurse Richards came to my bed did those feeling come rushing back to me.
“Ok, they’re ready for you upstairs now.” He said.
I nodded and began to move about on the bed before he stopped me.
“You can stay there.” He said, “We’ll move you up there.”
I looked at him, “I’m ok to walk.”
He shook his head, “It’s hospital policy.” He said, as he turned off the wheel locks and lowered the back of the bed down, “Just lay back and enjoy the ride.”
It was one odd feeling to be wheeled about on a bed. Perhaps a better word would be disorientating. It was like someone was ‘rolling’ a film before your eyes as the ceiling moved past. My family and Kane accompanied me upstairs, into the Operating Room ward, before Nurse Richards handed me over to the Nurse on duty there.
She wheeled me into another room, where she then let me sit up again, as we waited for the Anesthetist.
It didn’t take long, about five minutes before the man arrived. He had all my details on file such as my weight and height, so he already had the right dosage for me in the injection. As he started to prep himself, I glanced around at my family, before I turned to Kane.
I looked at him, my eyes wide. Everything had happened so fast over the past few days, and now I was about to go into surgery. I was going to go in there as a man and come out as…less. I clenched my eyes shut at the thought. Before I opened them again, looking at Kane. I wanted to tell him so much, how much he meant to me, how much I cared for him. How much I loved him for being there for me during all of this. Never once complaining. He was simply there.
I reached out for him, he looked at me for a moment before I extended my hand further.
“I love you.” I said softly.
He smiled, “I love you too.”
The Anesthetist turned around, and hovered the needle above my arm, “Are you ready?”
He reached out and gave me the injection, before he pulled it out and placed it on a tray, “So, Lewis, what sports do you do at school?” He asked, turning to me.
I looked at him, “Uh, football, rounders…” I began, as I felt this cool sensation run up my arm, “Tenn- god this thing feels wei-“ And I was out like a light.
And as if
I’d blinked, I was awake again. I opened my eyes, staring up at
the ceiling. A different ceiling. I looked intently at the
squares and the tiles. It took me a few seconds before I realised I
could hear movement, yet, I couldn’t seem to move. I tried to
panic, but I couldn’t do that either. I lay there, before I
felt someone stroke the side of my face. Kane came into view,
smiling. His lips were moving and I could hear the sound, but I had
no idea what he was saying. Yes, it was English, but I couldn’t
understand him. After a few seconds he stopped talking. Probably
realising that I couldn’t understand him.
After a few more minutes, some more things began to make sense, and my head felt less…’cloudy’.
“How do you feel?” Came a voice.
I turned my head and looked at Nurse Richards standing there, seemingly I was back in the ward. “Tired.” I replied, trying to swallow, “And thirsty.”
He nodded, “We need to give it a little while for your body to wake up again before we give you anything to drink, ok?”
I nodded meekly.
“How do you feel down there?” He asked, gesturing to my abdomen.
I concentrated on the feelings, “It hurts a bit.”
“Like an ache, or a sharp pain?”
“More of an ache.”
He nodded again and wrote that down on his board, “I can give you some medicine for that.” He looked at me, “Do you have any pains anywhere else? Or anything else uncomfortable?”
I shook my head.
He smiled, “Ok. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be back with the medicine.”
Kane looked at me, he was much closer as he lay his head near mine, “How are you Lewis?”
“I’m ok.” I said softly, before I noticed that Mum, Dad and Tara were standing behind him, “Hey guys.”
“Hey, are you ok, baby?” Asked my mum, as she stroked my forehead.
I nodded, “Yeah.” While I was feeling more and more awake, I still felt a little ‘out’. I guess I’d need a few minutes.
In reality it did take a few minutes, and within an hour I felt a little bit better. Coupled with the fact that I was allowed a whole cup of water, I felt quite a bit better. Actually that’s a lie. A complete lie. I probably felt the worst I ever had. Sure Kane and my family told me that the operation was a success, a claim that was backed up when the Doctor came to visit. But to me it wasn’t a success at all. I lost. I lost a very important part of me, of who I was.
I dunno, it wasn’t so much the physical feelings I had in my groin, but the psychological and emotional pain I was feeling inside my head. Every time I’d look at Kane, my Dad, or any other male, I couldn’t help but feel like I was less. Some would say I’d always been at a disability when trying to assert more of my masculinity because I was gay, but back then I’d tell them to stick it. But with only one testicle…I guess I didn’t have the balls anymore to be a real man. In both senses of the phrase.
night on the ward was one weird experience. Sure it was great to have
Mum there with me, but it still felt odd. It was kinda like that
sleepover you have when you’re like eleven-years-old or
something, when you keep getting up at the sound of any odd noise.
Whether it was the sounds of a machine bleeping, or someone coughing.
It worked very well to keep me disturbed. At one point during the
night, or early morning, I awoke to the sound of both my parents
whispering. I couldn’t make out much of what they were saying,
but I assumed that Dad had come to ‘relieve’ Mum.
But it was during that short time with my parents did I really see what it had been like for them. I could tell from their voices, from the way they acted that they were scared. Scared of what could happen to their son. But the part that struck me was the fact that they didn’t care that I had one testicle, to them they were thankful that I was still alive. That got me thinking for a few seconds, but not for too long, as finally, in the comforting presence of both my parents, I fell asleep.
One week later
had the dressing taken off a few days before, when I also had another
blood test. This gave me my first proper sight of my wound on my
abdomen. It wasn’t as nasty as I imagined, sure it didn’t
look that good, but they said that it’d heal some. So hopefully
that wouldn’t be so bad.
The worst part was when I first saw my testicle after the operation. I remember the exact moment in time, as I stood there, looking at it. Tears filled my eyes. I’d known what had happened during the operation, I knew what had to be done, but seeing the conclusion still shook me. It shook me every time. I reached down, my fingers trembling slightly as they came in contact with the singular object. It didn’t really hurt that much anymore, not as much as before. There was a little bit of pain, but nothing I couldn’t handle, with the help of some light medication.
I heard a knock at the bathroom door. So I pulled up my trousers and walked over, unlocking it.
Kane stood there staring at me. I just looked at him. I wanted to hold it in, show him that I was still a man, a man with one testicle. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. It hurt. It really, really hurt and I needed someone. Kane walked forward, holding onto me as I buried my face in his shoulder. And in those minutes, I let go of everything.
It took me a few days to get over the initial shock of seeing myself down there. But finally, after one week once I left the hospital, something started to pick up. Whether it was the way Kane was around me, or some inner struggle I had with myself, I’d seem to overcome some hurdle. It wasn’t a big step, but it was something, an inch, a millimetre in the right direction. Having my dressing off also meant that I could finally have a wash all over, without worrying about things getting wet. It felt so good to stand in my shower and let the water flow over me. I think I stood there for a whole five minutes without moving. Just enjoying the feeling of the warm water cascading over my body. It felt invigorating, it felt fresh. It was happiness trapped in a moment. A moment that I wanted to last forever.
next week or so, I made a few visits to the hospital so they could
check the wound, and better still, I also got the results of my
second blood test. They seemed to follow the pattern of the previous
test, in that the AFP levels, the markers that indicated cancer
cells, were dropping. They were very close to normal. This, in
concert with another CT scan showed that there was little evidence of
any more tumours laying within my body. While this news in itself was
fantastic, it also meant that I wouldn’t need any more
treatment. No chemotherapy, and no radiotherapy.
It seemed that I was very fortunate enough to catch the cancer at an early stage. Had I waited an extra few weeks, or even a month, then the situation could have been much worse. Dire even; something that I couldn’t bear to think about.
And with my body on the highway to recovery, it also meant that the next thing I’d have to conquer would be going back to school. While we told the head teacher and some of the attendance staff the reason for my three-week-long absence, I ultimately decided to use a cover story. I wasn’t ashamed that I had cancer, but I was still struggling with having only one testicle. And that was one fact that I didn’t want anyone else to know about. So to everyone else I had the flu, with some minor complications.
My Doctor, once aware of my situation, promptly gave the school a medical certificate to authorise my absence. I was also to have one further week off before I were to start back. And to be completely honest, it would be great to get back, to make me feel normal again, even if I didn’t.
I still had my inhibitions about having one testicle, something that didn’t want to change, but it was on the Friday night, two weeks after my operation, did I take a leap. A leap of faith.
Kane looked at me as I lay on the bed, “Lewis? Are you ok?”
I nodded, “Yeah, just tired.” I said, turning onto my side.
He followed my face and looked into my eyes, “Lewis, it’s ok. Let me look.”
I shook my head, “No.”
He watched me for a moment before he climbed up the bed, looking deep into my eyes, kissing my forehead, “I love you, Lewis.”
“I love you too.” I whispered back.
“You know I won’t laugh, or say anything horrible to you, don’t you?” He asked softly.
He gently rubbed my arm, “You’re so beautiful Lewis. Nothing can change that.”
I felt my eyes well up with tears, as I bit my bottom lip.
“Look at me.”
I glanced upwards, looking into his dark brown eyes.
“I love you.” He said, before he kissed me lightly. After a few seconds he pulled back, and slowly crawled back down the bed. He rested his hands on the top of my thighs, “Can I look?” He whispered, “Please?”
I don’t know why he wanted to look at me. What was he expecting to find? I didn’t know, I was at a complete loss there. It wasn’t him seeing me that scared me, it was what he’d think after he saw. Or what he would do. Kane had been so good to me during the whole thing, and I didn’t want him to…to…
I didn’t want him to think less of me. He meant so much to me, I could afford to risk everything on one little…nuisance. But it was there. It was fact. I had one testicle.
He looked into my eyes again, “Nothing will stop me from loving you. Nothing.”
I stared into his dark brown depths, searching his soul. I found my answer and nodded my head.
His eyes flicked to my groin before he carefully pulled my boxers down, removed them off my legs, before he tenderly parted my thighs. I had never felt so naked and vulnerable before. I didn’t care about the Doctors and Nurses who’d seen me like this, but at that moment, with Kane, everything mattered to me.
“You’re so beautiful…” He said softly, looking up at my face, “Lewis.”
I looked down at him, my eyes wide, seeing if he meant it.
He looked at my groin again, “So beautiful.”
I watched as his stare lingered on me before he looked at my face.
“Can I?” He asked, holding out his hand.
I nodded slowly. I expected him to touch me with his finger, but instead he leaned forward and kissed me. Kissing my sack. It wasn’t sexual, but it was the most sensual moment that we had ever shared. He sat up and slowly extended his hand, gently cupping me.
I lay back and looked at my white ceiling, tears in my eyes.
Kane climbed up and lay next to me, wrapping my nude form in his arms.
I didn’t say anything.
He didn’t say anything.
We just lay there. Together.
Three Months Later
looked out on the horizon. Everything was so peaceful, so tranquil.
Never in my life had I felt so alive, so attuned to nature. I could
feel more, I could feel everything around me, as though I was one
with this part of the world. In complete solace. Kane leaned over and
kissed me lightly, “You’re so beautiful, Lewis.” He
said, before he hugged me tighter, covering me from the wind.
Did having cancer change me? Yes, in some ways. Did it make me less of a man? No. Nothing could change that. It isn’t the physical appearance alone that constitutes who or what a man is. It comes from within. It comes from my soul.
So what changed? Not much. I still have my family and friends. I still have Kane. And my heart still beats. In hindsight, that’s all I’ll ever need. You could take away everything else, and I’d still be the happiest man alive.
I snuggled closer to him, watching as his smooth face and glistening eyes reflected the orangey hues of the sun. I turned back, watching as it slipped below the horizon of the hill. It was so beautiful, so exquisite; almost heavenly.
-This Anthology is dedicated to the all the incredible people who work tirelessly within the medical profession. Their hard work and sacrifices save countless lives every day. They bring a true meaning to the word 'heroes'.
Thank you for reading this Anthology entry, I hope you enjoyed it.
Now, before you wander off, I'd really like you to do something for me! It's simple, I just want you to take your hand, reach into your pants, cup your testicles, and have a good feel about for anything odd. If something feels odd, compare it to the other side to make sure. (If you're female, tell your nearest male friend to do the same!) Go ahead, I'll wait!.....Ok, done? Good. If you didn't feel anything odd, or weird, that's great, that's awesome! But if you did find something, that's good too (at least you know it's there now!). So what do you do? Simple. Go see your Doctor. Believe me, that's the best thing you can do. They've seen hundreds of testicles during their time (all shapes and sizes too!), so I'm sure they'll be just as privileged to see yours! Once they take a look, (and perhaps a little feel- it really isn't that bad, honest!), they can tell you what they think, and better still, they can get things done.
If you're sitting there and you have found something, don't stay sitting there. It will not just 'go away'. Remember, the Golden Rule is to get it seen to as SOON as possible. 'Sometime next week' isn't as soon as possible! So get moving! Now, it may not be cancer, but it could still be something very serious. So please, I'm asking you as an author, as a fellow male, as a friend, to go and see your Doctor if you notice ANYTHING out of the ordinary.
Do it for yourself, do it for your friends and family, do it for me.
All comments and constructive criticisms are greatly appreciated.
I respond to every email, so feel free to send me a message, even if it's just to say, “Hi!”
You can E-mail me at: emulatedlove[at]gmail.com
Discuss this story with other readers at: http://www.gayauthors.org/
This Anthology also has a short two part analysis, which can be found on my blog here.
You can visit my blog at: www.emulatedblog.com for news about future chapters and my other stories.
Note: This story was originally posted as part of GayAuthors.org's Autumn 2009 Anthology. You can visit GayAuthors.org here.
* For more information about the Orchiectomy procedure, please take a look at this link.
Copyright © 2009 By Emulated