A few years ago I found a lump in a very awkward position.
Imagine the general male groin area and you’re close.
I won’t tell you the exact details of how it was discovered but safe to say what started as a casual inspection turned into a full-blown episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 24 hours, complete with dramatic surgical scene.
It turns out that Testicular Cancer can aggressively turn up anywhere, on any man and any age but is particularly common in men 25-40 years old. I happened to scrape in early at 22.
In a matter of hours I’d had my nethers inspected by my regular GP, undergone an awkward CT scan with a very pretty Radiologist (awkward for me, not for her) and was swiftly referred on to a specialist Oncologist who confirmed that, yes, I would have a testicle removed. And “fast preferably”.
It’s funny the kind of innocuous words that freak you out only in a hospital situation and “preferably” and “fast” are two of them.
He said I had options.
I could wait a little longer and have my surgery through the public system but it meant living with the knowledge that my left testicle actively hated me for a week or so.
Imagine the world’s worst flatmate holding you by the gonads and you might come close to how much this appealed to me.
Thankfully Option B meant I could use my private health insurance and have the extraction done on the Monday. Only 2 days after discovery.
I like to think I’m as brave as Bear Grylls but at 22 staring down the possibility of not making it to 25 and potentially fulfilling my dream of marrying a Victoria’s Secret model got my priorities in line extremely quick.
So the next thing I knew I was whisked into hospital, had my left ‘buddy’ removed and started my new mono-testicled life in the comfort of a private room.
I joke about it now but having that calm and privacy during a time when my life was literally ALL about my privates helped so much. Yes, I am man enough to admit that I shed a tear or two.
Private Health Insurance, without a question, saved not only my life but my mental sanity during this time. And it’s this memory that keeps me signed up to my provider year upon year.
I also happen to have a constant reminder in my pants, which is convenient.
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