I’ve fallen lots of times on my bike, and it’s always the same. My tire catches on the lip of a curb or slides on some loose gravel, and there’s a sudden shift of weight and space. My body tightens and I imagine my face registers something like shocked surprise. The world as I know it—a carefully balanced ride from here to there—has radically and swiftly rearranged itself, and I’m struggling to catch up.
But that only lasts a split second. The thing to do then is understand that you’re falling and nothing is going to change that. Just ride out the fall and wait to land. Then pick yourself up.
When I heard from my doctor the afternoon of the sonogram and he told me that I had a mass on my right testicle, a weird calm came over me. I took a deep breath, heard the word Okay in my mind, and understood that I had given in to the fall and was waiting to land. Got it. A growth. So what do we do now?
My schedule immediately filled. Appointment with a urologist. Biopsy of the growths that the CT scan turned up. Insertion of a port for chemotherapy. Surgery on the morning of the 28th.
The big news was that this was almost definitely not a recurrence of my germ cell cancer from ten years ago; it was a new one—testicular. I’ve never so much as won a fruit basket in a raffle, but apparently I’d hit the cancer lottery twice.
But I’ll take that bad luck because it’s more than balanced out—not even close, really—by my good luck at having the friends I have, and who have leapt into action with a swiftness and focus that makes Seal Team Six look about as efficient as the DMV.