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I got my Pre-Op Exam a week ago today. Aside from the usual listening to heartbeats, etc. it involved shoving a tube up (down?) my penis to take a look-see at the inside of my bladder to discern whether or not I also have bladder cancer (I don’t).

My urologist gave me a numbing shot in the tip of my penis. Unfortunately, there’s no numbing agent for the numbing shot. Then he injected a numbing gel inside. Even numbed, inserting the viewing tube was still no fun, as you can imagine. The viewing time, however, was mercifully brief.

It burned to pee for a few days and for the first three days or so there was blood in my urine. I’m fine now, though.

Surgery is in just a little over a week now. Quite frankly, despite my excellent prognosis, I’m scared. As surgery approaches it is becoming much more difficult (if not impossible) to get a solid night’s sleep without the use of drugs (the fairly benign melatonin being my drug of choice).

I turned the corner psychologically, however, the other night. I woke up from a dream in which I received the news that the spouse or child (I can’t remember which) of one of my closest friends had prostate cancer. My fear turned to anger. When it was just affecting me I could allow myself the indulgence of a little self pity. But for it to strike an innocent friend, even if it was just in a dream —- well, that just royally pissed me off.

The anger from the dream took me out of myself in a positive way, I think. I’m furious with this stupid disease. I’m still burying myself in work (the typically male way to deal with — or avoid confronting — emotional problems), and probably will right up until the time of surgery. I hope to display the creative benefits of this flurry of work (murals during the day; portraits of about 20 old blues musicians and a sci-fi comic book cover in the evenings) to you shortly. I’m taking this next weekend off for one last “wet” (it’s the prostate that produces semen; I know — TMI) romantic getaway and for a get together with some close friends before my surgery.

I probably won’t have another Journal entry until after my surgery. I hope to be back after that with good news and more tales of deeply personal humiliation for your reading pleasure. Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “MORE GROSS STUFF

  1. Dear Mr. Stout,
    Your honesty and courage to openly discuss this ordeal is deeply moving. Your art and illustrations (especially the Dinosaurs book) inspired me long ago to become an illustrator. Today you are inspiring once again, but on a more personal and human level. With respect, I offer you my sincere wishes for health. Please be well.

  2. Ouch. Life sure does have a tendency to throw you a curveball when you least expect it.
    I really can’t think of anything appropriate to say in the face of such news. To bare your soul like that takes a hell of a lot of courage. Please know that there are a bunch of us out here rooting for you.

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