“There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light…”
Dateline: The Penny Slots…
You want to cure colon cancer in men.
Develop a polyp satellite.
Get the feds to build a camera that can spot polyps from outer space, instead of, you know, inner space…and next week every guy on the planet will be standing outside, butt pointed to the equator for his annual checkup.
You want to catch prostate cancer early in men.
Don’t let any large handed guys in urology school.
I am working stiff, regular dude – sometimes unshaven, sometimes smelly, many times not paying full attention to those talking around me, or to me. I sometimes forget where I am and scratch in places that should be forgotten in public. I enjoy airborne smells as much as any teenager. I can burp for 7 seconds and HAVE ACTUALLY TIMED IT.
I wear black shoes with brown socks. Boxers not briefs, and truthfully nothing Michael Jordan ever says or does will have an influence on what kind of underwear I wear.
The only person who has an influence on what I wear is my wife and only because she buys most of it.
When it comes to clothes, I would go naked if I could, if it wasn’t for the naked part of being naked. Trust me, you’d thank me for my timid reluctance about the naked part.
I see these skinny, gasping-for-air guys running all around jogging for exercise or working out, and yes, I work out everyday, and have done so since I was 16.
I call it – WORK.
I work 10 to 12 hour days, from first safe light, until the night lights go on. If someone chases me, I’ll run, until then, after work, I’m going to bed.
If my wife, my children, my friends were sick and the cure was to fly a 747 up my butt, you would get the clearance to land.
If on the other hand, any checkup of ME that involves someone in latex gloves holding a tube of Vaseline … the annual checkup will be about once every 10 years.
And if you are a woman and you know a regular arse working stiff man, and they are honest with you, not emotional that’s a bit much to ask, but honest, they will tell you the exact same thing.
Which is why we men are morons when it comes to screening for Prostate Cancer.
A Prostate Satellite would change all that as well.
But until that device gets built, let me explain to guys like me, just what this is all about.
This Prostate Cancer stuff.
“…in the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right…”
To me, waking upright is good health. When I don’t wake up, then there’s a problem. So far I have managed to wake up most mornings.
So, I’m healthy.
You need to listen to this if you have a loved one who like me, is a regular-arse working stiff guy, because I’m going to let the secrets out, on us, regular-arse working stiffs.
I don’t give a crap about my health. I only care about my health when it affects what I can put on the table to feed my family.
I don’t give a crap about all the little vials of antiseptic hand washing stuff around, don’t give a crap about the right way to sneeze into my elbow because frankly my elbow is too messed up to bend that much anymore.
I don’t give a crap what Dr. Oz says.
I don’t give a crap what all the books on healthy living say.
I’m too busy trying to make a living regardless of how healthy I may be while doing it. If I punch a time clock, I could have an alien growing inside me, but I’m still coming into work.
Being able to survive, living day to day is my long range goal.
I don’t have time, to have time.
I’ve looked at our mortgage on Bank of America online, and you know what, under the FAQ section there is no answer for, I’ve got the flu do I still have to send the mortgage payment this month.
Yeah moron, you do.
The only health I care about is that of my family, I have told doctors exactly this: Just shoot up the knee/hip/ankle/elbow/shoulder and just keep me in the game, let me worry about “down the road.”
Well, “down the road” came.
“…and it comes in black and it comes in white…”
To a point.
I have cancer, Prostate Cancer.
I may have cardiac stuff going on.
I have torn meniscus in both knees.
My right ankle doesn’t bend much, my left ankle rolls all the time.
Both hips have been replaced.
When I get up in the morning I can barely move.
When it is cold and rainy I can barely move.
I am a card carrying regular-arse working stiff guy. Damn proud of it too.
I have never been ahead, sometimes I’m so far behind I may actually be ahead for a moment right before I get lapped.
And you folks out there in the health care business, you need to know this so you know us, not just our insides.
You need to know, I don’t have time to die.
In my life, there is no Co-Payment.
I’m it. My “Co” is working her arse off too.
Yesterday…I left the planet. For a few hours. Zoned out away from reality. Left my cell phone in the car, took out my iPod and earphones, and left the world behind.
Went to a casino.
Just sat in front of a slot machine, one with a bunch of lights and bells, and lost contact with the world 40-cents at a time.
Didn’t care if I won, didn’t care if I lost.
Reality was out there beyond the spinning wheels. Sometimes you need the facade, sometimes you need the real thing.
Yesterday I needed the Triple Wild Cherry World.
I came home with the same amount of money I brought…so no Co-Pay was needed.
Please know, that I’m alright. I’m not in the fetal position somewhere. I’m actually starting to pack to hit the road to do some stories.
I feel fine … which is the scary part of prostate cancer.
But if you are like me, a GUY, you need to get checked. And if you are unlike me, a woman, and you know a guy, make him get checked. Nag him to get checked. And that’s what you will have to do, because to be frank, it’s the finger up the ass that leads to this disease not being found early.
If all we had to do was pee in a cup, we guys would be all over this, but anytime there is the slightest possibility someone in an examining room will say, “Drop your drawers and bend over,” we choose death.
We are all manly men and will protect all from the savages and commies of the world in a heart beat, but at the sound of our doc snapping on that plastic glove, we’re toast … milk toast.
Which is why I’m going to De-HIPPA myself.
In plain speak, I will talk about the unspoken.
I will tell you when it hurts and when it doesn’t.
I will tell you the options and which one I choose and why.
I will help your wife nag you about this…in fact if she is tired of nagging you about your health, know this…I’m not…and I have a bunch of computer geek friends who will put together a Regular Arse Guy Nagging Program that will spam your arse right into the doctor’s office.
If you are going through this, are afraid to go through it, or just want to talk about it…email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will go through it with you.
We will not make a dent in this disease if we keep it to ourselves, hide it from each other.
Trust me, I would prefer not to be the poster guy for Prostate Cancer, but if that’s what it takes to save YOUR life, follow me through this.
Don’t do it for me.
Don’t do it for you.
Do it for them.
Those who love you.
As I was leaving the make believe casino world, before I left the penny slot machine I was at, I reached up and hit the Max Play button.
But it dawned on me that in the Max Play button of life, I believe I hit it…and won.
Won, because we caught this early.
Won, because I have family who love me.
Won, because of all the people out there sending kind words and prayers my way.
But if you don’t get checked for Prostate Cancer, when you hit the Max Play button of your life….
…the odds will be against you.
“…and I’m frightened by those that don’t see it.”
Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise
The Avett Brothers
Next Up, The Exam!