What we have here is known as ‘The Shits.’ And that’s how my dear, sweet husband, Doug, and I learned that the cancer had spread to his lung. Doug’s oncologist does a good job of adding levity to moments like this and we all laughed after he’d said it, but we all knew The Shits was very, very bad news.
I’ve decided to post about our life with Doug’s penile cancer (with his permission) because after more than a year I still haven’t found much online support or community for this type of cancer, and because I apply what I’ve been teaching to my own life every day; my posts will illustrate what you’ll learn in my book, healing sessions, and workshops. Doug and I hope that my/our experiences will encourage others, plus it’s going to be good for me be more open about what it’s like for me to live in this moment.
Let’s begin at the beginning: August 2015. Last August I began to worry about Doug’s health after hearing him try to stifle groans of agony while he was in the bathroom. He’d had a very painful condition for years, Lichen Sclerosis, which made urinating painful, but this was different. I gently suggested he see a doctor and he gently declined, until finally in mid-September I noticed a growth that looked like a huge blood blister on the head of his penis. That’s when I became insistent that he see a doctor, and he reluctantly agreed. A friend helped Doug get an appointment with a urologist.
The two-week wait was mentally and emotionally exhausting for us, and physically agonizing for Doug. Finally, we saw the doctor on the first Wednesday in October. He talked to us pleasantly, looked at Doug’s penis and calmly said, “We’re going to do a biopsy,” and then told his assistant to schedule it for Friday. Friday?! Doug and I were surprised that he was making room in his busy surgery schedule for Friday, rather than waiting until Monday. My stomach dropped and we both were silent as we drove home. (to be continued tomorrow…)
— Excerpt from Annie B Wilson, an online author and psychologist