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A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer... and There Is One

February 16, 2013

Tell Me Your Story #1

02-16-2013 AdrianMagnusonMarie,

I’d be happy to share a long poem I wrote about my experience with prostate surgery. It’s a bit “racey”, so you have to decide if it’s what you want on your website. It does, however, go to the heart of why prostate cancer can be so damaging to men, and why early detection is the key to a good outcome.

from Washington

Sex After Prostate Surgery

There is nothing that stills the mind like the word cancer.
It doesn’t even matter whether the word is meant for you, or for the friend whose hand you now hold.
Or not at first, anyway.

But then it sets in; sets down roots, clawing like the crab it is until that one word
is all you can hear. That is what happens second.

Diagnosis is third, the what, where, and why of it. The doctor is speaking
but you stopped listening after he said, cancer.

The odds come next, Jimmy the Greek analysis called prognosis.
All you can imagine in this fourth and final are horsemen
of the apocalypse riding your way.

Fifth is what you drink late at night, considering options: poisonous seeds,
ray guns at twenty centimeters. Or maybe a game of Clue:
Dr. Smith, in the Operating Room, with the Scalpel.

Cancer is a game too, a game of chance you play to beat the odds.
But it’s a game of skill as well, a word game. Object?
Change cancer into can-sur-vive.

But after survival, comes the rest of your life. The surgery has left its marks.
And you don’t think yourself the same man anymore.

Doubt creeps in, and that only makes it worse. But then one night you dream of
water-skiing, long ago when we were all young.

Maybe it was a friend, or maybe it was your uncle. Or if you were lucky,
maybe it was you. But there was always a boat and a lake.

So much depends upon a bright-red runabout with a
shiny, green, Sea-Horse engine, pulling a skier.

Back then, the skier was trim and muscular, the engine new and well tuned,
the lake like glass, and he popped out of the water at first pull.

Today, the skier has succumbed to gravity and circumstance,
your trusty thirty-horse Johnson has seen better days,
the lake is choppy, and you can’t quite get him up.

You take the boat for a spin now and then, but always with the same result.
The skier rises then falls back, or flops to one side or the other.

But then you think, maybe if I warm up the engine a while before
giving it the gas. Maybe that would do the trick.

And it does!  But only when the lake is a mirror or when you concentrate
like some magician performing levitation.

But it’s not reliable, and, sadly, a tune-up is out of the question. They don’t carry
the parts anymore, and the warranty expired long ago.

But then you remember that engine mechanic. He rummages through
his medicine cabinet for fuel additive. You put ten milligrams in your tank,
cross your fingers, and kick it over.

The old Johnson sputters but catches. You give it a good warm-up
and hit the throttle. Then, like a 20-year-old Phoenix, though now in faded glory,
the skier rises.




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2 thoughts on “Tell Me Your Story #1

  1. I must say I was covering one eye as I read this, expecting something rated R(but notice I still read it!). Very tastefully done. Tough stuff. Very brave.

  2. Bon,

    Yes, I think Dick did a great job with a very sensitive subject. Unfortunately, things happen when a person goes through cancer and/or treatment. He is a brave man. Great writer, also. Very generous, too. You’ll read all about him in book two.


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Marie de Haan

Marie de Haan


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