Interview With a Tumor
Since starting my journey with prostate cancer, I have listened to a lot of advice from a lot of people. To better understand what I am going through, though, I thought it better to have a discussion with my tumor. I set up a chat, and here’s the transcript.
An intimate relationship
Me: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
Tumor: No problem. Thank YOU for giving me a home.
Me: What do you like to be called? We’re in very personal relationship, so maybe it’s time we got less formal. You can call me Gleason6.
Tumor: Well, I’m an adenocarcinoma, so you can call me Dino! (chuckles).
Me: Okay, Dino. We’ve had kind of an intimate relationship since last September.
Dino: Hey, it was National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and I know how to make an entrance.
Me: Sort of a d**k move, though.
Dino: That’s how I roll.
Finding a host
Me: So why me?
Dino: I don’t know. You’re kind of my type. Older, hefty, sedentary. You eat at some of my favorite restaurants, too.
Me: So, you weren’t looking for me in particular?
Dino: Sorry to burst your bubble. It’s not like I have a problem finding a host these days.
Me: That’s what I heard. One out of every six guys get to hang out with you sometime?1
Dino: That’s a good estimate. Everybody gets exposed to carcinogens, and everybody’s genes have means of encouraging or suppressing my advances, but I’m always checking for open doors, metaphorically, and yours was the one that opened.
Asking about its plans
Me: So, what are your plans for me?
Dino: I assure you my intentions are purely honorable.
Me: Trespassing isn’t my idea of honorable.
Dino: So sue me! I got a defense. You ever hear of attractive nuisance? If you own a swimming pool, you should put a fence around it. I gave you some warnings.
The PSA warning
Me: My PSA was always on the high side.
Dino: See? It’s not like I was unannounced.
Me: But sometimes that was treatable by antibiotics.
Dino: Sometimes I get confused with some unsavory characters. Different MO, same indicators.
Me: You almost hid from us during the last biopsy. Twelve samples, and only one found you.
Dino: Well, consider me a fan of “Hide and Go Seek.”
Time and money
Me: You’ll probably end up costing me a lot of money.
Dino: Get over it, you’re insured.
Me: Not to mention time and aggravation.
Dino: Hey, I needed a place to crash, and here I am. I haven’t interfered with your love life, have I?
Dino: And you can urinate all right?
Me: More than I’d like.
Dino: Not my problem.
My house, my rules
Me: Actually, I have relatives who have been worse house guests. What do you think of active surveillance?
Dino: Frankly, it reminds me of 1984. I hear you are passing around my pictures to all your doctor friends. No way to treat a guest.
Me: Tough. My house, my rules.
Dino: Hey, you know I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Me: You don’t bother me, and I won’t bother you.
Dino: I’m not going to make any promises I can’t keep.
Me: And I’m not going to keep you around if things don’t look promising. No offense, but I’m planning on evicting you.
Dino: Well, you know where to find me.
Me: For now.
Dino: For now.
How familiar are you with inherited gene mutations and cancer?