Nick stared across the desk at the doctor. “Testicular cancer?” he repeated the diagnosis, still in disbelief. “You mean I’ve got cancer… in my balls?”
Dr. Knutzak didn’t even bat an eye at his crude terminology. “That is correct. The pain and swelling you’ve been experiencing suggested cancer, and the ultrasound confirmed the presence of a tumor in your right testicle.”
“Fuck,” Nick swore under his breath, raking his hand through his hair. His head was swimming. “I just thought it was an STD…” Just an STD. The very real possibility of having contracted a venereal disease had freaked him out enough, but he’d never even considered cancer.
The doctor offered a grim smile. “I get that a lot. It’s good you came in when you did. With any luck, we’ll have caught it early, before it has a chance to spread. If surgery is successful, you may not even need chemotherapy.”
“Surgery?” Nick recoiled.
Dr. Knutzak nodded. “Yes… to remove the affected testicle.”
That was what Nick had been afraid of. This doctor wanted to chop off one of his balls! He started to shake his head. “Aren’t there any other options?” he pleaded.
“Research shows that a radical inguinal orchiectomy – removal of one or both testicles – is the best course of treatment for this type of cancer. If you refuse the operation, you run the risk of letting an otherwise treatable cancer metastasize to more advance stage, at which point it could become inoperable. My advice would be to proceed with a surgical approach, as soon as possible.”
Nick took a shuddering breath, blinking back tears. His world had come to a screeching halt at the sound of the word “cancer,” yet the doctor on the other side of the desk just kept on talking. He was already making plans to operate, while Nick was still trying to process everything he’d just been told. He was in a state of shock. I’m only thirty-two, he thought. I’m still young… still hot. Chicks dig me. I’m a fucking pop star. My dick has its own nickname, for God’s sake. What will fans think of the mighty Thor without his hammer?
Of course, he couldn’t bring himself to voice any of these thoughts out loud. When Dr. Knutzak asked if he had any questions, Nick just shook his head numbly and said, “No.”