Posted November 16, 2010 by jimhigley
If you’re ever looking for a grand slam topic to hold the attention span of a bunch of 18-year-old boys, consider giving them a detailed description of what it’s like to have a testicle removed.
You might even save a life along the way.
Yesterday, I got to hang out with my pal, Jonny Imerman of Imerman Angels 1-on-1 Cancer Support while he spent the day at Loyola Academy (which happens to be my youngest son’s high school as well!) talking to small groups of senior boys about cancer.
He only had about 40 minutes with each group but he covered a lot of turf including what the hell cancer is, differences between the three standard forms of treatment (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy), and – the group’s favorite – details of Jonny’s own journey through testicular cancer.
Jonny glady showed off the 11″ scar he sports on his stomach – a result of surgery to remove some tumors in his back a year after his testicular surgery, gave the group details about how his testicular cancer spread through parts of his body by the time it was detected, and had no problem fielding any question in the most candid manner you could imagine. Sex, fertility, emotions, treatment, risks – he touched it all. And 25 bonus points to the young man who confidently asked, “So, what’s it like with only one ball?” The reality – according to Jonny – is that it’s not much different than having two.
The best defense for early detection of testicular cancer, the number one cancer in young guys ages 15 – 35, is a simple self-exam every couple weeks. Do it in the shower so the skin’s a little more flexible from the warm water. Cup your two boys in the palm of your hands – one in each – and feel them. If one feels different than the other – harder, bigger, or painful in any way, you need to see a doctor.
It’s a surefire way to stay in the game.
Learn more about testicular cancer
Learn more about Imerman Angels