The Candidate

The day I met my urologist, in person, not over the phone, he said the funniest thing I will ever hear from any medical professional, from first symptom, to surgery, and beyond. As we were about to conclude our pre-op meeting, he said,

“You are the perfect candidate for this.”

Visibly startled, even while wearing a mask, I said to him, “So, a fifty-nine-year-old man with no pre-existing conditions is the perfect candidate?” And without hesitating, he said,

“Yes. Basically, this is bread and butter urology.”

And I needed to hear that.

Because at this point, about a month into the adventure of a cancer diagnosis, I was living with more than just physical symptoms. I was living with symptoms of fear, doubt, confusion, dread, and a genuine panic about ever seeing a future that, until August, I had completely taken for granted was still on it’s way. Nothing, not the well-wishes of friends, or the educated guesses of medical professionals, gave me any reason to hope. This is some scary shit, but I left this appointment with hope.

Now if you could just box up hope, and carry it with yourself to the end of the line, when they finally “fork that thing outta ya”, like one friend said of my kidney, in a text.

At one point in my not too distant past, I had been accused by another friend… accused, in a good way… of being “the most hopeful person they knew”. That hopeful person wasn’t around anymore, having left, for other reasons, a few years before the Summer of Cancer began. Now, I was looking for that person to make fresh appearance. A Deus ex Machina cameo that didn’t rely on a well-developed plot, or other accounting of an existing character arc. Just a re-emergence of the guy I was… before.

And this moment felt like that guy was living in my body again.

(c) copyright 2020 William S. Friday