By SHARON GREY-BRYAN
This morning we went to the cancer clinic to see the urologist and Wesley who carefully did his research and interviewed dozens of men who had the disease, had a multiple of questions for the doctor.
Please allow me to back up for a few minutes, as this was our second time going to the clinic and I must admit that it was not half as traumatic as it was on our first visit. Again, the huge sign was there to greet us that reads, CANCER CLINIC, in bold print. The difference this time around was that Wesley and I walked in just as boldly as the sign outside.
Cancer is not an inditement as to how we had lived our lives as my husband was and still is a health freak. There was no stigma or embarrassment as we strutted like two peacocks.
While we were waiting to see the doctor in the general waiting area, I immediately noticed a man who was wearing a pair of shorts with a bag securely strapped to one of his legs. It was very difficult not to stare as the man and his wife were sitting directly opposite us; furthermore, it is not every day that you see a man with a bag of urine strapped to his leg.
As my eyes investigated, I also noticed that there was a tube attached to the bag. My eyes followed the tube up his leg and then it disappeared. I glanced over at Wesley and he too was looking curiously at the stranger. I knew exactly what was going on in his mind as I heard when he took a deep breath and let out a loud sigh. You see, my husband is very animated in his emotions. He leaned over to me and whispered, “that bag is the catheter bag”.
My attention went back to the stranger; I honestly don’t know how long I stared in horror as I pondered as to why he had to wear shorts, although it was a smoldering day. Why would he subject people to something that should have been private? As I glanced at the room filled with men who were waiting for their turn to see the doctor, I wondered how many of them had a bag of urine strapped to their leg. My thoughts went to places it had no business going. I studied the faces of the men, trying to guess their ages, but concluded for certain, my man seemed to have been the youngest.
My thoughts went back to Wesley as he had a pensive look about him; it was obvious that he was in a contemplative mode. I decided not to disturbed him as he caught my eyes and gave me a wry smile and a back rub. My man does that a lot when he is nervous, so I squeezed his hand to reassure him that we were alright.
For some odd reason I had found my friend the stranger rather fascinating as I seemed to focus on him more than any other, as I sat in judgment of him. I thought to myself that there was no way a man of colour would have been sauntering in public with a bag of urine strapped to his leg, in spite of how hot the day was. Men of colour are more prideful.
Almost immediately, I was hit with the realization that the stranger must have worn his bag of urine as a “badge of honour” and that the problem that I had conjured within my thoughts were entirely my problem and not that of the stranger. You see, he was full of vigor, happy and delighted to be alive and, more importantly, didn’t seem to care what small minded people – like me – had thought.
A lesson well deserved.
My thoughts were interrupted by the nurse as she called us into the examination room to see the doctor. Wesley went straight for the jugular as he asked the poignant questions. The doctor was very insightful as he answered our questions candidly. We also learned that my friend, the stranger, had surgery two weeks prior to the visit. Needless to say that, we were in a much better frame of mind as we concluded that surgery was the better option.
Let me assure you that our trials have not yet begun and although I refer to the prostate cancer as “the other woman in our lives”, make no mistake, she has brought us much closer. I am holding on tenaciously to my faith as it is the only guiding source in my life and that it is only He who can expire our days.