Ack its not so bad, dare i say it?…Aye…there are lighter moments during such indescribable torment, believe it or not. It’s not all just doom and gloom, as much as i do enjoy abit of doom and gloom.
I got a letter a few weeks ago from the hospital asking if I wanted my samples destroyed or to be kept for another 5 years. I had to think for a while about it.
So part of the deal with losing your reproductive organs…is that you gota deposit some of your stuff before its too late and they are all gone forever. And then in the future, you have some in storage for maybe if you want kids. So far so good, yes? Yes. So I head over to the fertility clinic, check in, have a seat in the waiting room and get stuck into reading about Angelina Jolie and all her waines in Hello magazine (it wasn’t exactly the type of seating area one might strike up a raucous conversation with a stranger). Mostly old men and their partners for moral support, I’m sitting solo trying my best not to make eye contact.
So the nurse lady calls me and its my turn. Its all rather exciting at this point. She gives me a little cup and tells me its the second door on the left. I’m so nervous I immediately take the 2nd door on the right and walk into their staff room, awkwardly make a joke about how I don’t usually do this with an audience present and hastily retreat back into the corridor. So I find the correct room and go in.
It’s very small (the room that is), with a tiny frosted window, half sink, kleenex, lotions (plural), a recliner chair (Lord only knows who or what has sat on thon leather) and a coffee table with a file box on it. Personally, I felt it was all rather excessive and extravagant but sure no matter. Sure I was still in holiday mode it was grand, fitting in fact, and sure im deserving of such accoutrements… My curiousity got the better of me and I checked out the contents of said box. As expected it was a lot of very colourful paraphanalia and reading material for…encouragement of the um…task…the task at hand…as it were. Alas, I was but a strapping young man who never needed such encouragement or indeed much incentive up to that point. And sure I wasn’t going to let a little cancer get in the way of kids that would be silly. This was a business matter. A walk in the park, one might say. If by park I mean’t a tiny cup…and by walk I mean’t…well you get the idea.
I bypassed all distractions and help for I needed none, I headed to the corner, faced the wall, closed my eyes and thought of Ireland in all her glory.
So the nurse lady rings me a few days later. Jesus. She very sheepishly asks if I wouldn’t mind coming back in for another go in order to deposit a more substantial speciman. Feckin…mortified. A more excruciatingly horrendous phone conversation I have not had to this day. But yano, in hindsight, I was still jet lagged from oz and had just been told I might be dying sooo needless to say I wasn’t feeling very rambunctious..It wasn’t my finest work to be sure. She then jokingly asks me to ‘save up’. I nervously giggle as I hang up.
So I rock up to the clinic like a week later (having done my homework), nurse lady tells me second door on the left and when I’m finished to just come out and see her. Easy…I know the drill, I take the cup and tell her that I wont be long, I add a single finger gun in her direction to help sweeten the jest. I laugh, she does not laugh. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever made a masturbation joke to an endocrinologist…but there literally isn’t enough time in their working day to accomodate such a gag. When she sees my poor wee hopeless face, silently pleading for a better response, and she looks into my quivering eyes knowing that my life is literally falling apart and innapropriate humour is all I have left, she gives me a smirk and the saddest pat on the back I’ve ever received. So I strut down the corridor and naturally I proceeded to proceed with the procedings in the procedure room.
Ah now. At this stage we have a problem. I had indeed done my homework as mentioned. But in being the model student that I am, I had revised too hard, over studied in fact…it meant that, well the deed was over much sooner than I had anticipated. I couldnt leave now?? I didnt want her to think i was a loser?? So I sat on the edge of the chair, and played Angry Birds on my phone, waiting for what I felt was the socially acceptable amount of time to essentially…well…go for a walk in the park.
I mean looking back, that in itself was probably one of my lowest and certainly one of the more surreal moments in my life.
Now the 2nd time I was blessed with cancer I took it upon myself to go again to the clinic. But I had genuinly forgotten about the 2nd visit. For whatever reason in my mind I had only been once before. So the familiar nurse lady reminds me of my 2nd visit much to my embarrassment. And her response summed up alot of why I like being Irish
‘Well sure you’re here now…’
‘I am indeed Samantha, sure I’m here now’…
(Proceeds to hand me the cup)…
They probably all think I just really enjoy going. Ohhh look here comes Gerard again, better reserve his wee room. My relationships with girls are rarely as long or as succesful as mine is with this clinic.
The regional fertility clinic requires approx 10 straws worth of semen for adequate storage and attempts at insemination.
I have 23 straws!?! I have ample, nay, copious amounts, a silly quantity.
‘Honestly Gerard, it’s far more than the average. We wouldn’t expect anyone to come and do what you have done’.
Literally in line with an actual Bull that maybe has low fertility. Their freezer is feckin packed full of Gerard samples! They probably have an extra freezer with my name on.
So…ladies…form an orderly queue. I’m stocked up and ready to go. Just give me like 3 days notice so i can make a few calls and get my boys thawed out.
Long story short…I told the clinic to hold onto them for a wee while longer just incase. Sure I might need someone to help me write my blogs one day. Life needs to go on yano. And I take alot of comfort knowing that even if I dont make use of them…then hopefully somebody else will.