From the book
PROTONS versus Prostate Cancer: EXPOSED
Me: So, it’s just a regular DRE, and then a urine sample?
Dr. Pee: Well (shrug), not exactly regular. The DRE is not quite as quick, and involves massaging the prostate into the bladder, 30 seconds on the right, then 30 on the left.
Me: Massaging? What exactly does that mean?
Dr. Pee: Well (shrug), I push the prostate up against the bladder with more, uh, more, well let’s say, as compared with a regular DRE, it’s might be just a little more, uh …
Dr. Pee: Right!!! Yeah! (grin) Enthusiastic. That’s it (hehehe). Very clever. I like that! An enthusiastic, vigorous massage.
Me: So, how will it feel (thinking it almost sounds sort of relaxing)?
Dr. Pee: Well, of course you’re going to want to pee. Badly, very badly, but don’t worry, you won’t be able to.
Me: Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. No anesthetic or anything? Just a feeling of wanting to pee for a minute? I think I can handle that.
Dr. Pee: Right, but let me be clear. You will really really really want to pee, but only for that minute, and then you can. We need the first ounce.
He gave me some information about the PCA3 test to read, told me to decide if I wanted it, and if so, call him back to schedule the test. It certainly sounded better than a biopsy, so of course I went for it. Had it done six weeks later.
Here is how I remember it. During that one-minute massage I would have paid a million dollars, given up my first-born, and cut off my right arm if only he’d have let me pee. I have never, ever wanted to pee so badly in my life. Ever. Think about the most urgency you’ve ever felt, and multiply it by 100. Or by 1000. Whatever. This intense feeling was accompanied by sudden onset Tourette’s Syndrome (from me, not the doctor). I immediately began spewing venomous language at an unprecedented rate and with amazing and somewhat surprising skill while he chuckled and enthusiastically massaged.
Then, what felt like six months later the “minute” was over and he said: “Okay, done. Take this cup into the bathroom and give me the first ounce. Take your time. No hurry.” And ironically, after all that, I could barely get a stream started. I guess he had squished my urethra a little, maybe? Or left his digit behind? Anyway, it took a few minutes, but I finally did produce the prized golden ounce.
And off it went to the lab.