It's not that I'm ungrateful. The surgery itself as far as I know was free of complications, and the recovery has been thankfully uneventful. I have my followup next Monday where we'll discuss whatever the labs found and path forward. So all is as well as it can be.
But it's kind of...weird: My junk just seems off somehow.
For one, they shaved/trimmed everything. My groin, my pubes, even the treasure trail. Besides being a(n understandably) graceless effort, it's foreign to me. Not once since I sprouted pubic hair have I ever experimented with man-scaping. So it's weird looking and weird feeling. I can't tell if it makes my dick looking bigger (as people claim) or smaller or just weird. Of course, most of the time it's been soft, and often right after icing the area to manage inflamation, etc. I'll let you know what I think after I've made more erect assessments.
Of course there's also the obvious: I'm missing a ball. So in that way, overall dick real estate has diminished. It's not a linear reduction, though. I can't tell if the skin of the scrotum is still settling. (Freaky discovery: Flicking it with a finger makes a hollow sound like flicking your cheek with your mouth open. Is there air in there?! WTF?!!) Sometimes things seem to lay in just such a way that it looks like I have zero balls (I may still have been on vicodin then), other times like it's hardly changed at all (there is more in your scrotum than just balls; it's a fairly bulky bunch of flesh).
But weirdest of all: Phantom nut. My friend joked, "Do you feel the difference or is it like phantom limb syndrome?" and we laughed about it, but you know what? Kind of. I'm not sure if it's more of "things just settling in" or "it healing from losing a ball" or what, but I keep expecting there to be a ball there where there definitely isn't.
Because intellectually I know it isn't still there. I held it.
It was in a specimen jar, of course, and everyone kept referring to it as "The Specimen," but I held it. Twice, actually.
The first time I had literally just woken up from anesthesia to a plastic jar thing with a pink round thing with a remarkably thick pink cord coming off it, and while I was trying to focus it didn't make much of an impression.
The second time I was much more awake, enough to think to ask to see it again. As I remembered it was a plastic container like tubaware (it really wasn't much of a jar, to be honest, I don't know why they call it that), like when you order soup with your Chinese to-go order.
But I can tell you this: It looks almost nothing like in the textbooks and diagrams. No "blue ovoid bit" with "teal flattish-round bit" at the back and "thin orange tube" bit going off from it all. No, it's just pink. And fleshy. Clearly cut out of a living body, but as easily from a cow as from me. It was odd, a bit surreal, but then that might have been the anesthesia still. Anatomy is weird.
One thing I do remember was seeing the growths. They all told me I probably wouldn't be able to, but I could. Granted it was all wrapped up in the same pink flesh as everything else so it wasn't exactly easy. But I knew where it was, where to look; just as I'd seen on the ultrasound it was right where the spermatic cord and epididymis connected. And there they were, an odd bump protruding and exceeding the normal ovoid shape of testicle.
And I felt nothing. Again, perhaps the anesthesia. But I didn't feel victorious or inquiring. I didn't feel a sense of triumph over this tiny horror from my loins, that I lived, that I now held it defeated in a Chinese food soup container. I did not feel existentially curious--I did not ask it "Were you trying to kill me?" even though I knew it was the result of genetics and cell division gone awry and not some internal malice or anything. No, none of that. Maybe some of it. I turned it over in my hands, and it was just a thing.
I dunno what I expected. I think I had already come to peace with a lot of it perhaps, or maybe it's just reality that even the scariest threats are just things and ideas in the end. And here I held the thing, with the idea largely put to rest. There's still the possibility of metastasis, but that's a different thing with different ideas, something to worry about if at all another day.