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G entlemen, fondle yourselves.
i mean it. now is the time for you to palpate your entire genital area and get real familiar with how you feel while all is healthy. squeeze and prod your testicles and sqwush them around as much as you can stand it. get the size and shape and consistency in your mind.
then, keep doing that on a regular basis. that way, the very first time it feels sensitive or there's a change in texture or *anything*, you'll know, and get to a doctor quick. i was fortunate that my doctors were alert and sensitive and knew what to check for when a distantly related warning sign (chest lumps) showed. but, friends, this tumor could very well have been there doing its evil work for years, and i never suspected it. i'm probably going to pay a high physical price for that.
i can definitely remember noticing casually that my left testicle was shaped oddly and was harder than i remember, but who knew that meant anything? i didn't probe myself the way a doctor would, thoroughly and with purpose. i also remember that it was sensitive, more than the right one, but again, who knew that meant anything? maybe balls are just like that.
well, now i know better, and i'm passing this on to you. those memories come from at least a year ago. does that mean i've had a tumor for a year, or even longer? we don't know, and we don't know how long it was there before it started going osama. but there's a chance i could have been alert to those signs and gone straight in to a doctor, and much, much, much would be different today.