Disclaimer: Family members. I love that you guys have been following my blog, and that you guys have enjoyed the posts, and I truly do appreciate all the love and support. This post…you may want to skip. I can’t tell you why you want to skip it without basically giving you the whole story, and you might be able to read it and be perfectly fine. But. A fair warning here. You may not want to read this one. You’ve been warned.
Ok, with that out of the way, a few things. I’ve been blown away by the amount of people that have said they enjoyed my blog posts. Lots of you have shared the blog far and wide, and I truly, truly appreciate it.
So, as a thank you, and partially to show that I will, in fact, talk about any part of this process openly and honestly, I have a gift for you all.
This is, by far, without exception, the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened in my life. I hope you find it as funny as the few people I’ve told in person. Hang on to your seats, it’s gonna get wildly uncomfortable.
With one word, I’ll tell you the road we’re going to travel. Sterilization. So, with the round of chemo I just went under, there is a small, but not insignificant, risk of being sterile at the end of it. A large enough risk that for me, as a 27 year old male with no set family plans, I should probably donate some sperm.
While anemic, though, your little swimmers aren’t exactly at their finest, so generally, they take a donation before the chemo, and after the chemo, when your numbers recover. The big thing, though, is that if you do end up needing a stem cell transplant, that process is highly sterilizing. There are people that have gone through it and ended up having kids afterwards (without the use of the frozen eggs/sperm), but it’s basically the opposite case as the chemo.
So, Thursday, June 7th. It’s an event filled day. They wanted to start chemo ASAP, which, step one requires me to have a PICC line placed. I have a post planned talking about this bad boy, but the long and short of it was: I had a crazy Hitch-eating-seafood reaction to the platelets that I needed to get, and ended up delaying things like crazy. My eyes blew up, it was nuts. Also, IV benadryll is just ridiculous. If you ever need to sleep, and you have an IV placed, ask for that. They’ll probably give it to you, too, because the list of side effects is essentially…knock you the EFF out.
So then they started prepping for the chemo. However, we had expressed a desire to “make a deposit” before the chemo started, just as a safety precaution, god forbid, etc. So, they reset, sent in the “sperm bank specialist”, who talked to my Mom and I.
That conversation went something like this:
The guy’s named started with J. J said that since I was stable, they could release me, and have me travel the 30 blocks to the nearest sperm bank, to make a “collection”. They said they were “better set up” there for a collection, but that if I wasn’t feeling up to it (I wasn’t, really), I could make my “collection” in my room. Luckily, I had no roommate. Unluckily, my mom, sister, and aunt were all present.
Oh, by the way, the “collection”, once made, has 1 hour to make it to the bank before it’s basically not usable. Oh, and it’s 1:45 now. They close at 3. They’re ~35 blocks away in midtown Manhattan. And we want to start your chemo as soon as possible.
So. They brought me one of those cups that you usually pee in when they want to scan your urine. They brought me a blue cloth to wrap the cup when I was done. And a biohazard bag to place the cup in.
Then my Mom, sister, and aunt all had to leave the room with the sperm bank specialist doctor. They closed my door, put a sign on it for people not to disturb me, and left me to my business.
Which, by the way, needed to happen fast, due to all the aforementioned time constraints.
Now, this was day 4 in the hospital. I had no laptop (internet). I had no magazines. I had literally NO imagination stimulation what so ever.
Time constraints. Family knowledge of exactly what I was doing at exactly that moment in time. Zero help.
I stood there, with the cup in my hand, thinking “Ya know, this is a seriously drastic change in life circumstances since two weeks ago.”
So I “took care of business”. I “made a collection”. Insert your own euphamism here. I promise its fun if you’re not the one doing it while your family literally waits outside the door for you to finish. Forget getting caught. They KNOW. Like, not even suspect, they know for a certainty.
I texted my sister that I was done, and I had the bag wrapped and ready to go. Sitting in bed, I had to watch my sister come in, give me a look, then grab the bag. She said “I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to touch it….I guess I’ll put it in my purse.” She held it like it was radioactive, dropped it in her bag, and she and my aunt high tailed it to the sperm bank.
She said that when she got to the sperm bank, they started asking her things like “When was the donor’s last ejaculation?”, and she just looked at them and said “It’s my brother, can we please just get this done with?”
Which may have raised more questions than it answered, but I understand the sentiment.
When my sister and my aunt got back, we pretty much just ignored what happened and tried to continue with the day as if it was a normal day.
And there you have it. The most ridiculously embarrassing thing that’s happened in my life. I hope you’re happy.