From Merriam-Webster:


  • Pronunciation: r-k-ek-t-m
  • Variant(s): also or·chec·to·my /r-kek-t-m/
  • Function: noun
  • Inflected Form(s): plural -mies

: surgical excision of a testis or of both testes -- called also orchidectomy

This all is a fancy way of referring to "slit open your belly, reach down into your scrotum, and rip your nut(s) out." At least it happens while you are sleeping. If I had the chance to do it again, I would say, "No, that's okay. It's just a little sore. Let's leave it in there and see if it gets better."

My radical orchiectomy hurts like hell.

It's been a while since then. Every day I am reminded when I look in the mirror and see the 6-inch ugly scar below my belly button and a little to the left. I remember that day in the urologist's office when he covered the informed consent bit. Some people, he told me, complain of numbness in their leg next to the groin. They aren't sure what causes it, but there are a lot of nerves in that area. Glad we had that little talk.

Generally, I can't feel anything on the skin of the inside of the top of my left thigh. What I do feel is underneath: a vaguely painful feeling that is difficult to describe. The closest thing I can think of is that sensation of circulation rapidly returning to an extremity that has been exposed to the cold for a while, or fallen asleep. Every now and then, however, it will border on excruciating, kind of like submerging the aforementioned extremity in hot water.

This is one of those times. I can't isolate what causes it, other than that I am usually sitting down when it happens. Apparently this is just one of those things that accompanies a radical orchiectomy. Unlike the hell of chemotherapy, this never goes away. I don't much recommend it.

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