Ten years ago on this date, I spoke to a very kind doctor at Evanston Northwestern Hospital (since sold and renamed NorthShore Evanston Hospital), and he told me that in all likelihood, I had testicular cancer. One week later, and one testicle lighter, a different doctor, with the associated Kellogg Cancer Care Center, confirmed this likelihood as a certainty, and we made plans for my chemotherapy schedule and eventual surgery to remove a mass from a lymph node near my left lung.
I’m not going to bother retelling all of that, because I’ve done it enough times – the morbidly curious can find my thoughts on the matter recorded in real time over yonder – but one doesn’t pass a milestone like this without feeling obliged to stop by and pay it a little extra attention. Particularly as I realise, the further away in time I get from being sick, that it’s still springing surprises on me and altering how I move through the world in ways that I don’t always perceive right away.
But you’re not here to be my therapists. You are here because as I sit and ponder and deal with life, I also want to celebrate a decade of much internal conflict, of triumphs and frustrations, of making the most of the time I’m given and wasting time when it makes sense to, a decade, primarily, of being the fuck alive, by giving back a little bit. Thus do I proudly announce the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser & Review Auction. Readers who were here five years ago perhaps remember my last exercise in soul-bearing, and the subsequent fundraising effort it kicked off. And we did it again to even better effect this time!
(The rest of this post has been deleted on account of being totally unnecessary now that the fundraiser is done).