Survivor Spotlight: Chris Hazen
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer the day before Thanksgiving fifteen years ago.
This is my story:
'Twas the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, in 2005,
I went to the doctor, hoping to stay alive.
I was 24 and healthy, so I put off getting care,
I ignored the signs that anything was there.
I had noticed a lump, but wasn't in a hurry,
It soon got bigger and duller, so I started to worry.
The first step was important, although a little absurd,
Dug through my files, confirmed I was insured.
I made the appointment with an awkward call,
"Gonna need the doc to take a look at my ball."
The family physician was unprepared for my visit,
This isn't the patient you’d want today, is it?
While you prepared food for your harvest festival,
I had a doctor's hands on my testicle.
"It's too long a weekend, there's no time to waste,
There are steps we should take, and we should take them post haste!"
Now Blood Tests! Now Ultrasounds! Now X-rays and Scans!
"I have a flight to catch, but I'll call with results when I can."
I went back to work, because that's what you do,
When you have student loans and make $8.42.
I sat in the cubicle and stared into space.
They knew something was wrong by the look on my face.
My boss offered me her office if I needed to cry,
And let me leave early without asking me why.
I went home and waited on a silent cell phone,
Scared it would ring, and feeling awfully alone.
It blared out its tune and buzzed on the table,
I said "Hello" as calmly as I was able.
"The tests and the images provide us an answer,
I hate to say this but, Chris, you have cancer.”
You all watched football, your turkeys were basted,
I spent the next four days getting absolutely wasted.
'Twas the week after Thanksgiving, and if still you're unmoved,
I went under the knife and my left ball was removed.
My friends made light, with bad jokes and fake laughter,
But at least I was here, and not the hereafter.
Radiation was brutal, and twenty weeks long,
I was showered with bracelets and told to "live strong."
Friends brought me food, books, cards, just wow,
They all wanted to help, but didn't know how.
It was everything I needed, but it just didn't click,
I only wanted them to pretend I wasn't sick.
I worked and hung out and partied, or tried,
If it weren't for them (and the treatment), I would have died.
So, fifteen years later, I'm alive and well,
Thankful for everyone who helped me through hell.
It's about time I gave thanks to them all and conceded,
Not for giving me what I wanted, but for knowing what I needed.
Here's to family and colleagues, neighbors and friends,
And to getting hammered for the next four days again.
Happy Thanksgiving, to one and to all,
And to those of you who have them, check on those balls.