2. Men are allowed in this "post -op informational class," but I'm not sure I'm wanted
Being the only guy anywhere is weird. Being the only guy in a class for women about to have their chests surgically mangled is weird and awkward. But being that guy, coming in late because you couldn’t find parking just as an older lady is describing what chemo did to her pubic hair, is a real life version of a spec script for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode that was rejected as way too over the top.
My wife had asked ahead of time if I could attend. Apparently it was “great” that a spouse wanted to be there for support. I suspect it was a test of some sort, to see how well having a lone Y chromosome holder would fly with the ladies. But I was okay with it. Being deep in the “anything you need, Dear,” part of this journey, I would have said yes to a kidney donation had my wife made the suggestion.
Because when there’s really nothing for you to do, being able to just show up feeds that part of your brain that desperately wants to fix things.
To my surprise, they dozen or so women around the board room tables seemed mostly fine with it. And given all the real stuff they were worried about, my hearing their intimate issues was likely last of their list of concerns.
I did learn a few things - like that you can’t extend your stay in the hospital just because you don’t want to go home to your children. That radiation treatments can “shrink wrap” your skin to your implants. And that thing about pubic hair, which will haunt me well into my dotage.
But most importantly, I learned women are better at this cancer thing than men. They’re kind, supportive, friendly, and determined. I can only imagine dudes in a class like this, bragging about the size of their prostates, which oncology office had the hottest nurses, and setting their fantasy football lineups while the speaker was trying to pass on life-saving tips.