- Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer affecting men in Kenya with over 32 per cent of men contracting it.
- Early detection, the doctor told me, saves lives. If you have been close to someone with cancer, you know it's a debilitating disease.
"Who has it worse when it comes to medical exams of an intimate nature? Men or women?" I was in the thick of an argument with my friends, and Rosie was turning out to be the hardest one to convince.
It is worse for women, she claimed. Men just whine a lot. I held that men have it rough.
But I had no way of winning this argument and I am a sore loser, so I turned to my friend Google for back up.
I looked up videos of prostate exams to show her how bad it was. I couldn't imagine taking my pants off for that kind of check up.
Foolishly, I hadn't even watched the video. I assumed it was just a bit of touching and feeling of my prized crown jewels. I wasn't prepared for what I saw next.
I watched the video cringing, feeling the pain of the man in the video even though he didn't seem to be in agony. Let's call this man Henry. It sounds like the name of the white man in the video.
We were now at the climax of the experience. This was more than some casual fondling. I was mortified. My butt cheeks started to clench involuntarily.
That said, I lost the argument to Rosie. As it turns out, having someone examine your prostate is not as bad as the tribulations women see in the gynaecologist’s room.
As a punishment for my loss, she dared me to go for a prostate exam. I took on the challenge head-on.
The next day found me at a clinic. I had to do it quickly because if I had given it more thought, I would have changed my mind.
I ironed and wore my lucky boxers. I waited at the reception for a while as I chatted up the receptionist, who I may or may not have left with her number - but that's beside the point.
My name was finally called. I was as excited as a pupil going home with a bag full of homework.
Once inside, I chatted with the doctor and he instantly knew why I was there. He asked me if I wanted to begin the exam and I asked him if there was a female doctor.
I knew the test would be the same but I really couldn't imagine it happening with a man. He hadn't even bought me dinner before asking me to take my pants off. I kid.
The doctor was pretty gracious and assured that I wasn't the first person to have been uncomfortable. A few minutes later, a middle-aged female doctor appeared.
She was bespectacled with a warm face. That made things a bit better. She gave me a bit of time and off my clothes went. I lay down with my derrière peeking out.
The doctor walked me through the whole procedure and how it would work. I appreciated the pep talk but at this point, all I wanted was to get over and done with.
She slipped on her gloves, lubricated them and asked me to assume a foetal position.
My agnostic self even said a prayer to whichever higher being was going to save me from this abomination.
There I was quoting Bible verses. Then her finger slide in. Whoosh. There wasn't any pain but there was discomfort.
I don't know if it was more mental or physical. She asked me to clench my butt (cheeks), which I did and she complimented my muscles as working perfectly.
I just wanted her out as quickly as possible. She then started turning her finger round to feel for any abnormalities.
I'm glad that the music I was playing through my earphones was loud but there's no music loud enough to distract you from such an invasive procedure.
She was in and out in three minutes and I was relieved. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Actually, there wasn't any pain.
I could even look the doctor in the eye after such an intimate first date and tell her that I don't usually do this. She had a sense of humour that helped diffuse what was a really awkward session.
I believe many men are in the same predicament as me. To go for the intrusive exam or to lie low and risk prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer affecting men in Kenya with over 32 per cent of men contracting it.
Early detection, the doctor told me, saves lives. If you have been close to someone with cancer, you know it's a debilitating disease.
So in case you were thinking about it and still wondering whether you should do it or not, my vote is that you should go for it.