Exclusive Extract: ‘One Testicle or Two’ — A Story About Telling Your Friends You Have Cancer Taken from ‘Cancer Quips’

One Testicle or Two — Cancer Quips

Telling your friends you have cancer is not easy. As Dan says in this extract from Cancer Quips, he was nervous. The thing about good friends is, they’ll always look out for you — and also take the opportunity to have a bit of fun when they know the time is right. Cancer Quips is a collection of stories about cancer, curated by author Brenda Burling, telling the real-life stories of men and women from across the UK who have experienced ‘The Big C.

This extract we are about to share is all about telling your friends you have cancer. The reaction from Dan’s friends is perfect and sums up everything that Cancer Quips is all about. After initial concern, the conversation between Dan and his mates quickly turns juvenile in the best way possible.

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“It took less than five minutes before someone started taking the piss.”

Dan had the diagnosis confirmed to him, he had testicular cancer.

Telling everyone was the hardest bit, once he and his wife Nat had got over the initial shock. With rugby mates, doing this over beer and a curry was the only way forward. Dan, however, didn’t gauge his audience very well and began before everybody had arrived, meaning he ended up telling the tale three times over. It took less than five minutes before someone started taking the piss.

Cheers, fellas!

Mates being mates, they responded in the only way they knew how. More beer and an in-depth discussion on the offending nut and its possible replacement.

There then followed a debate that would rival a UN convention on the probabilities of getting a really big replacement. Can you request a specific size and weight? Could you get an extra two – just how impressive would that be? Was it possible to acquire a titanium one? The grown-up, educated drinkers discussed all possible scenarios long into the night. Everyone was a dedicated expert. Dan found the evening both comforting and highly educational (well, not really the last bit).

The hangover the next day was so worth it. The world was back to relative normality, life carries on. When the pros and cons were discussed, Dan decided the prosthetic route was not for him: there would be no replacement.

About Cancer Quips

Cancer sucks! But we’ve got to talk about it…

Cancer isn’t an easy thing to talk about: Nobody knows what you’re going through, how you’re really feeling, or even what to say. It can be an exhausting, isolating, experience – especially when all you want is a brew and a chat.

Cancer Quips is a book born out of positivity and connections with other people. When author Brenda Burling began gathering stories for her work, she realised the love, community, and power that came from men and women opening up about their cancer journeys. What’s more, she realised just how much this connection could help others.

In that moment, Brenda realised how important it would be to share these stories. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, some are heartwarming and others are so absurd you’d think they were made up. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

Cancer Quips combines Brenda Burling’s previous two books Might Make You Smile and Good For a Grin into one easy-to-read volume designed to provide a knowing ear to anyone on a journey with The Big C.

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