Please, Sir, can I have my balls back


  • Jyoti Shah

by Ashley Morrison, Hybrid Publishers , 2005 , ISBN: 1876462345 , 182 pages, $25.00 AUD

This book describes the personal experience of a 31-year-old man who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 1995. The immediacy of such personal experience is all too apparent. The book charts his journey from diagnosis to treatment and subsequent course in a chronological, informal, honest and easy-to-read style. The author manages to explain candidly yet beautifully the ups and downs, the reality, the practical difficulties (such as being refused policies by insurance companies), the emotional burden, the fear and the difficulty for family and friends to actually understand. I found the book gripping and could feel the emotions of the writer. As he describes, standing with shorts and shoes on, trousers and underpants around his ankles, his vulnerability is detalied with grace, elegance and courage. I found this simple statement so grounding. Upon receiving the diagnosis, the author is faced with the dilemma of who to call first – his mother or father. His realization that no matter how old they are, children are still affected by divorced parents, and is a poignant reminder of the effect we have on our patients. The book manages to demystify the lonely world of cancer and offers camaraderie and companionship. It empowers the reader. A diagnosis of cancer is like embarking on a journey with no maps. Please, Sir, can I have my balls back is a book that provides a map of this journey and I would recommend it to anyone who deals with testicular cancer – doctors, nurses, patients and their families.