My bladder’s working overtime

Weekender

My bladder’s working overtime. Forty years ago I told my drinking journo mates at the Top Pub (Papua Hotel) Coral Sea lounge just that.
I was then enjoying my young life as reporter. The entire unknown world was there for me to explore mostly in alcohol related news beats.
Booze! It’s my middle name. I’d go to parties uninvited. But mostly I gatecrashed them.
It was the norm. It was the 1960s and discos and Information Technology with its Internet cousin were yet to conquer PNG, if not the entire globe.
Now let’s take a long leap from that era to the 1980s when during a 21st birthday party in a downtown Port Moresby private apartment overlooking Fairfax Harbour I visited the essential room.
Everything was okay. But I couldn’t piss!
Two times.Four times. My bladder was up to the brim.
And the urge to urinate was there intact but the flipping used water. I couldn’t expel from my rather reluctant bladder.
Overnighting in the city at a cousin’s Moresby home I tossed and turned. Sat up.Slept sideways. No, my bladder couldn’t co-operate with me to empty itself.
At 6am I was driven to the Port Moresby General Hospital and a young medical student who two weekends ago had visited me at my 17-Mile Sogeri road home, emptied my bladder via a catheter.Oh bliss. Oh what a relief.
Pissing a lot, particularly at night, was my passion then.
Two years later I used another catheter to drain urine out of my bladder at a clinic now long gone for want of money and patients…like me.
Another year goes by and it happened again.
The urge was there. But the necessary organs decided to go on strike! No piss coming out. Not tonight, my dear.
My Alotau doctor referred me to the Milne Bay Provincial Hospital for he did not have the correct sized catheter in his clinic.
I limped uphill to the hospital. I waited. And waited in a sort of a distorted queue.
The grumpy faced HEO referred me to a male HEO who duly, with expert skills, drained my bladder.
All through those draining procedures none of the medics serving me recommended I have my prostate gland checked for size and if there was any increase at all and feel the surface for any signs of the dreaded big C(cancer of the prostate gland) cells.
After having spent 13 years living a hermit life at Duabo, an old rotting Kwato Mission retreat on Pini Range overlooking Milne Bay and Mullins Harbour below Cloudy Mountains,
I returned to the media folks rejoining The National editorial pals.
That’s when, in 2013, I wrote about my three blood relatives who lost their battles against cancer.
They were Aunties Olive Lebasi and her older sister Eva Doilegu (nee Lebasi) who died from cancer of the breast. Both are buried at Kwato where they had been born and raised.
A victim of cancer of the uterus was my sister Sineheumo George.
Cancer seems to have visited my family frequently.
Read more in Part 2 next Friday.
Biga Lebasi is a freelance journalist

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