The Bank.

Posted on July 25, 2014


Indian-Rhino-Sperm-Bank4I had already undergone surgery to implant a ‘port’ into my chest–a plug-like device under my skin that accepts needles and has an IV line leading directly into my heart. This would prevent the many ‘pokes’ that are needed for my weekly blood work and act as a receptor for my 24 hour chemotherapy drip (I’ll talk more about that later-and I know what you’re thinking… yes, 24 hours). In addition to the 6 weeks of the Chemo, I will have daily radiation treatments during that time. Once that concludes, I have two months of healing before surgery to remove the tumor, followed by, we assume, months of more chemo. Then comes the white picket fence and 2.3 kids…

With my diagnosis and treatment plan pretty much sorted, there was one more, ah… medical situation, to take care of. With chemo drugs attacking each cell of my body, the medical limits of radiation being poured into my pelvis region, and a massive surgery in that complex area, it was explained to Cass and I that I would likely become sterile, at least for a while. At this point in my life, all I’ve really aspired to do was foster some good in the world and those around me, create a kick-ass yet stable business that adds some kind of benefit to society, travel when and as much as possible, and eventually have a family to join me in a handful of uneventful decades of happiness. By no means do I want cancer to take any of that away from us.

We had to scramble the jets, as my treatments were approaching. And in the attempt to make this process as awkward as possible for you, I visited Google.

In Montana, we don’t often have these specialized industries readily available, or close by, so I was planning on heading to Salt Lake or Seattle to make sure my ‘stuff’ was properly cared for. I found a sperm bank, or what is more officially called a cryogenic facility, in Missoula–totally doable.

A sweet girl, I could tell she was about my age, answered the phone–of course that would happen–and I proceeded to tell her the situation and ask about how I go about… it… all. She was the only person that works at that facility, which I thought was odd, but they store everything at their headquarters in Spokane. She was professional, wonderful, and very empathetic (and familiar with my predicament). She followed up the conversation with a long email of details, procedures, and costs. There were a lot of funny, doctor-esque words used: ‘sample’ and ‘deposit.’

Before I knew it, I had three appointments scheduled and I was driving the couple hours to Missoula.

I pulled up to an unassuming office building in the middle of town and walked into a quiet waiting room. No one else was there, it was small with empty white walls, four chairs and small table with a handful of man-centric magazines. A few seconds later, the nurse or scientist (actually, I’m not really sure what her title is… farmer?) walked down a hallway. She gave me a tour of the small facility, a reconnoitered office space, and once I provided a urine ‘sample’ and an unusually large amount of blood for STD testing, I was given the cup to make my deposit in and the choice of two, um… office spaces.

I chose door #1. It was an unromantic 10 x 10 room with carpet that screamed accountant’s office. The shades were pulled and there was a nightstand full of ‘provisions.’ A TV with a DVD setup sat in the far corner angled at the lonely chair in the middle of it all.

Gory details aside, I now have about 55 million chances at having little Wickys chilling on ice, somewhere in Spokane, Washington. None of which I hope to ever use after my health and body are restored.

This being my first visit to a sperm bank, I had 55 thousand questions (who buys all the magazines and movies? All at once or do they just replenish when needed? ) and came to three conclusions: (1) they’re expensive, (2) they’re exactly what you imagine them to be, and (3) Cancer doesn’t get to take this choice away from me- having a family–that’s something we get to decide.

Posted in: Cancer