BOSTON (CBS) – The man who received the nation’s first penis transplant at Mass General Hospital in Boston wants everyone to know how grateful he is.

Tom Manning isn’t hiding. There are no taboos.

Manning is eager to tell people about his experience in honest terms, sharing the story of this life-changing medical breakthrough that he had been hoping for years could become a reality.

“When my surgeon operated on me, some of the first words out of my mouth were, ‘When am I going to get my transplant?’” Manning told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes. “I just thought, if you can replace an arm, why can’t you replace this?”

That was in 2012. Manning had penile cancer.

Now, almost four years later, he’s the first person in the country to have a penis transplant, taking a once hidden problem out of the shadows.

“The joke was, somebody called me last night and told me I was No. 2 on Google. You search penis and my name came up,” Manning said with a laugh. “It’s one of those things that could happen to anyone.  You could have a car accident, you could get burned.”

Many men wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan come home with devastating injuries. Manning hopes his breakthrough procedure can help them in the future.

It will take some time before Manning feels back to his old self. But he’s confident he’ll get there.

“Now I’m back.  Not all the way yet, but give me a few more weeks and yes, I will be,” Manning says.

If there are no complications, Manning could be out of the hospital in two weeks.

The hope is he will have urinary and sexual function.

Manning says he wants to talk to other men about this surgery.

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