After a weird, not-at-all-wonderful winter and
spring, it’s time to get back to happy times and fun foods. But I never
want to see another chicken-fried steak as long as I live.
Here’s something I haven’t said since I was a
teenager: I can’t wait for summer!
What a weird, not-at-all-wonderful winter and spring.
There was the second knee replacement, which did not go nearly as “well”
as the first one. But, I was finally walking in the woods again by
September, so I enjoyed my favorite season, outside in the glories of
fall. (I had to be cognizant, though, of where the hunting gunshots were
coming from, decked out in bright colors, cringing and praying some
errant shot didn’t get me.)
Then, at the end of November, I decided I’d probably
better go to the dermatologist. There was an odd “thing” near my eye,
and another on my arm. Better get them checked out. I am a malignant
melanoma survivor, so I am aware of the dangers. But, it had been 17
years since my awful bout with that deadly disease. I was fine. Wasn’t
Well, no. Here’s a warning, folks: Melanoma can kill
you almost before you know it’s there. And just because you can’t see a
weird thing on your body doesn’t mean it isn’t lurking there, where you
can’t see it. Get checked out, please!
The place on my face was simply a keratosis. The doc
sprayed liquid nitrogen on it and in about a week, it was gone. (I just
wish he’d told me to cover my eyes before he sprayed that stuff!) The
place on my arm was a sarcoma; it’s a step below a melanoma, but still
... I also had two sarcomas on my back that I couldn’t see. These were
all scraped off in a painful way, and bandaged.
Then, the doc says what you don’t want to hear:
“Hmmm. I don’t like the looks of this.” This turned out to be a mole on
my back that I could not see or reach. It came back positive for
melanoma. So, more surgery. Ack!
All those bandages on my back were bothersome. I
couldn’t reach them, and they had to be changed daily. For that, I
relied on my sister and my closest friend. They performed their nursing
duties with good cheer, God bless them.
By March, I was feeling tip-top again, happily going
about my carefree days.
Then, wham! I ate a big, greasy meal (chicken-fried
steak with gravy and mashed potatoes). Sounded great at the time. Tasted
pretty darn good. Until about a half hour later. Then, I was overcome
with a feeling that a pony had plopped onto my midsection. It just got
I did nothing but sit around and moan. Of course,
this happened on a Friday, and my doc wasn’t in the office. Isn’t that
always the way?
I knew what it was, regardless: My gallbladder. Sure
enough, I related my symptoms (which by then had abated somewhat), and
was told what I already knew. I had a sonogram of my gallbladder and
sure enough, there
was a stone and what the doc delicately referred to
as “a pudding-like substance” in my gallbladder. I would need to have it
I whined and complained. “I can’t stand any more
surgery right now. And certainly, no more anesthesia!” I inquired
whether I could just wait, since I felt “fine.” Sure, she said. You can
wait. And then you can have emergency surgery when it attacks you again.
I thought a lot about this. I went to see the
surgeon. “You can wait,” he said. “Your body’s been through a lot in the
past year. But, it could attack you again.”
So, I made my appointment and lived with dread and
stress until the fated day arrived. My sister drove me to Augusta
I was quickly given some “feel good” drugs, thank
heavens, and then before I knew it, the nurses were waking me up. It was
over! I felt great! (Of course: There were the drugs.) I was giddy with
relief and how good I felt.
That was the end of April. I can’t believe I sailed
through something I dreaded so much and put up with for so long.
I am back to feeling tip-top, and I can’t imagine
there’s one more thing that could possibly go wrong with me. I am so
looking forward to summer, and happy times, and eating cheeseburgers
again. However, I never want to see another chicken-fried steak as long
as I live.
Spice up your summer reading with Margo’s “A Party of
One,” a compilation of columns from the past. Call 540-468-2147
Mon-Thurs, 9-5, or email: email@example.com.