Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Long time readers of my column will recognize the last three pieces that have run in this space as ‘reruns.’ Over the course of my time with The Cordele Dispatch, I’ve had to rely on reruns five times. Three of those times were in the last three weeks.

The reason is fairly simple and that reason is that I’ve been diagnosed with rectal cancer. Take a deep breath and relax. Some of y’all are shocked by that news, but trust we I say that there are those that are thinking I’m getting my just rewards.

The good news is that I’m going to be fine. Well, let’s say that my doctors all expect a complete cure and that’s the nail I’m hanging my hat on. I think it’s a pretty sturdy nail, if I do say so.

What’s this got to do with hobbies?

Good question, Junebug, one I’m glad you asked.

I’ve dealt with some health issues over the last couple of years and I was having an email conversation with a friend of mine and she said that her mother’s latest hobby is collecting new doctors and having tests run.

That was as much of a ‘dead on the money’ assessment of my situation as you can get. Now I’m taking that hobby to the next level: I’m going surgical.

I used to have a doctor. One. Well, I had a dentist, too, but the only people who don’t have dentists are those people with no teeth and those people with no sense.

Nowadays, if I say I have to see a doctor, I’ve got to be more specific. I now have an ophthalmologist, a cornea specialist, an ophthalmologist/neurologist, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a psychiatrist, a gastroenterologist, two surgeons, two pathologists, and a plethora of radiologists.

Speaking of, is there, anywhere on the planet, a larger group of unseen, faceless people than radiologists? Pathologists are the same way. They’re both a lot like Bigfoot. Everybody’s heard of ‘em and everybody talks about ‘em, but nobody’s ever seen one. I know I haven’t.

The good news, aside from the fact that this cancer isn’t going to beat me, is that I haven’t seen the psychiatrist in twenty-two years. I suppose that’s not much of a shocker to most of my readers, and probably there are those who are shaking their heads and don’t really consider it to be ‘good news.’

Tests I’ve collected over the last few years include MRIs, X-rays (even the dentist uses X-rays), C-T scans, EKGs, deep tendon reflex tests, bloodwork, urinalysis, and something unpronounceable that hurt like the living daylights and made me confess to seven crimes I didn’t commit.

Procedures…what we used to call ‘operations’…include colonoscopy, endoscopy, craniotomy, polypectomy, sonogram endoscopy, and whatever they call what Glenn Williams did to remove that cyst from my wrist. That was a long time ago, though.

So, on the twentieth, next Tuesday, it’s back to the operating theatre for the first time in twenty-eight years. I figure if I can limit my surgeries to one every thirty years, give or take, this next one should do me for the rest of my life.

As optimistic as I am about things, I really don’t think I’m going to make it to ninety.

Still, what y’all are going to get next week, on the twenty-second, will be a follow up to this piece, but I’ll still be in the hospital.

In the meantime, I probably should dust off my Ouija Board and see if I can scare up a good root doctor. Then my collection will be complete.