2011-11-09 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

It's cutting time-
by Terry Toole

After six months of healing from the last time I went to see my cancer doctor, it was Wednesday, and time for him to "look" at me again.

It was Tammy's time to go for her chemo treatment in Tallahassee, and since Dr. Cognetta, my surgeon, cuts there too, I dropped her by the hospital and went on to my appointment.

Oh, did I mention that "first wife" decided that she might ought to go with us. She doesn't like for anyone to go, even to the doctors, without her going along.

None of us had eaten, so since two of us might be having our last meal, we stopped to dine at Chick- Fil-A.

I dropped Tammy off to get her treatment. "First wife and "ye scribe" went on over to the cutting fields.

Betty Jo, "first wife," kept telling me that maybe my surgeon wouldn't cut this time.

I replied, “Yeah, and next time someone comes into the Miller County Liberal wanting an ad, I'll tell them they don't need one. You go to a surgeon to get cut. End of story.”

The nurse came to get me to go into the holding room. Betty Jo always comes along. There are lots of pretty nurses at the doctor's office. She doesn't want me to be alone with them in my condition.

The first thing they tell me is to strip off to the waist. Ever been in a doctor's office that you weren’t cold?

It's always awhile before you see the doctor, which is fine with me, but they could let me keep on my shirt to ask me what's wrong with me.

I always tell them I'm fine. They seem to write that down, but then the doctor comes in and asks the same thing.

I always say I'm fine, how are you doing?

I ask, because I have buried lots of my doctors, and I want to know how they are doing, especially if they are going to be cutting on me. Those I haven't buried, a lot have retired.

Now I am not afraid of doctors, I've just been here so long, I know what's going to happen when he or she comes toward me with a knife. I always know when I'm going to be cut on when all those good-looking nurses and PAs start laying out a cloth full of cutting instruments before the doctor comes in.

The doc came in like he was in a hurry.

"How are you doing today?" he said.

"I'm doing fine. I hope you are doing as well," I answered.

He didn't miss a beat. He checked all of his past cutting, and started looking. Naturally, he found a couple of suspicious places around my temple.

I think he might have passed them by, but no, Betty Jo chimed in and said, "You need to check that."

That is all he needed. They started bringing the forms for me to sign, and like a sheep going to slaughter, I just sign away.

The girls started getting ready for the cutting. They do cover your eyes, so you won’t see them coming, or to keep the blood from spattering in them.

Dr. Cognetta does a procedure where he cuts, checks, comes back and cuts some more until he gets all he wants. This time, I figured it wouldn't take too many cuttings, since the area he was slicing was in my temple, and since he isn't a brain surgeon, he couldn't go too much deeper.

After the first cutting, Tammy called to say she couldn't take her chemo treatment because her blood count was too low. Dr. Cognetta told Betty Jo to go get her and bring her over here, since it would be awhile with me. I guess he figured he could do his cutting with out her help.

When they got through cutting and sewing, he ran the girls out to check the rest of me.

"How did you get that big hematoma on your butt,' he asked.

I got it playing football last week," I answered.

"You still play football?" he asked.

"I'll be out there next Friday night if you don’t do too much cutting," I answered.

"I'll see you in January of next year," Doc said.

"How about December?" I answered.


I should be healed by then.

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