Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

This Wonderful Life

February 26, 2009

This Wonderful Life

That’s not a bruise on my forehead

Five years ago, on Fat Tuesday, a Florida doctor who was not particularly good and not particularly nice saved my life.

Whether through an abundance of caution or an abundance of pressure to schedule pricey procedures (I know — that kind of thing NEVER happens), he had looked at my history of childhood kidney troubles and ordered a CT scan just to be sure my UTI wasn’t significant of something more ominous.

On Mardi Gras, as the costumed revelers were gathering in bourbonsoaked living rooms across town to prepare for the evenings festivities, I sat in his office as he read the results, which described a grapefruit- sized mass in the general area where my right ovary should have been.

``What is it?’’ I asked.

He looked at me as though I were an idiot, ``Well I can’t tell you THAT.’’

``How will I know?’’

``Obviously you have to have surgery as soon as possible.’’

It’s funny, but I do not remember this story in terms of calendar dates, but rather the dates of the church calendar.

I got my test results on Mardi Gras, I had my surgery the day after the fifth Sunday in Lent. I left the hospital on Palm Sunday. My mother died on Maundy Thursday. It was the worst Good Friday I had ever experienced (with apologies to everyone who went through, you know, THE FIRST Good Friday).

On Easter, my house was full of mourners.

It is impossible for me to resist the urge to observe this season as anything but a prayer of gratitude for the wilderness I had the good fortune to traverse then.

To be sure, I was not grateful at the time. When you are 34 and hearing that you may have metastatic ovarian cancer (not the most sunny diagnosis), but that you’ll have to wait until surgery to know for sure, every moment that ticks by is crushing.

Text Only
This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009