I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I would be joining the ranks of a Roman soldier, a famous painter, and our cat. The last couple weeks have been interesting to say the least, but today is a day that will live in infamy for me.
I found out today that I have cancer. Oh, I’m not worried because the doctor who looked at me didn’t seem to be too concerned. He said, “Yep, that’s skin cancer all right. Do you mind if we take a chunk out of that ear?”
That wasn’t all he said. First, he grabbed my ear and yanked and twisted it like I was a new sixth grader in the building, and he was an eighth grader looking for lunch money. Then he asked if that hurt. Even if I didn’t have that cancerous thing on my ear, the tug and pull would have induced a pain response.
Now, I need to explain a little bit about the ear. Not to be too technical, but the ear-do-hickey is not something anyone would notice, except in the summer when the small ear-do-hickey gets a little brown and crusted due to sun exposure. Oh, it is sometimes referred to as the ear-thingy or thing-a-ma-jig, or just that thingy on my ear ridge. Anyway, my ear-do-hickey has been hanging around for a year or three. I really don’t know when I got it, but lately, it’s been hurting, and not just when a man in a white lab coat yanks on it like it’s a slot machine lever and he’s been firing quarters into it for six hours thinking that if he pulls harder he can loosen the coins inside.
Doctor Schwarzenegger, as I like to call him, carried what looked like a small blow torch in his hand, and I made a joke about him burning off the ole ear-do-hickey because that’s what I do. I joke when I am worried that my doctor might actually be a terrorist bent on destroying the educational system one teacher at a time. Okay, I watched “A Good Day To Die Hard” last night, so I had terrorism on the brain. That’s when the doctor said, “Yep, that’s skin cancer all right. Do you mind if we take a chunk out of that ear?” Then he tapped my leg with his blow torch and left the room.
The nurse said, “You are going to feel a little pinch and then a bee sting for about 30 seconds.”
WHATEVER! That was the biggest freaking bee and the “little pinch” felt like my ear was being injected with ghost pepper juice and gasoline before being set on fire. She was right, though. It only lasted 30 seconds.
I found out what that blow torch was for later. After he sawed off part of my ear, he had to cauterize the wound. It’s a strange sensation to have Arnold Schwarzenegger saw off a piece of your ear and you can’t feel a thing but you can hear everything.
On the way home, I couldn’t help but think of the the famous people I know who have lost ears. Vincent Van Gogh cut his own ear off to give to his girlfriend. Yeah, that guy had issues. Then I thought about Peter, from Biblical times. He cut off the ear of a Roman soldier who was going to take Jesus into custody. And those two dudes didn’t have the ghost pepper bee sting to numb that highly sensitive location. Then I thought about my cat, whom I now resemble in the missing piece of ear department.
Then I focused my attention on the cancer. Like I said earlier, I really don’t have much concern about it. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I don’t like the idea of cancer. I just know that I can’t control the future, and I can’t rewrite the past. I only can do something about the present. In our lives, we have those things that start small and can be traced back to our past. Then they get bigger and bigger. Often, we wish we could go back and change them, but we fail to see the opportunity to do something, now. I am guilty of that. Will there be pain? You bet. We all experience pain in our lives, and some of us get our ear hacked by the ear-do-hickey-enator. Life goes on. That’s what is great about it… It goes on!