Today’s Follow-Up: A Celebration!

My visit to the surgeon today, following my pulmonary function test, was good. The results of my lung biopsy were negative! The surgeon called for the pulmonary function test “just in case,” so I would not have to return to Little Rock for more tests if the biopsy had been positive. I like the surgeon. His name is Jason Muesse, M.D. I recommend him, if you have to have lung cancer surgery (or any thoracic surgery). I like his demeanor and his follow-through. And, of course, it seems his surgical skills are excellent, as well.

My extraordinary girlfriend and I celebrated today over lunch at Brood & Barley in North Little Rock, followed by a beer at Flyway Brewing. We tried to send positive mojo last night by having dinner at Cantina Laredo, after which we went to Colonial Liquors, where we bought a very expensive tequila to sip on after dinner in anticipation of causing good news today…well, ach!  Of COURSE we did not send positive mojo and attempt to control the universe through woo-woo manipulation! But we figured some good old fashioned celebration of our time together was in order. And it was. I recommend Cincoro anejo tequila. We would have bought a bottle of Don Julio 1942, but it was out of stock. We can both recommend Cincoro. It is a very nice sipping tequila that does not leave its mark through a monstrous headache the following day. Just to mention.

Back to lunch today. Appetizers of fried olives (absolutely out of this world) and bleu cheese chips, followed by our respective lunches of pork & polenta (hers) and tuna & tenticles (me). It was an expensive and filling lunch, but after receiving news that took an enormous burden off my shoulders, we felt it was worth it! Though I had tried to feel and behave as nonchalant as possible, I have to admit feeling afraid that of the potential that my cancer had returned. That possibility really blew a hole in my belief that the wonderful turn my life had taken would last. Today’s announcement, and the celebrations and conversations that followed, permanently repaired that hole.


I think I am becoming a better man, possibly for no other reason than I want to be a better man in honor of the woman with whom I have developed a “sudden” and absolutely overwhelming relationship. That’s not a bad reason, is it? And the fact that it took me so damn long to recognize the need for the change is not a matter for discussion. It is what it is, someone once said wisely.


It’s nearing 8:00 in the evening and I feel the need to take a deep breath and ponder my incredibly good fortune. I am not forgetting my pain. My loss and my grief remains. But the world is a healing place. I feel that healing feeling. I don’t know whether it’s in me or in the world outside my window. Who knows? Who cares? I am happy and deeply in love at this moment and the world seems to agree with me. I should just relish my good fortune and forget that tomorrow could be a less than stellar period. Forget that!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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