Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A healthy appetite

This week, I’m both happy and sad to report that I have a healthy appetite. That’s because I’m marking two separate occasions this week.

First, on Monday, we kicked off our annual “I’m a Big, Fat, Giant Hippo-Pig-Whale Again” Weight Loss Contest… which makes it a little unfortunate that I have a very healthy Hippo-Pig-Whale appetite, because it means by the time you read this, I’m probably going to be really, really hungry.

But, more important is the other occasion I’m observing this week, which makes me very HAPPY to have a healthy appetite: Wednesday, Feb. 11th, marks exactly six-months since I underwent surgery for cancer. And as my many other friends and acquaintances who are also cancer survivors can tell you, it’s a GREAT feeling to reach that benchmark.

If you are a regular reader of this column, you know I promised back in August to give periodic updates of my medical condition. Fortunately, there haven’t been many updates, because my medical condition has been GREAT, and hasn’t changed much at all.
You may recall that I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, likely a recurrence of a melanoma from 25 years earlier, by my friend, Dr. Oscar Lovelace. On August 11th, I underwent brain surgery at MUSC in Charleston to remove the malignant tumor, which had begun to affect my communication skills, including this column, which, back in July, was beginning to occasionally include blocks of total gibberish.

Miraculously, with the prayers of many, many friends, I recovered from that surgery quickly and fully, and was actually back on my laptop computer and cell-phone within two-days of the surgery!!! Rather than chemo or radiation therapy, my doctors advised regular monitoring to detect and treat any recurrence early. Consequently, I’ve undergone MRI’s or scans every month since August, with no evidence of cancer whatsoever. I’m clean. I’m happy. I’m healthy.

There are, of course, still blocks of total gibberish in many of my columns… but that’s usually just me attempting to be profound!

Along with my clean bill of health, it turns out, has come a healthy appetite… and I sho’nuff have one!

Suffice it to say that I’ve had no trouble convincing folks of my complete recovery from cancer once they see how big I’ve gotten! If I get any larger, they’ll give me my own zip code! (Br-r-r-rump!)

So, once again, I find myself well into the New Year, a Big, Fat, Giant Hippo-Pig-Whale, with my annual New Years Resolution to lose a few pounds merely a distant, shattered memory. And, once again, I find a dozen or so of my friends in the same boat.

So once again, we’re each throwing $100 American dollars in the pot, and laying down the mutual winners-take-all challenge. And talking smack to each other like NFL linebackers!

The difference is, when I talk smack, I put it into my newspaper column and onto my blog for the WHOLE WORLD to see. (Entering our weight loss contest is NOT for the timid. We WILL publish your name, your weight, and, if we can get our hands on it, your SAT scores, annual salary, credit report, and any unclaimed off-spring you may have sired.) The ladies who participate, however, we go easier on. Call me a chauvinist.

Anyway, as of press-time, we had not yet conducted our official beginning weigh-in – scheduled for Monday, Feb 9th at 5:30 pm -- so I can’t really be sure who is participating in the contest.

Expected participants, however, included Don Gawrys, Manager of Michaels (and reigning Champ); Terry Campbell, Nationwide Insurance; Jim Miles, former Secretary of State; Doug Adam, The Indesign Firm; Kirk Luther, Chairman of the Okra Strut (and former three-time champ); Norman Agnew, Agnew Lake Service; Shirley Towne, ADT Security; Dennis Vaucher, our first Euro-American contestant; Jimmy Carroll, Isle of Palms Realtor Extraordinaire; Tom Boettger of Carrabba’s; Bruce Holland, Attorney and Official Money-Changer; and yours truly, Rod-Boy, currently a big, fat, giant hippo-pig-whale.

And possibly a few others who were still trying to decide if they’re really as fat as the mirror indicates!

The contest period is exactly EIGHT WEEKS, beginning Monday, Feb. 9th and ending Monday, April 6th, with a final weigh-in. Then, the two winners split the pot: most pounds lost, and biggest percentage lost.

(Although it hasn’t started yet as I write this, I’m already getting hungry. I’ll bet I’m gonna be REALLY starving by April. Hey, I just thought of a good April Fools Joke I can play on myself!!!)

We'll have optional weekly weigh-ins, and hopefully get regular "unofficial" reports via email, so I will keep you posted and let you know just how big of LOSERS we really are.

The other rules of the contest are… There ARE no other rules!!! Cheating is okay... anything goes, such as having a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts delivered to each of the other contestants!!!! (Or offering them free ice cream at Gatsbees!!!) You want to get Lipo so you can win? Go for it. Cut off a limb? Perfectly legal. Anything goes.

So, by the time you read this, I will be on a strict diet, yearning for a morsel of most anything… but resisting the temptation, because I need to lose a lot of weight. I’ve had a very healthy appetite, and it’s made me WAYYYY overweight!

And, this year, I’m very thankful for that!


You’re always welcome to let me know you agree, disagree, can’t make sense of, or simply don’t care about anything I’ve written here… or about any other topic that happens to be on your mind. You can email me directly at: (Or, you can post your outrageous opinions on my FaceBook page!!! That’s right: I’m very hip, because I’m on FaceBook!!!)

And, if reading it once just wasn’t enough for you, read it again online – along with previous columns -- at my modern-technology Electronic Internet blog:

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