Scooter Hobbs column: Back by popular demand

Published 10:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

I suppose I owe you an explanation.

It has has been quite an extended hiatus that I’ve been on from this familiar fox hole.

Believe me, I’ve missed you.

Email newsletter signup

The simple answer is that the South of France is nice this time of year and I’ve always wanted to see Capri in the spring time.

It’s not the honest answer, but it’s OK to dream.

No, the truth, under oath, is I guess I’m not quite as indestructible as I always assumed.

I gave it a good go. And I’m going to be fine.

But the last two months, in particular, have been somewhat humbling.

Bottom line: I’ve sampled just about everything the medical industry has to offer, which turns out to be way more than I ever imagined and twice as futuristic.

But I seem to be back on my feet and ready for solid foods again, at least enough to resume our morning conversations.

You can probably thank (or blame) Beverly “Above and Beyond” Dower for nursing me back. Was there the entire way. It doesn’t hurt to have an attentive daughter like Jennifer, either.

There’s a good chance I’ll have to step away again, if only briefly, at some point. But for the most part I plan to resume my habit of annoying readers backwards and forwards.

So where were we before I was so rudely interrupted?

Oh, talking about where have I been?

It starts some 21 months ago. Yes, cancer was involved. But that’s not the half of if it. Or maybe the least of it.

I found the Big C not that bad. Everything went according to plan, and with virtually none of the side effects I’d been warned about — not from radiation or chemo, whether was it mainlined intravenously or through those rusty-colored horse tablets.

The highlight of that phase was probably the wild day they still talk about with awe at M.D. Anderson in Houston.

In fact, I dropped by the area on a checkup last fall, a year after “The Incident.” The outside attendants still remember the Louisiana fool whose disabled automobile got itself strategically situated at just the right angle to block the radiation clinic’s valet parking entrance for seven full hours.

Chaos ensued. I spent the whole time apologizing while one sympathetic attendant would tell me, “Not to worry, this happens all the time,” followed by his cohort: “Trust me, this has never happened before.”

But all in all, considering everything, beating down cancer was a pretty mundane experience.

They let me keep my hair and only lost some weight that needed shedding anyway.

Rang the bell, of course.

Went on with life.

I’d been warned there could be a reappearance, and sure enough, nine months later, this cancer curtain call required a surgery.

No problem. Rang the bell again. Goodbye, cancer.

But, crazy thing. Ever since I was declared cancer-free again, it’s been a living hell.

One thing after another.

It was like all the other medical afflictions had been patiently waiting their turn while Big C was hogging all the headlines.

And they’ve all been fighting for the right to make me miserable.

Night sweats, morning sickness, fever and chills and the damndest shaking and shivering you can imagine.

Got my first-ever midnight ambulance ride. Beverly insisted. In and out of hospitals. Back to Houston.

There were strange test results.

Poking here, prodding there, not to mention occasional leaks, mostly in the delicate urinary tract neighborhood.

Tubes and catheters everywhere, sprouting and flopping from just about every inch and orifice of the body.

One thing after another, I’m telling you.

Everything, it seems, except cancer.

But a nightmare nevertheless.

Or, as one colleague suggested, “Man, some people will do anything to get out of covering LSU’s spring football game.”

There was that, of course, which almost made the whole ordeal worthwhile.

But, anyway, I’m back and look forward to getting reacquainted.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at