Bil Browning

Taking a few personal days

Filed By Bil Browning | April 24, 2007 8:18 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Bil Browning, Bilerico contributors, blogging, cancer treatment, oral cancer, smoking, surgery

Gentle readers,

I'm going to be taking a few days off. I realize I don't usually share personal things on the blog, but I thought I'd make an exception this time.

I have to go in for some minor surgery this afternoon and I'm probably going to be out of commission for a few days. A few weeks ago, what felt and looked like a canker sore popped up in my bottom lip. Since I'd never had a canker sore, I was surprised but not concerned. But, unlike a canker sore, it's never gone away - and now it has a friend starting too. And they both keep growing...

I went to the doctor and he quickly ruled out a canker sore. Instead, he diagnosed me with oral cancer. So now, I have to go have the two tumors removed and and a biopsy performed. (So not only do I get to hurt, I have to look like John McCain! Ugh! *frowns*) I'm not worried though, and you shouldn't be either. It's a simple procedure, but with my family history you can't be too careful!

Obviously, my days of smoking are finished. I'm working on quitting now; I'm wearing the patch. And for any of our readers that do still smoke, I guess this is my suggestion that you think about quitting too. This damn thing hurts - you don't want one.

While I'll have a few things in the can already (political cartoons, quotes, etc.), I'm going to take a few personal days to recuperate. In the interim, the other contributors will keep you company with great posts and thought provoking questions. Alex has kindly agreed to step in as a temporary editor and Jerame, of course, will be watching over the technical end for us. Please play nice with everyone and do your best to help them out. Any tips and suggestions can still be sent to [email protected].

I'll see everyone shortly!

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David Wene | April 24, 2007 8:52 AM

First Edwards, then Snow, now Browning. It is beginning to look like being a celebrity causes cancer.

Cancer is a dangerous thing. I am glad you acted as soon as you did. I am eagerly awaiting your return so that we will once again have fair and balanced blogging--oh wrong blog--controversial and challenging blogging. Get well soon.

Get well soon! You will be missed while you are gone, but I'm sure Alex and Jerame will keep things moving around here.

Here's to your quick recovery, and the best of luck on kicking the smoking habit!

Owww, that sucks. Prayin' for you! Hope you're well very soon!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Bil.

I hope you're back up and running soon, Bil. I'll miss your insight while you're recuperating. You'll be in my thoughts.

I've been thinking about you all day, and sending good vibes in your direction...

We all wish you health and rapid healing. Sorry if I sound like a Jesus freak, but I am sure that for those of us who are theists, we will include you in our prayers.

Take care of yourself. Cancer is no fun. As for the smoking thing, I kicked the habit...jeez, it's probably been 20 years ago. I didn't have the patch. I used straws from McDonald's. Chewed on one everytime I need a smoke. Probably pretty disgusting to others, but it worked. And McDonalds has the BEST straws (and best french fries too).


This, too, shall pass. Early detection is critical; I'm a survivor, too, and if you catch it early, you're half way home.

Quitting smoking is smart. But don't be too hard on yourself--it's a difficult habit to break. Why do you think they put an addictive drug in cigarettes?

Hot chicken soup coming your way.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Thanks everyone. I'm back from surgery now and I look like someone popped me in the mouth. It'll take about a week for the biopsy results to come back, but the surgeon was very optimistic. He said that it might not even be cancer but that we should wait and find out. *crosses fingers*

I will keep you in my prayers Bil, and let's hope the tumors are not cancerous. I'm glad you're making the effort to quit smoking, it is the best decision you've ever made.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Let's hope this turns out to be just a couple of small bumps in the road of life. God Bless!

What a scary thing to go through. You'll be in my thoughts.

Chris Douglas | April 25, 2007 4:41 AM

Gracious, Bill, I just read this, and wish you a full recovery. Chris.

Marla R. Stevens | April 25, 2007 2:30 PM

I see you're back tossing in the occasional comment -- probably dancing between pain, pain meds relief, and sheer boredom. Rest, dear friend, and heal.

I quit smoking in 1984 after several tries, including one that lasted almost a year. I was dropped off at the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment and smoked my last cigarette on the way. Smoking marijuana helped with withdrawal, as did a legal herbal smoking mixture from a natural healing practitioner. But even those didn't completely do the job. We were well over a mile from the nearest store and I hiked down there with someone's child. I walked in and out, in and out of that store for darned near a half hour. Finally, the kid guilt-tripped me with some sort of 'how am I ever supposed to trust adults again if you can't conquer this' rap and I walked back to the encampment, deciding on the way that I could stand anything for fifteen minutes at a time and that all I had to do was add those fifteen minute postponements together for as long as it took.

I had already talked to myself about there being no such thing as 'just one little puff' -- that one for my addicted self led to another and another inexorably and, before I knew it, I had not only the mental addiction I'd already realized I'd already have to live with for the rest of my life, but the physical one would be reacquired as well.

I'd also told myself that, while that was true, if I did screw up, I didn't have to persist in screwing up -- that I could stop it as soon as I recognized that I was screwing up.

I still have cravings for tobacco that I suppress. I can taste it and feel its effects course through my system -- the side of having a good sensory memory and imagination that is not as good as using it for, say, sex.

And, typical of things repressed, it comes out in my dreams -- dreams so vivid that I wake up absolutely convinced that I've been smoking when I haven't. It is a feeling that defines surreality.