Tag Archives: giving thanks

What I’m Thankful For: Spicy Food and a Great Surgeon

During the summer 5 years ago, my husband and I were on a typical vacation in the Hamptons.  We were walking around, seeing the sights, snapping a lot of pictures…


orange cat in the bookstore window; East Hampton NY; BookHamptons

I spied one of the feline residents of BookHampton sunning himself


cat in window of BookHampton store in East Hampton NY

And I spied the roomate in the other window!

As usual, we did a lot of browsing and looking – and not buying much ($$$everything is pretty pricey), save for two things I picked up that year in an antique store that was going out of business.

We would also head out to Montauk for some great scenery and to see my favorite dog…

Tobey the Border Collie in Montauk

Tobey, the Border Collie, was always a fixture in Montauk

boats coming and going in Montauk Harbor

It’s fun to watch the boats coming and going in Montauk Harbor

Montauk – the very end of Long Island – was one of our favorite spots. We could watch the activity of the boaters and the seagulls for hours.

boats in Montauk HarborWe also would do a lot of eating.  In all of the years that we have been going out to the Hamptons, we have always been happy with the food.  Not happy with the bill necessarily – but my husband Richard and I got to know the places that were a bit easier on the pocketbook.  We would always go to Gosman’s Dock in Montauk – which is where I took the boating pics above.  The food is always good there and the scenery just can’t be beat.

at Gosman's Dock in Montauk

My honey

So here’s why I am thankful for spicy food. I never cook it, so when my husband gets the chance to eat it – he does.  And he did {a lot} while we were on vacation.  But this time, nearly every half hour after dinner, my husband would be doubled up in pain.  This had never happened to him before.  I was worried that he had food poisoning and I wanted to take him to the emergency room – the pain was so bad. But, he didn’t want to go and he felt it was just something that he ate that didn’t agree with him. He promised he would go to the doctor’s when we got home.

So, we got home and he went to the doctor’s – and after 4 or 5 tests (it took a whole month)later we had a diagnosis. It was a rare form of cancer – a carcenoid tumor.  It started in his small intestine and then metastasized to his liver.  We saw 3 surgeons to determine which route we would take – and the last doctor we saw at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York had the most agressive method to treat it – that was to remove half of the liver and burn out some of the other remaining tumors. That’s the one we went with.

This wonderful doctor – Dr. Sasan Roayaie – told us that most people don’t know they have a carcenoid tumor and that it can be growing for a long time.  It’s a slow growing tumor.  There was a distinct possibility that the spicy food and the resulting pain from it – was the thing that helped save my husband’s life.  Plus, of course – the miracle worker Doctor Roayaie.

I never thought I’d be thankful for spicy food but it was the harbinger of the problem that we then could tackle full force.  I am so glad that I have my husband so I can spend more Thanksgivings with him.  I am so thankful for that.

I hope that everyone will have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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