I am alive today because of good doctors. One of those responsible for saving my life, Dr. Michael Watts, is leaving his practice in Corbin this week for a position in Louisville.
Not only will I miss him, many others in our area are also sad to see him go.
As a family practice physician he has been my doctor for many years. I am grateful for his services.
He and Dr. Abdi Vaezy, a Pulmonologist, are the reason I am here today. Eleven years ago I saw Dr. Watts about a pain in my left side. He ordered tests and they revealed that I had a tumor in my lung. He then referred me to Dr. Vaezy.
I was lucky. Because that pain lung cancer was discovered, Dr. Vaezy made arrangements for its removal. Enter Dr. Sibu Saha, surgeon at the University of Kentucky hospital. He operated and removed the lower right lobe of my lung which had a 3 and 5 cm growth.
It is beyond description when you feel as good as I do about these three physicians and others I have had, like Dr. Keith Smith who made house calls when I was a kid and delivered our three children.
Now again, after 11 years, I had another pain on my left side. Again Dr. Watts went into action and ordered tests. As bad luck and good luck were combined, another tumor was discovered in my right lung. The bad luck is that it is cancer. The good luck is that it was discovered early.
Once again these good doctors are taking care of me. Dr. Vaezy has arranged for Dr. Saha to provide treatment for the cancer. Dr. Vaezy will do the followup.
I feel very positive about the treatment Dr. Saha has recommended. This time the cancer will be eliminated through radiation.
I am writing this column in appreciation of these doctors and especially to thank Dr. Watts for the years he has spent helping others back to health in Corbin.
I am also writing this column to advise those of you to be aware of symptoms – that if caught soon enough by seeing your doctor – can save your life.
By the end of the month I expect to be cancer free. Unfortunately this ugly disease has taken the life of one of my best friends, Charles Phillips. He passed away Aug. 27, a week before his 75th birthday.
We became friends in the early 1970s when we were employeed by the Cumberland River Comprehensive Care Center.
From that time forward he has been my tax accountant, but he was more than that. He was a person who was interested in me and my family’s life.
In recent years, every time we talked, the conversation was mostly about our grandchildren. But we also talked about our religion, education, sports, and civic affairs.
I am very sad about his death. He was a very special person, soft spoken and genuinely interested in the welfare of others. I will miss hearing him say, “Don how are you, and how is your wife, your children and the grandchildren?” He always opened our telephone conversations with that question.
2020 has been the worst year in my memory. All I have to do to back up this claim is turn on the nightly news on television.
Recently I received an email from a lady who said she wanted us to print more good news. I am all for that. And we do have good news often locally.
It is the national news that will depress you. Much of it is the fault of the pandemic. But it goes far beyond that. You can call the shots on this.
The good news is that we have had the services of Dr. Watts for years and we wish him well. We were fortunate to have Charles Phillips in our community. May you rest in peace my friend.