What Would Summer Be…Without Tomatoes?

Dear Reader:

We have all heard the expression “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but I am of the belief that the round red fruit (and vegetable) we need to eat for our health is tomatoes…juicy red tomatoes!


Yesterday was my monthly oncology visit…and unfortunately I had a “bad” night before it…I had stomach issues and cramps. I tossed and turned most of the night. Verzenio, the oral chemo drug I am on, causes a variety of stomach side effects and I am pretty used to them by now…but the timing was “bad” Sunday night.

I had an early appointment yesterday morning and I felt like a drugged rag doll getting ready. Then I prayed I wasn’t running a fever..didn’t feel like it…but again…everything just seemed a little “off.”

I lined my prayers up in chronological order…first I had to “pass” the temperature test in order to be seen, secondly I had to get blood work done and third- gets all my vital signs checked… before I could go over the results with my doctor…and I needed everything from the temperature check, to all the vital signs like (blood pressure and heart rhythm) to be in the normal range…hopefully.

I have to laugh at the first entry test…my temperature. All the way from Summerville to N. Charleston I had the air conditioning on high hoping it would perk me up from my sleepless night. I had it blowing directly on my face.

The medical examiner took my temperature with the latest forehead thermometer and then shook her head…”It says 94.7…this thermometer must be broken” she held it up to my forehead again and got the same results… I told her it was usually 97.4… which it really is just about every time.

Oh well” she shook her head and said...I must be seeing things backwards this morning…but at least we certainly know you are not running a temperature” and motioned me on to the next stop- checking in and filling out paperwork.

Then on to the lab for my blood work, followed by weight and vital signs and lastly my appointment to go over the blood work results. One of the “Physician Assistants” whom I adore came in and said she would be checking my vitals and  go over the blood test results with me for my appointment.

Weight-good (one nice thing about having “little c” is weight stability or  even gain is considered good…losing weight continuously…not so good.)  My blood pressure came back better than usual…think I was so tired I couldn’t get up enough energy to send it skyrocketing like usual.

And for once my blood work results were better than normal-nothing was even discussed concerning the low white cell count. I tried not to grin…here I was feeling wasted and getting my best overall blood work  report in the last few months. Life is an enigma.

So my P.A. and I just talked about our gardens and how beautiful and/or bountiful they were this year. She was growing vegetables and organic tomatoes…she told me she had started bringing tomatoes in for lunch each day and was having to stand over one of the sinks to eat her tomato sandwich because the tomatoes were so juicy they ran down her chin.

She must have seen my mouth literally watering…because as we walked out together…she called me over and handed me one of her beautiful, red organic tomatoes. “Have a great lunch today” she whispered.

She had also brought tomatoes for her colleagues and some of my former nurses, other P.A.’s and pharmacists gathered around as a second P.A. (who knows my daughter-in-law Mollie and had a son in the same class as Rutledge last year)…told the group about what my grandson had told her in an earlier conversation before the coronavirus hit. .

She said she introduced herself to Rutledge at school one day as being one of the cancer medical staff who knew his grandmother and was working hard to keep his Boo Boo up and going and enjoying life… being able to be a grandmother to him, his brother and sister, and cousins.

She told me  and the assembled gathering ..that first grader Rutledge replied, ” Thank you for helping Boo Boo with her cancer…but God is the One Who is really healing my Boo Boo… so she can be our grandmother forever.” (Oh the beautiful innocence of faith in children)

There wasn’t a dry eye in the group. Suddenly the long night of tossing and turning morphed into a most beautiful morning.

When I got home I got out my Captain Derst Old-Fashioned “yella” bread, mayo, my last slice of bacon, salt and pepper and fixed the best tomato sandwich I have had all season ! No stomach issues at lunch! (And of course my potato chips…can’t eat a sandwich without some!) 🙂

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

My second hibiscus opened up and another amazing surprise! Beautiful!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to What Would Summer Be…Without Tomatoes?

  1. Patty Knight says:

    So glad all wet well. Love you, sweet friend. Love, Patty

    On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 6:03 AM Chapel of Hope Stories wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: We have all heard the expression “An > apple a day keeps the doctor away” but I am of the belief that the round > red fruit (and vegetable) we need to eat for our health is tomatoes…juicy > red tomatoes! Yesterday was my month” >


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Every monthly visit is a big WHEW! Thanks Patty! Love you back girl!


  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a blessing after such a bad night…and Rutledge is spot on…the medical folks are doing their jobs great but the Great Physician had held your hand since the beginning…love and prayers


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