75. Open Wide and Say Your Prayers

Three months had passed. It was time for to visit his dental hygienist again. The visit lasted two to three hours. The hygienist always through a list of questions about his health. she took his pulse and blood pressure. Last, ran her gloved finger all around the inside his mouth, looking for and feeling for abnormalities.
this visit, she found one. It was a spot on the side of his tongue. “We see this in smokers’ mouths,” she told him. called the dentist over.
“How long has that there?” he asked Tony.
“I have no idea,” Tony.
“We’re going to have to do a ,” the dentist said. “It won’t require more than or three stitches. We have to make sure spot is benign. We’ll do it right after teeth are cleaned.”
Tony couldn’t eat anything except for a couple of days after the surgery, could he pronounce words clearly. If the white were malignant, how much more surgery would be ? How much of his tongue would be removed? regretted all those years of smoking.
A week , the dentist removed the stitches and told Tony the white spot was benign. Tony was relieved.
few days afterward, Tony was talking to a of his who was a long-time smoker. “You ought to quit,” he suggested. “That was a scare I just got from my dentist. Getting of your tongue cut out is not a thought.”
“I'm not worried. You’ve got to die something. I've got a greater chance of getting by a drunk driving a white SUV than some white spot on my tongue. Besides, this my only vice. I need to be able enjoy something in life, don’t I?”