Could Snake Venom Cure Cancer? Now We’ll Never Know

This past week has been full of both good and bad news; news that Marcus and I had a hard time processing. At one point, Marcus mentioned running away to an island. That’s a really great plan except for the whole “we don’t own an island thing”, and I’m not on a first name basis with Richard Branson. Someone would also have to feed the cats.

We worked out a compromise. I spent the morning with a very sweet soul named Crystal. She had a doctor’s appointment and chemo treatment, and she’s delightful to talk to. After that, Marcus and I ran away for a half a day to the Smokies.

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Please understand that when I say we ran away to the Smokies, I don’t mean Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. Those two cities are not the mountains. They are amusement parks and a black hole of outlet malls. We cruised around Cades Cove and decided to do a little wet wading and fishing. Of course Hugh came with us. If any of my health care providers are reading this, I want to make it very clear that we sealed up my wound like a boss. Waterproof bandages were used. I was only going to wet wade up to my ankles for abut 10 minutes. I was not putting myself in danger or exhausting. Hugh was getting put back in the car. Please don’t yell at me. Sometimes a girl gets sick of feeling sick and wants to tune out the world with a few well-placed casts.

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I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to wildflowers. That’s starting to leach over to fungi and trees as well.

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This is a cardinal flower. I love them.

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This is a wildflower that’s unknown to me. I’ve never seen it before. It looks very much like a wild iris of some sort. It’s lovely.

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This is a bright orange mushroom. I don’t eat brightly colored mushrooms, but I do admire them.

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This is a deer. They are all over the country. If you see one and get really excited about it, please pull your car over to sit and watch them. If not, the 20 people backed up behind you will curse you, your children, your children’s children and whatever state is listed on your license plate. My husband is rude, so he might even be heard to mutter the word ”touron”.

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Of course Hugh came with us. He had spent some time in the chemo unit as well (sending out healing manatee vibes to all present), but he wanted an adventure. It’s hard to see, but this tree is leaning over but not nearly as far as the picture suggests. There is also a stream running right under it. Normally I wouldn’t worry about Hugh, but there are some bitchy river otters in this stream, and I wanted no bloodshed. It took a while to balance him precariously over the stream. As I was doing so, I told my husband my balance was off, so I would appreciate it if he would do me a solid and not let me fall into the river. I had just gotten Hugh balanced when my husband grabbed my waist and yanked me backwards so hard I almost fell. I was a little pissed. Then I noticed what had been slithering IN BETWEEN MY CHACO SANDAL WEARING FEET!

Please don’t scroll down if snakes make you cry. Personally, I think they’re amazing creatures. I love them in my garden beds. I like to view large ones from a distance, especially poisonous ones.

 

 

 

 

 

20130818-191722.jpg  This picture really doesn’t do him/her justice. It will have to do. Marcus wasn’t getting closer.

We know our snakes, so we were sure it was a copperhead. Since we hadn’t been fishing yet, we aren’t allowed to use fishing measurements. It was about 3.5-4 feet long, with a arrow shaped head. It had a thicker body. It lacked the stripes the water snakes usually have on their heads. We double checked with a ranger later just to make sure. He was pretty impressed with the size.

After our heart rates slowed down to only 500 beats per minutes, we realized that we had to wait for the damn thing to move, so we could rescue Hugh. After that happened, we started laughing imagining what kind of call we’d have to make to the oncologist on call, if I had gotten bitten. It seemed like most everything else that could go wrong with this lumpectomy had, so what was a little snake venom?

I guess I’m trying to look at it this way. This copperhead didn’t want me near it anymore than I wanted to be near it. Yes – I almost stepped on a snake. I didn’t. Part of its body brushed against my sandal. Yet, it left us in peace. I didn’t push my luck. We didn’t fish that day.

Holy shit y’all.

20 Comments on Could Snake Venom Cure Cancer? Now We’ll Never Know

    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm (11 months ago)

      That’s a lot of love!!!

      Reply
  1. Cate
    August 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm (11 months ago)

    Damn girl. I’ll say aaaaaaaaahh!!! for you. xo

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm (11 months ago)

      I said it for me as well. Marcus said something else. I think he made up a few new curse words.

      Reply
  2. Darlynne
    August 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm (11 months ago)

    Sheesh, nothing like a little shot of adrenalin to make your day extra special. Having stepped over a rattlesnake on a hike one day, I concur with “Holy shit y’all.” Still makes me shiver.

    Your pictures are lovely. Thank heavens Hugh held still and waited for you to rescue him.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm (11 months ago)

      You win. Rattlesnakes trump copperheads any day of the week. :D Thank you. I thought we’d have to rig up some kind of stick thing to pluck him off the tree.

      Reply
  3. Karen Larsen
    August 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm (11 months ago)

    Yay for Marcus – way to be stealth. And good job training Hugh :-). Pretty happy you didn’t do any venom research today, K.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm (11 months ago)

      Me too Karen. It leaves me available to do bourbon research later. :-*

      Reply
  4. meg giuffrida
    August 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm (11 months ago)

    Next time you are in Nashville, maybe we can set a spell. My biscuits are world famous and I just made some fig & cherry jam.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm (11 months ago)

      I would love that. I’ll bring Benton’s bacon. And a buttermilk chess pie. You and my husband can go head to head over who makes the best biscuits. :D

      Reply
  5. Carrie @ poet in the pantry
    August 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm (11 months ago)

    Snakes are beautiful–from a distance. Yikes! Great adventure, but stay away from the poisonous snakes next time!

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm (11 months ago)

      Carrie! Do you think I did that on purpose? :D I actually keep an eye out around waterways this time of the year because that’s where copperheads like to chill. It’s like it came out of nowhere. I think Voldemort sent it.

      Reply
  6. Elle
    August 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm (11 months ago)

    First a shark, now this? Holy shit, Kristina! Less deadly creatures, more fishing, ok?

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm (11 months ago)

      Dude – catching that shark made me feel like a bad ass. It was tiny and went swimming away. Now sting rays? Those are pretty damn exciting.

      Luckily, trout don’t bite. :D

      Reply
  7. Christina K.
    August 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm (11 months ago)

    You are right, Cades Cove IS the mountains – too bad it wasn’t a few months later so Hugh could see his first bear or two. One part copperhead venom, one part colorful shrooms, two parts bourbon — you may be on to something….

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm (11 months ago)

      Christina – we actually did see a mama bear with her babies. It’s usually ok to get close enough to get pictures as long as you can run faster than the idiots in front of you. :D My favorite sighting have been a bobcat, river otters and a wolf before they trapped them out. And I’ve seen plenty of bears on trails. That always gets the heart pumping.

      Reply
  8. Kitchen Ninja (Julianne)
    August 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm (11 months ago)

    Holy shit is right! I can’t believe Hugh didn’t jump in to try to save you.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm (11 months ago)

      We had a “talk”. Especially since manatees are impervious to snake venom.

      Reply
  9. Alicia (foodycat)
    August 21, 2013 at 2:08 am (11 months ago)

    That bright orange mushroom might be a chanterelle. In which case, mushroom hunters are going to be all over that patch of ground! Looks like a lovely bit of sanity-saving countryside.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      August 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm (11 months ago)

      I know they might, but until I get confirmed proof from an experienced shroomer, I won’t eat them. Now morels are a different story. :D

      Reply

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