I tried fugu three years ago--two pieces of nigiri sushi. If you eat the liver, apparently your lips and tongue tingle, but that's also where most of the risk is. Restaurants can't sell the liver. The fugu I had was firm, white, and rather bland. It cost $9.00 for bragging rights. Bob watched and offered to call 911 if I fell over paralyzed.
Fall and winter is fugu season, since the fish fatten up, so our restaurant is serving it again. We were sitting at the sushi bar last night and next to us was a guy having sushi with his daughter and her fiance. A discussion arose about fugu, with the woman next to him declaring she had no interest. I was happy to volunteer that I had tried it and survived. Over the course of our dinner we learned a lot about the guy having sushi. He explained to his future son-in-law that his house was Southwestern in style. He has a Hummer golf cart. He had initially said that he didn't think he was going to have fugu.
The owner of the restaurant is a Japanese woman that Bob and I privately refer to as 'How-war-ya' for her greeting. She asked him if he was going to try it and when he asked if it could really kill you, she said yes, they required that anyone who tried it had life insurance. She confided that this was the last year she would have it, because most of her restaurant clients who wanted to try it had. "It's $180 a pound," she explained. "And it's a small fish. Once you cut away the bones and everything, there isn't much there."
That did it. $180 a pound wholesale was too much for the guy having sushi. He had to try it.
He didn't die.
Monday I have my biopsy and get a port implanted in my chest. The port is a little chamber that is just under the skin with a line into a blood vessel. The point is that they will no longer have to search for a vein to give me chemo. The surgeon who will implant the port wasn't sure we should do it before the biopsy, since there is a very small chance that the biopsy will show that I don't have Hodgkins. But then he realized that even if I don't have Hodgkins, they're going to want to deal with whatever is going on. I'm glad because I have to go under general anesthesia for the biopsy, and this way it's only one procedure instead of two. It's outpatient. I go in the morning and should be home by mid day.
Unfortunately both procedures are so minimal I won't need much in the way of painkillers afterwards. So I'll be stuck with Tylenol. Maybe I should send Bob out for fugu afterwards.