NEW PORT RICHEY — Friday started at 7 a.m. for Police Chief Kim Bogart with roll call and talking to his officers. Then there was a survey to finish for the red light camera system, paperwork, a meeting downtown, another meeting, driving to Dade City for an advisory board, oh, and also he has cancer.
Don't call him about it. He doesn't need you to pray or feel sorry for him. You shouldn't worry about it any more than he does, which is not very much. Really.
"As long as I'm not viewed like I've got one foot in the grave and I can't do my job," he said. "Because my job's important to me and I've got a lot I want to accomplish."
He hooked a pair of dark-rimmed glasses on his nose and queued up his computer's heavily marked calendar to recall when he was diagnosed.
This all started on Nov. 1 when a sharp pain cut into his abdomen. It was a Friday, 2 p.m. and, again, he was in a meeting. He stuck it out until 4 p.m. then went home. His wife, a veterinarian, diagnosed him in under a minute: appendicitis. Emergency room. Surgery the next day. Back to work on the 13th. He didn't wait for the pathology report to come back.
Doctors gave him the news at a follow-up appointment. They'd found an adenocarcinoid, a cluster of cancerous cells, on his appendix. He heard only about 600 people have ever had it.
"Lucky me," he said. He took the report home to his wife "...and we just kind of moved forward from there."
Bogart talks about the cancer with the same matter-of-fact tone he uses for police reports, using words like "ramifications" and "protocol."
The ramifications, as with any cancer, could be serious. Lots of his close friends have been dealt the tough hand of cancer. Some of them beat it. Others didn't. Bogart accepts both realities.
The protocol? At 61, he'd put off a colonoscopy for a decade, so that had to happen. Then a CT scan to check his upper body. In two weeks, he'll have surgery where doctors will cut out a section of his large intestine and reattach it to the small intestine and check his glands.
Shortly after, he plans to be back on duty, maybe to push a pen. Definitely not chasing bad guys until he heals.
Right now, he's looking forward to Thanksgiving. His oldest daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters are coming over the day before to prep the meal and bake pies.
Again, don't call him.
Contact Alex Orlando at email@example.com or (727) 869-6247.