Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Skin

Skin. Cancer. Sucks.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that the sore on my forehead that wouldn’t heal turned out to be a form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer and also the easiest to fix. I’ll find out for sure tomorrow. That is when they do surgery on the sore.

In the past few weeks I have learned that three people I see regularly have all had this procedure. One is a cousin, a retired doctor, who had it about 15 years ago and has had no problem since. A guy I regularly interview on one of my radio shows told me he had it and he also has had no recurring problems. Yesterday the guy who cuts my hair every four weeks for the past 17 years told me he has had this surgery six times in his adult life. Geez. Get out of the sun. What are you thinking?

These three people, the surgery center’s brochures and several web sites have all said this surgery is relatively routine. That is encouraging, especially coming from medical entities, but for the past few days I have felt my inner voice ramping up, trying to scream something at me. I know myself all too well. I know that the logical, research-it-till-it-hurts side of me says everything will be fine. The deeper, paranoid side is trying to send a ‘you should be worried’ message. The battle between those two sides is churning in my stomach, competing for space with the shrimp and broccoli I just had for dinner.

I’ll point out that I almost never get sick, have been a patient in a medical setting other than doctor visits only three or four times in my whole life and I am very health-conscious. So I have nothing to worry about, right? Yet, I’m just a little jittery and can’t focus very well on anything but getting up early tomorrow morning to go get part of my forehead removed. OK, OK, it’s just a small part, but still … somebody is going to cut into my face and I am willingly going to let this happen.

Being the eternal optimist that I am, the picture I’ll take of myself with a bandage over my right eye should make for some interesting captioning. I’m already thinking up stories I can tell. I’ll probably make a contest out of it on my Facebook page. Yes, I will write about it some more here.

And in a few weeks I’ll be celebrating the success of the surgery by going to the beach for a few days. Maybe it’ll be cloudy. Maybe there is an SPF number higher than 100. Maybe I’ll buy a stupid-looking, wide brim hat.

I feel better now. Humor is the best medicine. I also have Tylenol at the ready. Wish me luck.

2 comments:

Dana said...

My best wishes for a super fast, non-traceable scar recovery!
Post something on your way back.

Bill the Butcher said...

OK, now, scrolling down, I discovered it is basal cell carcinoma. It's generally easily survivable but you (being white) are more susceptible to it than other ethnic groups and since it's UV-related it might be a good idea to stay out of the sun in future.