It was a lousy weekend at work. The busy kind of lousy, not the dangerous or the incident ridden kind. Too many MHA apprehensions, too many crackheads. God, I love the crackheads; always a cheery smile and a flattering appraisal of you and your gifts. They are nature's way of keeping you humble, really. Now that its summer again, the rain keeps washing them up to the front door.
I looked at myself in the mirror when I got up today and saw an old woman. I've seen her before, in flashes, but Time is rapidly becoming that frienemy who tells y'all that my ass looks fat in these pants. My acne however, helps me keep my youthful glow. Ugh.
Since I had Quinn, the mole population on my body has exploded. Some are skin tags that my son helpfully rips off once and a while, some are sun damage spots. (Ok, a lot are sun damage spots. I spent many years a sun bunny and quite a few in tanning salons.) I've had a few moles for a long time, one of which started out as a small spot on my nose in my middle to late teens. For years, people mistook it for a piercing (including my own father, who, I will add, has a mole in the same spot). I really didn't spend too much time correcting them. I've even been known to dab a little sparkle on it before I go out. It has gotten noticibly larger over the last few years and I've toyed with the idea of getting it zapped off. Like everything else, it got sidelined for more important things.
A few weeks ago I lightly rubbed my itchy nose and my hand came away covered in blood. Upon examination, the mole had begun to tear away from my nose and was bleeding profusely. It healed pretty quickly, but I headed to my family doc to see if he could rip it off for good. If I missed it, I was gonna get that piercing.
My family doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon on the 19th, who took one look at it, measured it and sat down to have "the talk" with me. My mole, as it turns out, is not a mole. It is skin cancer. Specifically, basal cell carcinoma.
An honest self-portrait...
Now, in all fairness, to activate the logic based defense mechanisms, if you are going to get skin cancer, this is the one to get. It's generally non-invasive and usually easy to fix with surgery. The non-logic parts of my psyche would like to remind you that it is still cancer. They would also like to add that after the thyroid and the cervix, this would be my third brush with this word.
My plastic surgeon (I just love saying that) went on to describe some sort of flappy closure thing that they would do to fill in the hole with skin from the side of my nose. I told her at the time that I didn't care what she did as long as I didn't end up with Michael Jackson's nose. (Oh settle down, he was still using it at the time.) She added that it would probably take a very long time to heal, probably upwards to a year and that there would be a bump there and it could look like a small bit of swelling. She also added that if I had still been a smoker, it would probably never heal. Good to know.
So, tomorrow morning, I go to day surgery for a little bit and get it over with. I'm sure it will go fine and I'll spend the afternoon on painkillers eating KD and watching cartoons. I'm returning to work Wednesday night with a few exceptions. The surgeon was horrified (as people usually are) when she found out what I do for a living, so she added a few disclaimers. Stuff like "try not to bend too much", and my all time favourite, "Don't get hit in the face".
I'll try not to.
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